1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Arabic
  4. >
  5. "بِنْتي وَزَوْجَتي"

"بِنْتي وَزَوْجَتي"

Translation:my daughter and my wife

September 22, 2019



No definition given for "my wife"


But it could be guessed, because it's the same as the word for husband, but with an A ending. It did get me puzzled at first. Duolingo is forcing us to think for ourselves. Not fair!

  • 1415

Usually, in exercises, Duolingo would give you a hint about the word when you hover the mouse over it. Also, new words in the course would appear in orange. If none of that did show up, then this course is in a drastic need for fixes.


Yes, usually Duolingo does do that. But when one can work out what a word is, eg if we already know word X, and we're given a new word with is X plus a feminine, the new word is likely to be the feminine version of X. I don't think there's any need for a fix, on the contrary.


I suppose it's good to first fail the word because you're going to repeat it later without the hint, even if it's not intentional


Bint is both daughter and girl?

  • 1415

Just to add, it would have been better if they used ابنتي for my daughter instead of بنتي. The latter sounds more dialectical, and it is derived from بنت which originally means girl.

Bonus: بنت is also used in names, in archaic format (and is still in use in some countries) like stating X daughter of Y, beside X son of Y (similar to the Irish mac and ).


'Archaic'? I thought it's the original Islamic format

  • 1415

It has nothing to do with the faith. Arabs before Islam used this system of naming as well as other nations and some still do


Do you mean eg Fatima bint Mahaa?

  • 1415

Yes, this system is still in use in some countries where a male or female has (bin) or (bint) in their names to denote the chain of their fathers (typically only the first and father name are mentioned then family name).
Your example, Fatima bint Mahaa, is correct but usually names are mentioned according to the father line, and Mahaa is a female's name. So it does sound weird a bit. This said, though, there are instances when someone or some group are mentioned by their mother's or grandmother's name for some story maybe or some history behind that. But in usual circumstances, regular names follow the paternal line. In most places the system of bin and bint is dropped and the name is mentioned just by a succession of names like most of the world. I think in Oman they still use the bin and bint system in official naming.


Ah, that's interesting, thanks. Yes, I suppose it was too much to ask for to have some sort of matrilineal naming system. Even the Jews, who claim to believe in matrilineality, don't use the mother's name.


Actually بِنْت /bint/ means girl, but is widely used for daughter. If you really want to emphasize the daughter, you say ابنة /ibna/ (the feminine of ابن /ibn/ = son)


Feels like there needs to be a kqma somewhere...


wait a second wasn't زَوْجَتي the word for husband??

  • 1415

Wife: زوجة (zawjah). My wife: زوجتي (zawjatí).

Husband: زوج (zawj). My husband: زوجي (zawjí).

Worth noting that the word زوجة is relatively a modern Arabic word, because in classical times, the word زوج means the other side of the marriage, whether it's male or female. Technically, it means "pair". However, in modern times, the word زوجة had been invented as a feminine version of زوج to mean "wife" specifically.


You say: "in classical times, the word زوج means (meant) the other side (half?) of the marriage, whether it's male or female. Technically, it means "pair" (couple?)." I would have thought "the other side of the marriage" would not mean "pair", but rather "spouse". A pair means both sides, not "the other side". By "technically", do you mean "strictly speaking"?

  • 1415

Well, I used "pair" here because زوج is used also outside the context of marriage (e.g. shoes). So, it means either 2 of something, or a second part of something. And that also reflects on what I meant by "technically" - I didn't mean strictly speaking, but this is what the word is used for in general I mean, and originally it has no feminine equivalent.

In Quran for example, some verse goes like this:
يا آدم اسكن أنت وزوجك الجنة
(yá 2ádamu uskun anta wa zawjuka al-janna)
(O Adam, settle in paradise, you and your spouse/pair/half/wife).

Here we see زوجك (zawjuka) which would be translated as "your wife" or the equivalent of that even though the word زوج is actually masculine. Also we see here that (zawj) is used for the other part of the bond or another part of something in general - aside from its other usage which can mark 2 of something - e.g. زوج أحذية (zawju aHδiyah) a pair of shoes.
My main point is just to note that "zawjah" زوجة as a word for (wife) did not really exist in Arabic and it's invented in modern times (and some writers and linguists don't like to use it as well)


If I want to say "my girl" on Arabic kike an expression of cute love to my partner... Would it sounds like "my daughter" as well? Is بنتي the correct way to say that?

  • 1415

No. For endearing or spoiling a lover, the typical thing to say حبيبتي (Habíbatí) or as they say it typically in dialects, (Habíbtí) - this is to a female. If talking to a male, just remove (t).
There might be other words (and some funny ones) but this is the major one.


"my daughter and my wife" is never used as such in English. The usual figure of speech is "my daughter and wife"

Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.