ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
KudoZ home » English to Arabic » Other

girl

Arabic translation: فتاة، صـبيّة، بنت، بُنَـيّة

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:girl
Arabic translation:فتاة، صـبيّة، بنت، بُنَـيّة
Entered by: Fuad Yahya
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

08:35 Oct 29, 2001
English to Arabic translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: girl
girl's name
gordon
Invitation
Explanation:
First I would like to invite gordon to clarify his question. Did you mean to ask for the Arabic word for "girl," or did mean to ask for suggestions for an Arabic girl's name?

If you meant to ask about the Arabic word for "girl," then please specify the context in which you intended to use the word. What sentence do you need to construct, and how do you intend to use it? As you can see, the lack of clarity has generated needless controversy among the Arabic ProZ members.

Second, I would like to invite the Arabic-speaking members to focus a bit more when addressing a question. I see no need to pile upon PaLa's case. If you don't like the answer you see, the step to take should be to offer your own answer, which will, let us hope, be more helpful to gordon.

I do not mean to eliminate the "disagree" voting option. The option is a legitimate one, if we use it with an eye on helping the service user, rather than on a side controversy. In the case of this question, the focus seems to have shifted from addressing gordon's question to picking on PaLa's suggestion that BINT was derogatory.

PaLa admitted to knowing no Arabic. The information provided in PaLa's answer was obtained through a web search (links were provided). Getting on PaLa's case helps no one. Providing an alternative answer will help all parties concerned.

Should PaLa have ventured an answer? Absolutely. This forum is for all. All answers should be treated equally. An answer is either correct or not. Non-Arabic-speaking members have provided perfectly correct answers before.

To demonstrate the futility of the controversy around the word BINT and its supposed derogatory status, let us consider the following two points:

1. I hardly know a word that hasn't been used in a derogatory sense by someone at some time. In English, the words "girl," "female," "woman," and even "lady" and “mother” have been used in an insulting way (this is not to mention the near and far synonyms that are intrinsically demeaning, which I will refrain from parading here). Come to think of it, the words "boy," “baby,” “babe,” "man," "guy," "dude," and even "person" have been used in a pejorative way as well. This happens in every language, every dialect, and every culture.

2. Is "bint" particularly derogatory IN ENGLISH? It most certainly is. The English word "bint," which is rarely used today, (MS Word spell checker does not recognize it)) is a relic of British colonialism. One of the most curious ways in which colonial powers tried to appropriate the cultures that they subjugated was to invent vocabularies that purport to define these cultures. Words like HAREEM, JIHAD, SHAYKH, MAHR, DIYA, ISLAM, and countless others have been redefined, not only to cast an outlandish shadow upon the culture that such words represent, but also to assert the ownership of and hegemony over the conquered peoples to which such words referred. Whoever owns the dog gets to name it. BINT is no exception.

I present these facts not to shift the focus of our discussion back to the controversy over BINT, but rather to show that that the controversy itself is not worth pursuing. When an Arabic word is absorbed into English, no one should expect it to retain much of its original meaning. A whole inventory of Arabic words have suffered this fate, but that hardly matters. Our focus is the Arabic word, not its English alter ego.

In fact, our focus should be to address the question, as follows:

1. We should impress upon our good friend gordon the importance of clarifying his intent, and that without such a clarification we would be hard pressed to provide a meaningful, helpful answer. The best way to do so is to click on the link "Request more info from asker" in the question box. ProZ members should train themselves to refrain from answering poorly contextualized questions.

2. In terms of answering the question itself (if it can be answered at all without some clarification from gordon), the more serious question is whether BINT is really a good translation of "girl" or not, not whether it is derogatory or not. So far, only roum has provided an alternative, FATA (which, incidentally, is used in Romanian as well, along with a cute diminutive form used especially for "little girl"). What about SABIYYA? BNAYYA (the word I grew up with)?

I find it gratifying that of late the number of Arabic-speaking ProZ members contributing to this forum has increased, and the quality of contributions has significantly improved. I think we can do even better by addressing the questions, by focusing on helping the service users, and by insisting on sufficient contextual information. Side controversies can be interesting in themselves, but let us focus on the original question.

