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"Egypt and Sudan"

Translation:مِصْر وَالْسّودان

August 14, 2019

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siroggak

By the way, why not "el-misr" but "el-sudan"? What's the logic behind it, can someone please explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1415

Many country names do not have AL in Arabic and I think from my own observation that ... those of non-Arabic origin do not get AL.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieC993112

Egypt is not of Arabic origin? I know the name Egypt comes from the ancient Greek. But Misr?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1415

Yes. The name of the country, Micr مِصْر is not of an Arabic origin. It comes from ancient Egyptian (and its granddaughter, Coptic).

This said, one of the words for "country" or "region" in Arabic is also مِصْر (micr); A classical one. However, there is a critical difference between the two. The first one (Egypt), cannot be declined in a regular manner like any Arabic word (one of the consequences of that is that the name of Egypt cannot come with Tanwin to its end). The second one (region), though, can be declined (i.e. can have Tanwin on its end).
These two words with these two meanings are both mentioned in Quran and people who learn Quran and its reading are aware of such differences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieC993112

Thank you very much for this interesting distinction. It's really strange, because, for example, Ukraine comes from a slavonic word meaning "boundary". I suspect it's not an uncommon origin for a country's name. So it's really curious that the two misr words aren't related!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1415

Yes. Unrelated words with the same sounding are quite common between languages actually. And these similarities, unfortunately, lead some people to quite "believe" that some language is related to another or some language borrowed or went under the influence of another language. This uneducated belief fuels up some "unhealthy" ideologies.

On the other hand, we have also the "false friends" - a terminology quite familiar among languages lovers and learners, where a language does indeed adapt a word from another one but uses it for a different meaning (sometimes completely off from the original) - These false friends are quite common between Arabic, Turkish and Farsi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieC993112

Indeed, false friends are very well known to anyone studying a foreign language. Lots of them between English and French for instance. And of course Polish and Russian, as I mentioned in a recent message. Languages that have something in common, but developed separately. But "Unrelated words with the same sound are quite common between languages" is not something I've been particularly aware of. Can you think of any example that involves English, French or Russian (the only languages I know well)?. My feeling is that would be quite a curiosity. Unlike false friends, which abound.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1415

Well, maybe my memory doesn't serve me well right now but let's see...

For example, many people theorized (and still believe), that Shakespeare was an Arab. Why? Because his name is, originally as they believe, is الشيخ زبير (Sheikh Zubair) and just by the virtue of the English language, the KH sound turned (K). Heard this non-sense when I was a kid and I still do see some people believe in this.
Another non-sense: The word (Native) in English, is derived from the Arabic word نطفة (nuTfah/semen drop) and the hard (T) sound became (t) because, well, English people can't pronounce this sound properly. (and what about all the other adjectives ending with -ive in English? I don't know).

This is some what comes to my mind right now.
The point is, people are way too systematic whenever they wish to be so. Their brains, unfortunately, tries to find structure where there is none.
On the other hand, we as human beings, as communities and as social creatures, we must believe in the principle of "coincidence" - that some events can happen in some similar way or structure without being interconnected. This is similar to the question of agriculture in archaeology; For many years, scientists tried to find out where it was "invented" the first time. The answer comes from archaeology itself: It was "invented" or rather discovered on various spots on the planet with no apparent connection between one culture or civilization and the other.
Take this principle, and apply it to the sounds that a human being can produce. If some human being, somewhere in the Americas for example was to make a word of something like (HOM), does that really mean every (HOM) sound in every language is related to the language of that person in the Americas? Sure not! (and by the way, "hum" or "hom" if you like means "they" in Arabic).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieC993112

Thanks. It seems it tends to be a mistake made by uneducated Arabs. If uneducated English, French or Russian people make that mistake, I haven't come across them. But this is just an error. Whereas "false friends" are an objective reality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1415

Well, it's not limited to Arabs actually (and some of these claims were surprisingly issued by educated and even academic personnel). I've also had some encounters from other people from other places but i dont like to mention where from here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kokagejone

Same q. Some items seem to be asking whether we need al, but here the only apparent differences are that Egypt is first and that it starts the sentence. Is Egypt less definite than Sudan?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1415

as my answer says above: Many country names do not have AL in Arabic and I think from my own observation that ... those of non-Arabic origin do not get AL.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0Jnm6

Both of you are super i can't believe that you can write all of that

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