Tag Archives: confusion

This is Terrible

During a soccer match between the teams Buhairat and Sinjar in a small town near Baghdad, a fan shot a forward in the head, killing him, just he (the forward) was shooting on goal.
The police arrested the shooter immediately. The news article didn’t give the name of the player.
Arabic story here.
English story here.
Update: An alert reader sent me this link from the New York Times, which gives a completely different story. In the NYT story, a goalie was shot to death, by accident, after a policeman fired celebratory bullets, after the game was over.
Really makes you wonder what really happened.
The NYT couldn’t resist adding this, to make it all sound more exotic and primitive:

The family of the goalie was demanding so-called blood money from the officer, the police said.

How completely unlike us those barbarians are! Here in the US, we don’t ask for anything as sanguinary as “so-called blood money.” Here we hire lawyers to sue the policeman, the police force, the stadium, and the city for as many millions as we can possibly get. That’s what makes us civilized. *rolleyes*

I actually learned two English words from the Hans Wehr dictionary: bloodwite and wergild. Those are the English words for “blood money,” a fixed amount of money paid as compensation for a person’s death.

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Filed under iraq soccer

A Voice in Praise of Egyptian Dialect

Commenter Majnnunciatore wrote this reply to my last post:

I’ve got to give my kudos to Egyptians, and I spell my “kudos” with a kaff, never a qaf. I applaud them for being individuals. Just because a letter is there, why pronounce it? Why climb a mountain? “Because it’s there.” C’mon, walk like an Egyptian, be an individual. In addition, our Masri pals are doing a service for the Kaff. Ever look through an Arabic dictionary and find yourself shaking your head in dismay at how woefully underrepresented kaffs are? I’m sure you’re not alone. There are those who criticize the Arab world for its lack of free speech. To them, I say, look at what the Egyptians are doing. It takes true bravery to drop an easily pronounced and distinguishable letter out of the equation, allowing that non-sound to be confused with a hamza, or rendering thousands of other words that start with a qaf unclear, thus giving more nuance to the spoken word. I admire the Egyptians for their boldness. Mabruk! The only thing that would impress me more is if the folks in Qatar would cease using qafs. That would be a gutsy move.


Filed under arabic, language