Fuad
Selected response from:

Fuad Yahya
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4InvitationFuad Yahya
4 +2Bint / Fatat / Sabiiyah / Tiflah / Murahiqah / Aanisah / 'imra'ahRaghad
5"bent" . phonetic transcription /bint/.
Hatem Eldahry
5فتاة Fatat
Nabil Baradey
4فتاة Fatat
Safaa Roumani
4bentyacine
4further references for "bint"PaLa
4 -2Bint, believe it or not...PaLa


  

Answers


17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -2
Bint, believe it or not...


Explanation:
"Bint" apparently means "girl" or "daughter" in Arabic. See the first link below, to a women's chatroom, where they discuss to what extent it's a derogatory term.

In "Steptoe & Son", it was always pretty derogatory...

(Please note that I don't speak a word of Arabic, and only just found this out myself!)


    Reference: http://www.chicklit.com/ubb/Forum14/HTML/000024-2.html
    www.cs.hut.fi/~pno/Fiction/apf/apf7.gdsgds.html - 16k
PaLa
Germany
Local time: 09:51

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Hatem Eldahry: I'm native speaker of Arabic and the word"bent"is not derogatory to Arabic native speakers.y
17 mins
  -> I only meant it had (slightly) derogatory undertones in English (like "geezer" for a man, maybe)

disagree  yacine: bint was, is and will never be derogatory
20 mins
  -> I'm sorry, see above. There may also be some disagreement about the etymology of the English slang expression.

agree  Nabil Baradey: It has a derogatory undertone sometimes, but only in the Egyptian dialect.
3 hrs

disagree  Rachel Alawy: It is condescending If and Only If, I call you, "Hey girl come here". That is if you work for me as a servant.
1 day5 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
"bent" . phonetic transcription /bint/.


Explanation:
it has one meaning which is "bent".

you can pronounce it /bint/.These are

universal phonetic symbols.

Hatem Eldahry
Local time: 09:51
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
further references for "bint"


Explanation:
"'Bint' arises as a bit of cockney soldier slang in WWII. It is actually Arabic for 'young girl'. Many British soldiers were stationed in Alexandria, Egypt, in North Africa, and this word was brought into the language by them."

From the first link below.

The second link is a glossary of dance terms, where the same translation is given.


    Reference: http://www.cs.hut.fi/~pno/Fiction/apf/apf7.gdsgds.html
    Reference: http://www.venusbellydance.com/dictionary.htm
PaLa
Germany
Local time: 09:51

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  yacine: bint does not mean young girl
13 mins

agree  Nabil Baradey: It means a young girl, and is a little derogatory when the Egyptians pronounce it like "bit" omitting the "n".
3 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
فتاة Fatat


Explanation:
Girl in classical Arabic is "Fatat" فتاة. Some use the word as a girl's name.
Bint بنت means girl too, but I haven't heard of a girl named "Bint".

Safaa Roumani
United States
Local time: 03:51
Native speaker of: Arabic
PRO pts in pair: 52
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
bent


Explanation:
as usual if you are french speaker, you skip the e and put an i
hth
good luck
yacine


yacine
Local time: 09:51
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 51
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
فتاة Fatat


Explanation:
The stress in Fatat is on the second syllable.

Bint doesn't mean a girl in classical Arabic. It has never been used as such in any classical work. It rather means "daughter of" in names of women. You say for Example: Fatima Bint Mohammed, that is Fatima the daughter of Mohammed. Later the word "bint" came to be used in colloquial Arabic to mean a girl.

Nabil Baradey
Local time: 11:51
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic
PRO pts in pair: 56
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Invitation


Explanation:
First I would like to invite gordon to clarify his question. Did you mean to ask for the Arabic word for "girl," or did mean to ask for suggestions for an Arabic girl's name?

If you meant to ask about the Arabic word for "girl," then please specify the context in which you intended to use the word. What sentence do you need to construct, and how do you intend to use it? As you can see, the lack of clarity has generated needless controversy among the Arabic ProZ members.

Second, I would like to invite the Arabic-speaking members to focus a bit more when addressing a question. I see no need to pile upon PaLa's case. If you don't like the answer you see, the step to take should be to offer your own answer, which will, let us hope, be more helpful to gordon.

I do not mean to eliminate the "disagree" voting option. The option is a legitimate one, if we use it with an eye on helping the service user, rather than on a side controversy. In the case of this question, the focus seems to have shifted from addressing gordon's question to picking on PaLa's suggestion that BINT was derogatory.

PaLa admitted to knowing no Arabic. The information provided in PaLa's answer was obtained through a web search (links were provided). Getting on PaLa's case helps no one. Providing an alternative answer will help all parties concerned.

