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  5. "My friend Farid has a lion i…

"My friend Farid has a lion in the house."

Translation:صَديقي فَريد عِنْدهُ أَسَد في الْبَيْت.

August 31, 2019

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DMd619327

Why not عند صديقيفريد ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1407

that should be ok. not sure if duolingo would accept it though

عند صديقي فريد


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

TJ_Q8, if it's good Arabic, why do you think Duolingo might not accept it? Actually, which is better of the two? To an English ear, Duolingo's version seems clumsy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJ_Q8
  • 1407

Well, in Arabic you can mention the owner first or second:

  • صديقي عنده (cadíqí 3indahu): literally my friend/at him.
  • عند صديقي (3inda cadíqí): literally: at/my friend.

Both are correct, maybe though the context would force the speaker to use one form rather than the other but in meaning they are equal. The only thing is that when you mention the owner first, you had to add a pronoun related to the owner (i.e. عند [at] becomes عنده [at him]) to refer back to the owner.

As to which one is better, as I said already, both are equal. If you want something that goes along the line of English in terms of word order, then that might be indeed the version used by Duolingo here. Compare the two:

  • My friend Farid has...
  • صديقي فريد عنده : literally my friend/ Farid/ at him.

As to why Duolingo doesn't accept some answers when they are correct, well, this is Duolingo (and that's my struggle with it already). Because contributors naturally cannot think of every possible and logical translation and combination/order for some of the sentences, so they feed the system with limited data and hence some answers are correct, but get marked wrong. And that's why they provided a Report button to help (supposedly) improve Duolingo when such incidents happen.


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

Thank you for your helpful answer. Well, this is where Arabic and Russian part in their rendering of the English verb "have". Both have an impersonal construction ("to/at John (there is) a house" instead of "John has a house), but the new construction we've been introduced to "John, to/at him there is a house) could be said conversationally in Russian, but isn't strictly grammatical. There'd be a hanging subject with no verb to govern. And of course I agree with you that it's probably humanly impossible to provide for absolutely all the correct translations.


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

I do find it surprising that there should be nothing to choose between them. It's rare, I think, that a language should have alternative ways of expressing something without one of them giving a nuance of difference, whether in emphasis, or in style.


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

I supposed because you did not separate صديقيفريد into two words!


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

Nope, even without the typo, this answer isn't accepted. Should be right, though. As far as I know, anyway.

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