1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Arabic
  4. >
  5. "Harvard is an important Amer…

"Harvard is an important American university."

Translation:هارْفارْد جامِعة أَمْريكِيّة مُهِمّة.

October 15, 2019



So this would be "Harvard university American important" in literal English translation? Getting this order correct has been a bit of a challenge... is there some advice that can be given to make this order or word arrangement easier to understand?

  • 1418

Sentences in Arabic can be quite flexible in fact and the subject and object or predicative can be interchangeable sometimes. However, this is more into "literature" and eloquent speech.
Going back to the basics, if we are translating from English into Arabic: Whatever comes before (is) is the subject and comes first in Arabic as well. Whatever after (is) is the predicative. Second step is to check the adjectives. Adjectives come after the noun in Arabic. If there are multiple adjectives, then reverse the order. In other words, where in English the adjective that is most relevant to the noun comes just before the noun that it describes, in Arabic that adjective comes right after the noun right away before other adjectives.


Good answer. Thanks.


I left out the first alif in Harvard and marked wrong. Other times it's been marked correct with an alternative spelling. Another capricious spelling decision of Duolingo...

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