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  5. "Hello, Judy."

"Hello, Judy."

Translation:أَهْلاً يا جودي.

August 20, 2019



What is the purpose of having يا before names?

  • 1410

This is the vocative article. In everyday and dialects, this can be dropped most of the time but not in proper Arabic, somehow. There are other articles for the vocative but this is the common one, Yá.

It is somehow close to "O" in classical English (and "A" in Irish).


It is used to get the attention of the other person

  • 1410

No not strict. It's just the way Duolingo works here
However, there some specific moments when adding the vocative article (yá) is a must.


Is it a respectful form? Like ji in Hindi, San in Japanese...?

  • 1410

It's fine, even though أهلا is more understood to be as (welcome) and not (Hello).
The former way for greeting is typically سلام (salám) - meaning "peace" - and sometimes مرحبا (marHaban). In some dialects, some people would say مرحب (marHab) instead.



I think isLauraMe refers ji in Hindi and san in Japanese to yaa in Arabic. In Hindi, it's said "Salim ji" while, in Japanese, it's "Salim-san". So, isLauraMe asks whether both "Salim ji" and "Salim-san" are similar to "yaa Salim" or not.

  • 1410

If this is the case, then no not exactly. To what I know, San and Ji are used in their languages as a respectful form (like Mr if I remember correctly). However, Yá in Arabic is a vocative article. It is simply to call someone, male or female. Respectful forms do have other titles usually before the name. Yá can be dropped sometimes (and many times in dialects) and also there are other forms of such vocative articles in Arabic, e.g. Ay and A. People who are deep into the language and poetry and literature, do in fact differentiate between the usages of such articles to call people (or things).

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