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In Egyptian Arabic it's feshar (with a long "a") فيشار
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2010/08/05
5:48am
Glenn
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For the past eight months, Pan-Arab satellite-TV companies MBC and Showtime Arabia have been broadcasting hundreds of Tinseltown movies across the region. Previous attempts to translate them had been to add subtitles in classical Arabic. But in a region where 70 million people ages 15 and older are unable to read, this attempt effectively ignored many Arabs whose only form of communication is through one of the regional spoken dialects.

I'm going to make him a translation he can't refuse.

By the way, the Jeopardy! question corresponding to this topic is: What is the Arabic word for "popcorn"?

2010/08/06
6:50am
torpeau
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This article relates to words like "popcorn." http://www.economist.com/node/15955462?story_id=15955462

BTW, since Arabic and some other languages read right to left, I have wondered if they had a problem learning to read numbers left to right.

2010/08/06
10:36am
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Google "adding left to right" and you will get 668 million hits. Some places are teaching it that way these days.

I have heard some conjecture that reading left to right but adding right to left (like I was taught) has some relation to dyslexia. I could not confirm that via Google.

Emmett

2010/08/06
4:07pm
torpeau
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torpeau said:

This article relates to words like "popcorn." http://www.economist.com/node/15955462?story_id=15955462

Sorry, didn't realize you had to register to read that article. Anyway, it said: "In the absence of an authentic Arabic word, people may instead use an English word like “zip”, as the writer in the National (an English-language newspaper in Abu Dhabi) laments." That newspaper also said: "The Arabic language is dying. Its disloyal children are ditching their mother tongue for English and French. It is stagnating in classrooms, mosques and the dusty corridors of government."

2012/03/08
9:08am
Bob Bridges
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Some random comments:

Interesting, that about Arabic moldering; I've never heard it before.

[The French] have always hated us, of course, for stealing the concept of french fries, but now they REALLY hate us, because our culture has become so dominant that they're having trouble completing so much as a single sentence without using American words.  They're always blurting out statements like: "Le software de la hardware est un humdinger!"  And then they get so mad that they could spit.  -Dave Barry

This is just a theory, but maybe if in English we continued reading from left to right but wrote numbers with the low-order digits on the left and the high-order digits on the right, we would still think of it as reading numbers from left to right.  Personally I think it makes sense to do high-order digits first, but there are lots of situations in which we put the low-order items first in a list.  In mailing addresses, for example, we write first the addressee's name, then the street, then the city, then the state.  In time stamps, most Americans think the year should come last; in Europe they even put the day first, then the month and year; and Notepad insists on writing the time first, then the date, which I still dislike.  Personally I've written year-month-day since high school, even before I discovered that computer folks prefer it that way, but then I'm weird.  I would be happy to do it with mailing addresses, too.  But it seems to me that if we grew up thinking that there are 21 eggs in a dozen and 0271 yards in a mile, I doubt it would cause us any more difficulty than the current way of writing it.  And at least in that case we could do addition and subtraction from left to right, carrying and borrowing in the standard direction instead of reversing ourselves.

2012/03/08
4:54pm
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Bob Bridges said:

…  But it seems to me that if we grew up thinking that there are 21 eggs in a dozen and 0271 yards in a mile, I doubt it would cause us any more difficulty than the current way of writing it.  And at least in that case we could do addition and subtraction from left to right, carrying and borrowing in the standard direction instead of reversing ourselves.

While I understand this, I think it would be fraught with difficulty because of the lack of cues. It would also be contrary to how the rest of the world handles numbers.

.gnitirw ruo esrever ot reisae eb dluow ti kniht I

There are several cues if writing is reversed and we should read from right to left.

ttemmE

2012/03/10
12:13am
Bob Bridges
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No, no, I wasn't arguing that we should reverse the way we write numbers.  I'm only responding to torpeau's speculation:

…since Arabic and some other languages read right to left, I have wondered if they had a problem learning to read numbers left to right.

Those whose alphabets run from right to left don't have to read their numbers left-to-right; they need only read them low-order-to-high-order.

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