TheMostReadBook.org

An English translation of the Quran that is as close as possible to the Arabic sacred text
View active topics
  Verse(s):    
View unanswered posts





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Nominal sentences
PostPosted: 15 Sep 2009, 14:53 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: 04 May 2009, 16:10
Posts: 4532
Location: USA
English sentences are nominal, i.e., they start with a noun followed by a verb. Arabic sentences, on the other hand, are mostly verbal; they start with the verb. Arabic has two types of nominal sentences, however. The first type is composed of a subject and a predicate, which corresponds to English sentences where the verb is verb to be. The other type of nominal sentences in Arabic has a regular verb. This type of sentence is rare and coveys a special meaning, such as emphasis.

To illustrate, let's consider three examples:
1. A regular verbal Arabic sentence:
سمع الله لمن حمده

"God listens to whom praises Him."
If we were to translate it literally, we'd have to say, "Listens God to whom praises Him." Translating a verbal sentence is straightforward; we transpose the noun and the verb.

2. A common nominal Arabic sentence:
الله أكبر

"God is greater."
If we were to translate it literally, we'd have to say, "God greater."
Translating a regular nominal Arabic sentence is straightforward; we insert verb to be between the subject and the predicate.

3. An uncommon nominal Arabic sentence:
الله يجمع بيننا

"God brings us together."
While that would be a correct translation, it loses the fact that it was a nominal sentence in Arabic and not a verbal sentence. The challenge therefore is to convey that bit of information in the translation somehow.

Any ideas?

_________________
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Nominal sentences
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2010, 03:18 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: 04 May 2009, 16:10
Posts: 4532
Location: USA
Linguistic wrote:
3. An uncommon nominal Arabic sentence:
الله يجمع بيننا

"God brings us together."
While that would be a correct translation, it loses the fact that it was a nominal sentence in Arabic and not a verbal sentence. The challenge therefore is to convey that bit of information in the translation somehow.

Any ideas?

I suggest adding interjections to convey the emphasis in such case, e.g.,
[It is] God [who] brings us together.

_________________
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Nominal sentences
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2010, 06:45 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: 05 May 2009, 00:16
Posts: 1838
Location: USA
Linguistic wrote:
I suggest adding interjections to convey the emphasis in such case, e.g.,
[It is] God [who] brings us together.

I missed this thread earlier. Very interesting observation about nominal sentences. When I thought about it before reading your suggestion, I also thought of "It is God who" but I didn't like the construct because it added too much stuff to what the Arabic construct conveys. I think including the brackets as you proposed is brilliant, because it mitigates this added stuff down to the right level.

_________________
To translate is the best way to understand


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
It is currently 25 Feb 2020, 12:53

All times are UTC

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group