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  5. "هُوَّ كَلْبِك يا كَري."

"هُوَّ كَلْبِك يا كَري."

Translation:He is your dog, Carrie.

July 27, 2019



Shouldn't be "it's your dog, Carrie" ?

  • 1354

Well, Arabic has no "it" (neutral) pronouns. It's either "he" or "she"
The male dog is كلب while the female or she-dog is كلبة (well, didn't want to use the B-word here).

There is a grammatical mistake in this sentence though in Arabic. It should be (Kalbuka) and not (kalbika). The text-to-speech machine is really doing and awful job here


Thanks for saying that. I listened and said to myself something is not right. Thanks for confirming.


If it should be kalbuka, then it is not only a text-to-speech error, but the Arabic text is also wrong because it should be كَلْبُك, and not كَلْبِك, should it not? Otherwise it is confusing and further clarification is needed.

  • 1354

it is wrong indeed and should be as you said


Dogs have genders. Even in English we would normally say "he/she" when referring to a pet if we know the gender. "She's so cute" rather than "it's so cute".


Yes. It feels a little rude to call them it because the owners love them and also I love dogs. Usually the first thing I ask about somebody's dog is if it is a boy or a girl so I know what pronoun to use.


I agree, however if I don't have the ability to look under the dog, to ascertain its gender, I call the dog "it" or just "your dog" and leave it gender neutral, until I can determine the dog's gender. However, I assume that's beyond the scope of this language course.

  • 1354

In Arabic there is no neutral. A word, any word, can be either a masculine or feminine (except for few words that accept both notations). Thus, even saying "your dog" must bear some gender in it. Initially, the masculine form is considered the basic form of the word most of the time (except words of feminine nature of course). Because mostly the masculine form is the short form, upon which Ta-Marbúta is added to make the feminine. This said, many animals in Arabic have different name for the male and a different one for the female (just as in English, e.g. Bull and Cow).


While "It" is a common pronoun for animals in English, using the gender is also common. Perhaps it depends on your feelings and relationship towards animals. This is coming from a native English speaker.


Carrie: That darn dog has been barking nonstop. What an inconsiderate owner. Don't they know people want to sleep?! Me: It's your dog, Carrie...

--> English speakers use "it" for dogs all the time. Since arabic doesn't have a genderless pronoun, it should be fine to translate هو as "he" or "it" in this sentence.


We also use gender. If you know my dog is a male, call "it" a he. In this case, "It's your dog, Carrie," reads as the speaker disliking dogs, or being particularly annoyed by this dog or the owner. Maybe the speaker is annoyed that Carrie isn't walking the dog, so they have to do it. I might expect the "it" treatment from Arabic speakers because there are some grammatical differences when referring to nonhuman nouns. As an English speaker, I'm more likely to use the animal's gender if I know it and avoid the "it." Like, "Whose dog is this?" I'm befuddled by the comments implying that "it" is the standard English pronouns for animals. It's common enough, but using he and she is also common.


Should it be kalbuki?


Why it is sometimes كَلْبَك and others كَلْبِك? Does the suffix to indicate belonging change?

  • 1354

The system here is all mixed up and it shouldn't be like that.

The vowel on ب at the end of the word (before the possessive suffix) should go along with the status of the word (nominative, accusative...etc). This is something not followed here and apparently they've used the dialect forms of the possessive suffices.
In standard Arabic: your/m is (-ka) and your/f is (-ki). What happened in the dialect (Egyptian and the Levant mainly here) is that they shifted the vowel backward, and the suffices became (-ak) and (-ik) respectively.

So, while the proper way to say the sentence above should be: huwa kalbuki yá karri (it should be kárí even); In the semi-dialect form it might sound something like: huwa kalbik yá karri (in Egyptians it would be huwwa, and in Levantine it would be huwwe).

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