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  5. "a smart Arab American woman"

"a smart Arab American woman"

Translation:اِمْرَأة أَمْريكِيّة عَرَبِيّة ذَكِيّة

August 6, 2019



I dont understand the order of adjectives...

  • 1375

I think they mean (an american woman of arabian origin) ... in Arabic you would follow the noun with the most recent adjective then the distant one (i.e. the woman is now american so u put american first after the noun, then followed by her origin, arab)..... quite the opposite to the English style where the origin comes first (arab) then followed by the current status (american) and then the noun (woman)


Well said. Have a lingot


Just inverse to English


Is a native Hebrew speaker i am amazed by how similar the adjectives order is, so much that i just translate it to Hebrew in my head and it's just correct almost everytime. Plus i realize that i knew so much Arabic words until this point and learning the letters changed my perspective completely, thank you duo! ❤


My friend says the same thing, lucky!


Do you pronounce the ة (an) sound at the end of the female forms? because I don't heard it. Or is it just written and not spoken?

  • 1375

the ة (Ta-Marbuta) is a combination of H and T. And it is not necessarily only for feminine nouns but let's just say most feminine nouns end with this letter.
If the word with this letter at its is pronounced alone, isolate, or it comes at the end of the word, then this letter is spelled simply as (-H). However, when the word comes in the beginning or in the middle of the sentence, and the need arises to change the vowel at the end of the word, then this -H is changed to -T (pronunciation-wise, not writing-wise, it is the same letter ة still). This is to make it easier to connect words together when speaking without hard stops in the middle. This ة though is changed to ت when some suffixes are added to the word (e.g. ـي for "my") and this is natural because Ta-Marbuta is not at the end of the word anymore in this case.

Now, the -(v)N sound; Where (v) stands for "vowel". This type of vowel or marks is called Tanwin or Nunation. It has a history, and it might have been a nasal vowel at the end of words in ancient times, but then evolved to full "N" sound. Anyway, I don't know why Duolingo did not use the marker for this vowel in the sentence above (and in many others). The Tanwin would come in 3 flavors depending on the position of the word in the sentence (accusative, genitive, ...etc). It can be either: -an, -in, or -un. Tanwin has some specific grammatical usages but for the time being you can consider it as a marker for the indefinite nouns (just like the English a/an before a word).


I wasn't expecting this in dept :) thanks you very much.


I don't understand why the order isn't correct, i translated it in the order given in English and it's not correct

  • 1375

The Arabic sequence of adjectives is the reverse of the English one


As a mnemonic, the adjectives are in the exact same order if you just read them in the same direction! (Left to right, for example.)


Is إمرأة ذكيه عربية أمريكية wrong?

  • 1375

Kind of. The order of the adjectives can be sensitive (most of the time).
A thumb rule, the order of the adjectives in Arabic is the reverse of the English. So, A smart Arab American woman would literally be in Arabic as: Woman/American/Arab/smart. امرأة أمريكية عربية ذكية


this is what i put


How do you choose the order of adjectives in Arabic?

  • 1375

It depends on the situation and on what you are trying to say. However, the main tip here is that Arabic adjectives are the reverse in order of those in English (and they come after the noun, and not before the noun as in English).
The order of adjectives is not critical all the time but there are situations when it would be so, specially in cases like this one here where we have a dual identity or citizenship.
In English for example, a German American woman is not the same as an American German woman. The former is an American woman of German roots, while the latter is a German woman of American roots.
Same concept is applied in Arabic, but in reverse:

  • A German American woman: امرأة أمريكية ألمانية.
  • An American German woman: امرأة ألمانية أمريكية.

You can see that the Arabic compound is somehow (in this instance) is like reading the English sentence backwards starting from the last word and going to the left.
Hope this helps.


This was really helpful, shukran!!!

  • 1375

عفوًا (welcome) :)

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