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  5. "I do not have a brown and wh…

"I do not have a brown and white skirt."

Translation:لَيْسَ عِنْدي تَنّورة بُنِّيّة وَبَيْضاء.

July 19, 2019



why aren't both colors feminine?


They are both feminine. بَيْضاء is the feminine form of أَبْيَض, if that's what's confusing you.


Some where in Duo, a user was nice enough to explain how colors in Arabic work. (And I am very sorry I do not know who to give credit.) Since then I have also seen it documented in a book (lol) and in a youtube video.

In summary:

Colors are based on 3 letters:

z r k (for blue) b y d (for white) b n y (for brown)

With masculine and feminine colors (words) based as follows:

a z _ a _ (masculine) a _ _ a 2 (feminine)

So if you fill in the blanks:

a z z r a k (blue masculine)

z a r k a 2 (blue feminine)

Hope this helps. It really clarified it for me.


Thank you very much, Caroline. I seem to remember it was TJ_Q8... Yes! I've found the link, in case anyone would like supplementary information: forum.duolingo.com/comment/33576475


Colors at first can be difficult in Semitic languages. The good news: once you learn how colors work in one Semitic language, it will work similarly in another, such as Hebrew, even though the words can be quite different. Consider acquiring an intro grammar in Arabic and modern Hebrew.


Really? What's the difficulty about colours in Hebrew?


At a basic level, colors are not difficult. However, if we dig under the surface and look at the history of Hebrew, things get more challenging. What designates a particular color can be difficult because colors are culturally specific and relative. If you are interested in art history, for instance, it can be difficult to figure out what was meant by a color in ancient texts. Some Hebrew texts use Greek words for some colors. See Steven Fine, Art, History, and the Historiography of Judaism in Roman Antiquity (Brill, 2014). Cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity_and_the_color_naming_debate


It's funny. You give Hebrew as "another" Semitic language. I personally only know those two! Forgive my ignorance, but I bet I'm not alone. Teach us some more!


Well, for starters, Aramaic (still a living language) and Phoenician (extinct, but the Greek, Roman, Arabic, Hebrew alphabets/abjads are generally thought to be derived from Phoenician writing), Carthaginian (extinct), several others in the Horn of Africa region -- I just glanced at this Wiki article briefly, and it looks to be pretty legit, corresponds to what I've read elsewhere over the years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_languages


I'm having problems with the spelling for "white." It appears to me like the structure of the word is completely different based on whether it's feminine or masculine, and it doesn't appear to be punctuation related. Any help on what I'm missing?


Shouldn't it be pronounced bonnayya and not bonniia?


The masculine form is bunniyy, so the feminine form should be bunniyya. Why do you expect an additional a?


Because of the fatha over "n". If it was pronounced bonniia, there should be a kasra instead?


There is no fatha over ‚n‘. It is a kasra because it is below the shadda. A fatha would be above the shadda.


ɪ ᴛɪᴄᴋ ᴄᴏʀʀᴇᴄᴛ ɪᴛ ᴄᴀᴍᴇ ᴡʀᴏɴɢ ᴡʜy

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