1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Arabic
  4. >
  5. "He is your son and he is ver…

"He is your son and he is very weird, Sam."

Translation:هُوَّ ابْنَك وَهُوَّ غَريب جِدّاً يا سام.

July 18, 2019



I was thinking the same, i am wondering if it ibnak and ibnik is specific to a dialect


Yeah it's Egyptian. They definitely switch between MSA and ECA without any reason


Is it Ghareeb or Gharaib?


Ya Farah! I am so glad they finally got the Arabic program up and running, but I have two comments/requests/questions... What in the world is the transliteration you are using? I have never in my life seen 2 and 3 used in transliteration. The 3 kinda makes sense, although the standard transliteration for 'ain is the apostrophe. (') But the 2 is just weird, and it throws me every time...especially when you have a 2 and a 3 in the same word. Standard transliteration for alef+vowel is just the vowel. I am wondering if you just invented these symbols, or what, and why you did not go with the standard transliteration? My other comment/request is to PLEASE use larger font!!! It's actually impossible to see the vowel markings, but in most cases so far there's been other ways of telling what the right answer would be, but if it comes down to just the vowel markings, then it is just an out-and-out guess. On the parts of the course where you have big, bold words, it is lovely! Please use that exclusively. I am near the beginning of the course (on level two on whatever lesson this is), so I am dreading when it gets further along and we are really dependent on those vowel markings for the answers in this tiny, illegible font. Also, this is ARABIC, and most learners are not going to be familiar with the pronunciation, so please...we really need more aural readings. I am familiar with MSA, so I can pronounce it to myself that way, but I am looking forward to hearing it much more, and familiarizing my ear with the speech patterns again. Thank you, again, for this course though. I hope it keeps building and growing. Insha'allah!


Hello CeeCee! To be honest I did not work with the team that constructed this course so I really cannot help you with the ‘why is the course the way it is’. Yet, I think it was made this way because the team was trying to find a middle ground between the spoken language and the MSA.

To fix the problem of small letters; if you are using your laptop you can just use [ctrl] [+] to increase the size of the text and [ctrl] [-] to decrease it.

And finally to talk about 2 and 3 …: The use of numbers in referring to letters originally started when Arabs wanted to text or email Arabic content that is written in English letters(mostly because some devices did not have an Arabic keyboard-letters-inputs…); however, because certain Arabic letters did not have an equivalent in English, numbers were used. Here's what each number refers to in Arabic: 2=ء (I can understand why did this confuse you. It is actually used for all kinds of (what we call) ’Hamzat‘ (plural of Hamza) whether it’s above the Alif [أ] or below it [إ], above the Wāw [ؤ], Above a dotless Yāʾ[ئ] which is also called Hamza ʿAlā Nabrah, and also when it stands alone like in the example below. 2=ء example: Samaa2=سماء=sky If you want to read more about this check this Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamza (but be caution if you are a total beginner it might confuse you even more!)

3=ع example: s3adah=سعادة=happiness

3′=غ example: msh3′ool=مشغول=busy

6 = ط example: 6a2r=طائر=bird

7 = ح example: 7azeen=حزين=sad

5 = 7’= Kh= خ example: 5a2f=7’a2f=Kha2f=خائف= scared

8 = ق example: 8rd=قرد=monkey

9 = ص example: 9dee8=صديق=friend

9'= ضexample: 9’fd3=ضفدع=frog

Hope this helped in clearing things up a bit. The team is working hard and the course is still under construction. Thank you for showing interest and good luck with your learning. Also, whenever you have a question I’d be more than happy to help.

Have a nice day!


Ya Farah, why Duo doesn't make some separated Arabic dialects like Mango do? So, it will be clearer what we learn. We know that MSA and local dialects have differences. Also, in general, all Arabic schools use MSA as its main lesson :)

Thanks before :D


Thank you. It's good to actually see some responses from Duolingo.

The attempt to marry MSA and spoken is a nightmare. A beginners course should only be in MSA unless you're advertising it as a specific dialect.

Is there no way to rectify this? And, does this continue through the rest of the course? If so, I'd probably rather leave the course now than suffer later.


It looks like they are using common spoken elements along with MSA to make it more practical. I have never heard anyone actually say "ibnuka" in conversation, but i have heard people say "ibnak" (tying the gender marker in the possessive pronoun into the construct) from the gulf to the levant


okay so ibnuka in MSA and ibnak in Egyptian? is that right?


Yes. And if you were speaking to a female, the endings would be "uki" in MSA and "ik" in dialect.


The BBC beginner's course claims to teach Levant dialect, and also teaches eg ibnak and ibnik. Secondly, yes of course we can enlarge the font on the computer, but a) it's a nuisance because it makes the font ridiculously big for the rest of the text, b) circumstances sometimes oblige you to do Duolingo on your phone and c) what's the problem with enlarging the Arabic text? People are clamouring for it.


What's the difference between ibnak and ibnik?


ibnak = to a male

ibnik = to a female

Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.