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אחלה של מייל

English translation: Use of "של" - see explanation

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13:29 Sep 18, 2011
Hebrew to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Hebrew term or phrase: אחלה של מייל
From an email from a friend. The construction is strange to me, with "shel". Ahla, says google translate, means "cool". The email continues with praise for my having written an entire email in (somewhat) readable Hebrew: אני מתרשם מאוד מרמת העברית... From the context, it to me could potentially mean: 1. cool/great email 2. thanks for the email or 3. congratulations on the email... Whoever answers, could you please give a couple more usage examples? Thanks guys (and gals)!
faszikam
Israel
Local time: 23:53
English translation:Use of "של" - see explanation
Explanation:
In case you're interested in the "grammar thing" :

This usage of "shel" is restricted to a handful of abstract adjectival nouns, like yofi (יופי), motek (מותק), ...etc

In a sentence, they act like adjectives (beautiful, sweet....) but syntactically, they are more like determiners, they procede a noun and this (second) noun controls agreement.
For example:
איזה יופי של בחורות היו שמה. ) Eize yofi shel b'khurot hayu sham.
= What beautiful girls were there!

איזה יופי של בחורה היתה שמה ) Eize yofi shel b'khura hayta sham.
= What a beautiful girl was there!

איזה מותק של בחורות היו שמה ) Eize motek shel b'khurot hayu sham.
= What sweet girls were there!

איזה מותק של בחורה היתה שמה ) Eize motek shel b'khura hayta sham.
= What a sweet girl was there!

The use of shel with "achla" suggests this usage extends to more recent additions to the language which are synonyms /near-synonyms with these abstract adjectival nouns.

So your "אחלה של מייל" could be equally and just as easily "יופי של מייל" or "תותק של מייל" (Beautiful e-mail / Sweet e-mail) but in every case, you don't translate the "shel" literally.

Bit complicated, but I get the feeling you are like me and have to have a full and complete explanation for these types of things.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2011-09-18 16:32:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh, and the reason why "shel" isn't in Gad's dictionary entry is probably due to free variation. "achla", because it is borrowed from Arabic, probably has some fuzziness about whether it should be treated as a normal adjective or an adjectival noun like yofi, so in actual usage, there will be examples of both, speakers have a tendency to hedge their bets.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day19 hrs (2011-09-20 09:14:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

- It's from a grammar book, a monumental tome (A Grammar of Modern Hebrew) by Lewis Glinert. It's not for the faint hearted though, it's ridiculously detailed (which can be good - as in this case) and quite jargony. Definitely helps to have a linguistic background to decipher it!
Selected response from:

Ty Kendall
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:53
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Summary of answers provided
5 +2great/ terrific/ "cool" mail
Gad Kohenov
5Use of "של" - see explanation
Ty Kendall
5awesome e-mail
bbt-ruth


  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
great/ terrific/ "cool" mail


Explanation:
An Arab word.
Examples:

אַחְלָה
ח [ערבית] [בלשון הדיבור] מְצֻיָּן, נֶהֱדָר: אַחְלָה סֶרֶט.







Gad Kohenov
Israel
Local time: 23:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in HebrewHebrew
PRO pts in category: 96
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Gad. And the "shel"? Your dictionary entry show "ahla seret" without the "shel". Any thoughts on that aspect?

Asker: Thanks very much, Gad!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ty Kendall: Shel" means "of" normally, but you wouldn't translate it here, it's a grammar thing :-)
1 hr
  -> True. Can be used with של or without it. It's like wonderful movie versus what a wonderful movie.

agree  Mary Jane Shubow
13 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot@!
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
awesome e-mail


Explanation:
another option

bbt-ruth
United States
Local time: 16:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in HebrewHebrew
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks Ruth. "Awesome" is probably a more common American slang usage these days, I agree.

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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Use of "של" - see explanation


Explanation:
In case you're interested in the "grammar thing" :

This usage of "shel" is restricted to a handful of abstract adjectival nouns, like yofi (יופי), motek (מותק), ...etc

In a sentence, they act like adjectives (beautiful, sweet....) but syntactically, they are more like determiners, they procede a noun and this (second) noun controls agreement.
For example:
איזה יופי של בחורות היו שמה. ) Eize yofi shel b'khurot hayu sham.
= What beautiful girls were there!

איזה יופי של בחורה היתה שמה ) Eize yofi shel b'khura hayta sham.
= What a beautiful girl was there!

איזה מותק של בחורות היו שמה ) Eize motek shel b'khurot hayu sham.
= What sweet girls were there!

איזה מותק של בחורה היתה שמה ) Eize motek shel b'khura hayta sham.
= What a sweet girl was there!

The use of shel with "achla" suggests this usage extends to more recent additions to the language which are synonyms /near-synonyms with these abstract adjectival nouns.

So your "אחלה של מייל" could be equally and just as easily "יופי של מייל" or "תותק של מייל" (Beautiful e-mail / Sweet e-mail) but in every case, you don't translate the "shel" literally.

Bit complicated, but I get the feeling you are like me and have to have a full and complete explanation for these types of things.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2011-09-18 16:32:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh, and the reason why "shel" isn't in Gad's dictionary entry is probably due to free variation. "achla", because it is borrowed from Arabic, probably has some fuzziness about whether it should be treated as a normal adjective or an adjectival noun like yofi, so in actual usage, there will be examples of both, speakers have a tendency to hedge their bets.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day19 hrs (2011-09-20 09:14:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

- It's from a grammar book, a monumental tome (A Grammar of Modern Hebrew) by Lewis Glinert. It's not for the faint hearted though, it's ridiculously detailed (which can be good - as in this case) and quite jargony. Definitely helps to have a linguistic background to decipher it!

Ty Kendall
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks for the clarification. Yes, that's right, Ty, I do have a need-to-know kind of orientation. The details are important. Either that or I am a bit OCPD! BTW, is this from a grammar book, or from your own research and observation?

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