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Linguistic Observations (Ly-Ar-En) " شرى واشترى"

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Written by   91
4 months ago

Tl;dr: The Arabic word for "Sell" is often used for the opposite of its real meaning in most Arabic Dialects.


In Libya and Most Arabic Countries, the word we use for "Sell" is بيع" and from that root, we have "باع" for "Sold" and "يبيع" for "(someone is) Selling."

The words we use for "Buy" is "شراء" and from that root, comes the words "شرى" for Bought, "يشري" for "(someone is) Buying."

The second set of words, however, is all words that originally referred to selling not buying. The word "شراء" means "Sell/Selling" in Classic Arabic & supposedly Modern Standard Arabic too!

I say supposedly because the misconception is so strong that Google Translate also follows the current majority use of the word.

I think the main reason for that because the true word for buying "اشتراء" (which is still in use today) comes from the same root as "شراء," and it's harder to say. I imagine that people over the years started to shorten it. Since there's already the word "بيع" for selling, people easily understood from context, but now the original meaning has long faded away.

You'll only find the word "شراء" used to refer to Selling instead of Buying in historical text or in Qur'an, but the fact that the word is currently used for its opposite meaning has led to a lot of confusion. (I know I've been confused for a long time before someone explained it to me.)

We don't use the word "اشترى" in Libyan Arabic, but we do use it when we speak to Arabs from other countries. Since most Arabic countries use the word "شرى" for the same meaning in their local tongue, no one considers this distinction between using to refer to buying or selling an issue.

What do you think?

I don't know if this is a problem. There's a trend in all languages for changing things to make them easier over time. (Think of English or your own language and how it compares to 100 or 200 years ago.) Though, the fact that a word can easily be used for its opposite meaning can lead to a lot of confusion when researching/reading about history...


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Written by   91
4 months ago
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Comments

Am a Muslim but am lost lol... I can't read or understand Arabic,but I know my kids won't be like me coz I will make sure they can read,write and understand Arabic... Well I can your doing your best coz Arabic is not an easy language to learn

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4 months ago

If you're talking about the distinction I made between شرى and اشترى in this article, then I guess even native Arabians will be confused by it...

It's true that Arabic isn't easy to learn, but it's not as hard as it seems too. Once you get hang of the basics, learning more will get easier.

Of course, if you want to learn the nuance of Classical Arabic (the variety Qur'an was revealed in) you'll find it insanely difficult, no one understands it perfectly in this modern age, but even as a Muslim, you won't need to understand everything.

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4 months ago

How long did it take you to learn all these ?

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4 months ago

I'm native Arabic (from Libya,) so my answer to this won't matter in your case, but for the info in the post, I just learned it somewhere and forgot the exact time. My posts are usually written from accumulated experience...

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3 months ago

I literally always wanted to learn Arabic and the Arabian culture, now your article gives a edge to really understand the writings.

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4 months ago

Thanks for the reply, I'm happy I was the trigger to fuel your interest back...

Arabic is not an easy language if you come from Latin-based background, but it's not as hard as it seems. Many of the Arabic-language grammar/quirks are intuitive once you know the basics. It's a more derivative language than English.

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4 months ago

If you like, feel free to post this sort of discussions to my community "The Power of Words (4be2)", which is created for everything related to (Function of, Meaning of, Power of, Deception with, History of) Words & Expressions). I find this sort of questions very interesting.

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4 months ago

Didn't know this community existed, will try to submit this post to it.

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4 months ago

"وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍ بَخْسٍ دَراهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ وَكانُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الزَّاهِدِينَ "

صدق الله العظيم

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4 months ago

نعم، هذا مثال عن كلمة "شرى" بمعنى البيع وهذا هو معناها في كل مرة تُذكر فيها في القرآن.

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4 months ago