Should PaLa have ventured an answer? Absolutely. This forum is for all. All answers should be treated equally. An answer is either correct or not. Non-Arabic-speaking members have provided perfectly correct answers before.

To demonstrate the futility of the controversy around the word BINT and its supposed derogatory status, let us consider the following two points:

1. I hardly know a word that hasn't been used in a derogatory sense by someone at some time. In English, the words "girl," "female," "woman," and even "lady" and “mother” have been used in an insulting way (this is not to mention the near and far synonyms that are intrinsically demeaning, which I will refrain from parading here). Come to think of it, the words "boy," “baby,” “babe,” "man," "guy," "dude," and even "person" have been used in a pejorative way as well. This happens in every language, every dialect, and every culture.

2. Is "bint" particularly derogatory IN ENGLISH? It most certainly is. The English word "bint," which is rarely used today, (MS Word spell checker does not recognize it)) is a relic of British colonialism. One of the most curious ways in which colonial powers tried to appropriate the cultures that they subjugated was to invent vocabularies that purport to define these cultures. Words like HAREEM, JIHAD, SHAYKH, MAHR, DIYA, ISLAM, and countless others have been redefined, not only to cast an outlandish shadow upon the culture that such words represent, but also to assert the ownership of and hegemony over the conquered peoples to which such words referred. Whoever owns the dog gets to name it. BINT is no exception.

I present these facts not to shift the focus of our discussion back to the controversy over BINT, but rather to show that that the controversy itself is not worth pursuing. When an Arabic word is absorbed into English, no one should expect it to retain much of its original meaning. A whole inventory of Arabic words have suffered this fate, but that hardly matters. Our focus is the Arabic word, not its English alter ego.

In fact, our focus should be to address the question, as follows:

1. We should impress upon our good friend gordon the importance of clarifying his intent, and that without such a clarification we would be hard pressed to provide a meaningful, helpful answer. The best way to do so is to click on the link "Request more info from asker" in the question box. ProZ members should train themselves to refrain from answering poorly contextualized questions.

2. In terms of answering the question itself (if it can be answered at all without some clarification from gordon), the more serious question is whether BINT is really a good translation of "girl" or not, not whether it is derogatory or not. So far, only roum has provided an alternative, FATA (which, incidentally, is used in Romanian as well, along with a cute diminutive form used especially for "little girl"). What about SABIYYA? BNAYYA (the word I grew up with)?

I find it gratifying that of late the number of Arabic-speaking ProZ members contributing to this forum has increased, and the quality of contributions has significantly improved. I think we can do even better by addressing the questions, by focusing on helping the service users, and by insisting on sufficient contextual information. Side controversies can be interesting in themselves, but let us focus on the original question.

Fuad


Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 7167
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxeilema
1 hr

agree  PaLa: Thank you! (I only answered the question because I suspected G. had the word "bint" in mind in the first place.)
12 hrs

agree  Mona Helal: Good on you Fuad, I for one am a bit disturbed about those who are 'disagree-trigger-happy'.
1 day7 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS: Excellent and well done.
9 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Bint / Fatat / Sabiiyah / Tiflah / Murahiqah / Aanisah / 'imra'ah


Explanation:
Bint بنت is another variation of the word ibnah ابنة . The original meaning of bint or ibnah is: daughter.
The plural of bint or ibnah is banaat بنات
Beside daughter the word bint means girl, as in:
A nice girl : bint lateefah:
بنت لطيفة
The girl: al bint البنت
my daughter: bintee بنتي or ibnatee ابنتي
my cousin: bint ‘amee بنت عمي or ibnat ‘amee ابنة عمي
you girl!: ya bint يا بنت (this is usually used by friends).
That girl: tilkal bint تلك البنت

Other words:
Fatat: young girl فتاة
Sabiiyah: young girl صبية
Tiflah: child طفلة
Murahiqah: teenager مراهقة
Aanisah: Miss آنسة
'imra'ah: woman امرأة
this is, if your question is about the meaning of the word (girl) in general.

a final note:
To say that a certain word holds this or that meaning within it, depends on semantics and on the intentions of the speaker; like the word (that) in: that girl.

good luck.


Raghad
Local time: 10:51
PRO pts in pair: 160

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mona Helal: I would also add بنية "bonnayah/bonnayatun"meaning little girl
4 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
9 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also: