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"There is a weird man in front of me."

Translation:أَمامي رَجُل غَريب.

October 2, 2019



Why not using "Hunak" ? Thanks

  • 1385

Well, you can use it actually. It would be: هناك رجل غريب أمامي (notice the re-ordering of the words in the sentence). In fact this sentence here goes in line and parallel to the English sentence that Duolingo used here. Literal translation: There/a man/strange/my front.

However, I'm not sure that Duolingo would accept such an answer.


TJ_Q8, would you say either order is preferable in Arabic? Or do they have a nuance in meaning?

  • 1385

Well, thinking about it further. The two are correct but maybe the situation in which they are said is different.
Using the word (hunák) seems as an attention grabber; like you put it there to express various emotions: being surprised, or as if something happened. It can be used in normal stating of course but I'd say the tendency is just that.
Without (hunák) the sentence (to me at least) seems static or like if there is nothing going on but just a descriptive term.

But anyway this is how I feel about it myself as I see the two sentences essentially deliver the same meaning: the man being in front of me.


Thanks. So the significance of the word order seems quite different from Russian (where the word order is far more fluid and significant than in English which has to be more rigid because of its lack of inflection). In Russian, usually, what comes first sets the topic, and the last bit is the interesting part of the information. So "In front of me - man " is like saying "I'm going to tell you something about what's in front of me. The interesting information is that it's a man". Whereas if you said "Man in front of me", it's like saying, "I'm going to tell you something about a man. And he's in front of me - not behind, or anywhere else". So Arabic isn't anything like that?

  • 1385

Oh yes it is indeed. I can say (there is a man in front of me) in various ways in Arabic:

  • أمامي رجلٌ
  • رجلٌ أمامي (cumbersome a bit)
  • هناك رجلٌ أمامي
  • يوجدُ رجلٌ امامي
  • يوجد أمامي رجلٌ
  • أمامي، يوجد رجل

These are some that I could think of. Notice that the 2nd one is a bit poetic maybe and not so common. The last one there is a comma after (in front of me) as a pause in speech. Maybe not common but it is a possible way to point to a man in front of you.
The verb يوجد (yújad) is a passive form of يجد (yajid), which means (to find), so (yújad) means something like (is found) and it is used in the sense of "exists" in Arabic, and it is common to use this expression with this verb to point to something like (there) in English. I can even combine (hunák) and (yújad) in some instances but as I think about it now when these 2 come together, (hunák) changes its meaning from pointing to something to actually locating something. So, if I say: يوجد رجل أمامي هناك that would more likely be interpreted as (there is a man in front of me over there). So, better not to combine them if I'm not locating but rather just mention one of them for pointing.
In more complex sentences, the order of words can exceed of these mentioned above, as there are cases where the subject can be delayed and the predicate can be pulled to the front, and there are instances where the accusative can be put in front and the subject and be delayed as well - some of these uses can be quite poetic and not normal to the regular speech or writing.


غَريب is sometimes pronounced غَرَيب، is that just a mistake?

  • 1385

It should be as (ğaríb)

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