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19:57 May 13, 2001
English to Arabic translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: Commander
Take me to your commander

Summary of answers provided
na'Qa'id' for military usage; 'amir' otherwiseshfranke
Alaa Zeineldine
naقائد or أميرFuad Yahya



1 hr
قائد or أمير

The two translation suggestions are pronounced QA’ID and AMEER.

The context you provided seems military, but I wish it were more extensive so I could more comfortably zero in on the most appropriate translation. It is not clear if “commander” here is an actual title (Commander with a capital C), or a generic term.

Choosing the most suitable translation will also depend on the cultural context: Was this part of a conversation in a contemporary setting, an early modern setting, a medieval setting, or an ancient setting? Was the exchange between European parties, or did it involve Arabic-speaking parties? These facts are helpful in deciding which is the most appropriate term.

QA’ID is a general term used for leadership in all kinds of endeavors, including the military. For instance, Commander-in-Chief is translated as AL-QA’ID AL-A’LA (in some cases AL-QA’ID AL-‘AM).

AMEER is currently used either as a princely title in countries where monarchical dynasties still hold sway (the feminine form is AMEERA), as an administrative title comparable to “governor,” or as a title for a tribal chief. But in medieval times, it was also used as a title of leadership in the military context (e.g., AMEER AL-JUND) as well as in the political arena (e.g., AMEER AL-MU’MINEEN). In early modern times, AMEER was often used as a naval rank in Egypt and Tunisia (e.g. AMEER AL-BAHR).

AMEER is particularly attractive as a translation for commander because it is derived from the verb AMARA, which means "to command."

Based on the above, the expression “your commander” may be translated as قائدكم or أميركم


    Hans Wehr. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 7167

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Alaa Zeineldine
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1 hr

An interesting fact that confirms Fuad's choice of amir أمير, is that according to the American Heritage dictionary, the English word "admiral" is derived from the two Arabic words "amir" (commander) and "aali" (high), thus building the meaning "high commander".

Webster's on the other hand, states that the word admiral is derived from "amir-al-", meaning commander of the-.

Alaa Zeineldine

Alaa Zeineldine
Local time: 17:26
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 602
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2 days 10 hrs
'Qa'id' for military usage; 'amir' otherwise

Greetings / tahaiya tayyiba wa b3ad...

Hiyaakum Allah jamii3aan...

May I add some clarifying reinforcement to Fuad's excellent discussion:

1. "Qa'id" for military usage (also means 'leader')

2. "Amir" for (non-military) "leader" (lit. the one who issues orders")

HTH. Khair, in sha' Allah.

Regards from Los Angeles,

Stephen H. Franke

    Various EN <> AR references; Arab League Military Unifying Dictionary
United States
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 336
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3 days 11 hrs

You can also write it amir

Local time: 16:26
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 51
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