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  5. "هٰذا الْحائِط"

"هٰذا الْحائِط"

Translation:This is the wall

July 12, 2019



How would one say "This is the wall"?


if this sentence is said independently it may mean 'this is the wall' too.

But that is uncommon usage.

A more common form for 'this is the wall' would be هذا هو الحائط


Why is it not "this wall"?


Should be correct, too.


Yes. My answer was "this wall", and it was marked correct, and gave an alternative correct answer as "this is the wall". This is the first time Duolingo translates a phrase (without a full stop) to a sentence (with a full stop). Who can you trust now?!


At first "this wall" was the default answer, but at the present moment the default is "This is the wall". For some reason "this wall" is wrong. I think they made a mistake changing that. A better sentence for "This is the wall" would be هذا هو الحائط and "this wall" should be the default answer.


Just the previous task, the same sentence (just wall replaced with dog) had 'the dog' as correct answer instead of 'this is the ...' Now it's this is the wall? Fix this!


"This is the wall" should be: هذا هو الحائط. "this wall" is the correct answer.


why is "this is the wall" considered not correct here - surely that is a perfectly sound translation here?


it is correct, technically speaking. But it is highly unlikely to mean that except in a very specific context. Chances are much more likely it translates to the phrase 'this wall'


From what I learnt, هذا/هذه alone cannot be used as the subject of a sentence. You have to add either a noun like in the given example هذا الحائط (this wall) or you have to add a pronoun, e.g., هذا هو الحائط (this is the wall). So, using ‘this’ as a subject pronoun should be هذا هو or هذه هي depending on gender.


Yeah in most cases in these lessons we were taught that هذا is used like 'this' or 'this is.' It is hard to understand why they count this one as incorrect, when similar translations on other phrases is deemed correct


it is an issue of context - for this i would say it has to do with thinking of concepts in Arabic, rather than in translation from English, which one will acquire with time :)

Let's say in an Arabic thinking mode, you do not necessarily need a verb to express meaning independently when there is no change in state or motion or something 'actually happening' if you may. There is this pressure to insert a verb though when translating because it does make a sentence independent. But even if one is to use the common sentence that would translate as a stand-alone to 'This is the wall' it would be هذا هو الحائط which still lacks a verb. :)


is this an alif between the "ح"and the "ط"?


There are two letters between ح and ط. First an alif and then a hamza with a dotless ى as carrier.


Seems to me strange to call that letter (hamza with) a dotless ى as carrier. Doesn't look much like a ى. At first I thought it was a Daal, but that didn't correspond with the audio. Would a Daal look different (regardless of the nonsense of having a hamza on a Daal)? What determines that it's a ى?


Depending on context, Hamza can have ا or و or ى as carrier or no carrier.

Here, it obviously has a carrier and the carrier is neither ا nor و. It is a ى in a beginning position: ىـــ

Daal would not be connected to the next letter: دط


Thank you very much for your answer, CarstenLuc. I'd forgotten that ى looks completely different in different positions. That's great. Except that why does it adopt an initial position in the middle of a word? Oops, I suppose it thinks it's in initial position because the alif to its right doesn't connect to its following letter. Gosh, does that mean any letter following a letter that doesn't connect to its follower behaves as if in initial position? Wow.


Yes, you found the answers yourself. After a letter which you cannot connect to the next letter, the next letter is written as if in initial position.

Btw:, there are six letters which cannot be connected to the next letter: ادذرزو


Can it be translated as "This is a wall." ?


I agree that "هٰذا الْحائِط" could translate into "This is the wall" or "this wall" however if it translates into the former, the Arabic phrase should end in a period (.) like other complete Arabic sentences do.


That is so helpful, CarstenLuc, thanks. ادذرزو. Aad-dhirizuu if one ignores the i's.


And while we're talking about letters, CarstenLuc, could you tell me if there's any logic in the shape of the four emphatic consonants - ط ظ ض ص -. ? Why should S have the same shape as D? and DH as T? The two fricatives have different shapes - ص ظ - while the two plosives are also different - ض ط -. The only logic I can see is to do with the dots (which I understand were in any case added later) which belong to the two voiced consonants - ظ ض -. Can you help me with this?


To really answer this question, we need someone with a deeper knowledge of the history of the Arabic abjad (or maybe alphabets in general) who can share some insight on how these different sounds ended up having so similar visual representations.

Yes, from the Latin alphabet, we are used to the fact that dots and other accents above letters just modify the base letter but the result has at least some relation to the base letter.

In the Arabic abjad, on the other hand, it seems that these dots above (or below) letters create new standalone letters with their own sounds, which only have a visual similarity. Maybe more like asking why the Latin letters O and Q or P and R have so different sounds although they look so similar.


Yes, your analogy with O vs Q and P vs R is a good one. But the difference is that originally these four Arabic letters didn't have any dots (originally no letters had dots). So it was bad enough that ب ت ث and ي, the latter only in initial and medial position, were identical, never mind the three varieties of ح and the many pairs such as ر and ز etc. But these emphatic consonants at least have in common the "body" of the letter, and then two have an upwards stick, while two have a downwards curly tail, and I suppose it's the shared body that marks them as emphatic letters. The mystery is why, without the dots, S and D should be identical, and DH and T. I've looked online for an explanation but not found any. Surely it can't be random?


I thought, that in order to utter the sounds it's the same spot on the upper mouth where the tip of the tonge is pointing to, for each of the pairs. not sure though, but this is just my five cents (and my way to remember them! ;) )


so in the case of S and D this tip o'the tongue spot would be a millimetre further back than for DH and TH (when it's directly in the corner of the upper teeth)


Yes, kobold83915! We have to make up our own ways of remembering and differentiating. But though I agree that for S and D the tongue is further back in the mouth (base of lower front teeth) than for DH (between the upper and lower front teeth), there is no such emphatic consonant as TH, is there! The missing one is T, and I think its tongue placement is more similar to S and D, don't you?

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