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  5. "لَيْسَ عِنْدي دَفْتَر."

"لَيْسَ عِنْدي دَفْتَر."

Translation:I do not have a notebook.

August 23, 2019



Is the word used for an electronic notebook too?

  • 1416

No, never encountered that. Probably the electronic notenook is mostly noted by its English term نوتبوك even though I'm sure there is a specific term for it but I didn't see or read it before


Thank you for your reply. Just now I encountered here on Duo the word: لاب توب In German its the same: We use the two English words Notebook and Laptop, a German word does not exist.

  • 1416

For laptop actually there is a word but it might be rather long. In ads I guess they mostly use foreign words even if there is an Arabic term for it. For laptop it is حاسوب محمول (Hásúb maHmúl), which means something like carried computer. I think for short they might use the last word only محمول (maHmúl) carried.


the word محمول is used for mobile phones.


I believe that it literally means "mobile". In Hebrew we do the same thing: we say"mobile" for the phone (נייד) and "mobile computer" for the laptop (מחשב נייד). It would not surprise me to learn that we adopted this from Arabic usage.


دَفْتَر, would please someone be so kind and explain the origin of this word? Thank you very much!

  • 1416

Most probably it would from a Persian origin. There is also another word for notebook (or any material to write on composed of paper and grouped together), and that is كَشْكول (kaškúl). Maybe Persian in origin as well.

In classical Arabic, typically (and as per in Quran), a material upon which to write on can be صحيفة (SaHífah) - and this is same as the word for "newspaper" nowadays. And there is also كتاب (kitáb) which is also the word for "book". Also, there is سِجِل (sijil) but maybe this one is more related to "records" than any regular writing.


Do you think that the word might be cognate with the Hebrew דַף daf (a sheet of paper)?

In Hebrew notebook is דַפדֵפת dafdefet, also cognate (repeating two-letter roots is common in Hebrew).


Absolutely! And much more. It's part of a huge family of cognates and derivatives in an impressive number of languages. Compare these three links:


...and this is how notebook takes us way back to the very beginning of writing. Quite eye-opening, thanks for asking this question.


I checked كَشْكول , it is of Persian origin indeed, from Classical Syriac kaškūl (ܟܫܟܘܠ ), both meaning a kind of breviary and hymnal, which makes sense. I find etymology extremely helpful in learning languages, it gives a deeper, thorough understanding of the vocabulary.


don't = do not

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