Monday, July 18, 2011

Annoying errors in a language textbook

I just started to study another textbook, namely „Colloquial Arabic of Egypt”, and I’ve already found several mistakes. They are not big ones, not dealing with grammar or translation, but with transcription of the letters.
For those who are not familiar with Arabic: in this language there are two types of “d”, “t” and ”s” (and some other consonants) and three types of “h”. So it’s very important to have a proper transcription to learn to pronounce a word correctly. Sometimes even a small change in pronouncing can mean a big change in meaning.

For me it’s very annoying when I find mistakes in language books. In my opinion they should be written and published with a special carefulness. In “Colloquial Arabic of Egypt” once the name “Hasan” is spelt “Hasan” in English and in another place as “HaSan” which changes slightly its pronunciation. The word “izzaayak” which means “how are you” when addressing a male, is spelt as “izzaayak” (this is the correct version) but in another place as “izzaayyak”.

These two mistakes are both to found in the lesson 1.
It’s really annoying how publishers care less and less for what they publish.
The mistakes described above are not such a big mess. I hope there are not other, more important ones, dealing with the meaning of the words or sentences. I know textbooks which are full of such mistakes, for example “Portugués sin esfuerzo” published some years ago in the Assimil series. But his is quite a different story.

Update on July 19th:
Lesson 3
-page37: when giving possessive there is a mistake in the third person singular, masculine: it reads "9andu" instead of "9anduh"
-page44: mistake in a plural form of "muhandis", it reads "mohandisiin" instead of "muhandisiin"

Update on July 22nd:
Lesson 3
-page34: "shúkran" ("thank you") with an accent on "ú", but then the accent is put on "á" - "shukrán
-page43: plural of "sawaa' " is given as "sawaa'ii", while it should be "sawaa'iin"
Lesson 4
-page48: "uddaam", should be" 'uddaam" with a small apostrophe at the beginning meaning a glottal stop"
-page48: once we read "siriiráyn" and once "siríiráyn"
-page48: "ba9d" is given as "each other" while it means "after"; the correct word is "ba9D"
-page50: in the transcribed dialog #2, at the end there is a part "wi fiihaa takiif" while on page215 with Arabic text there is no word "fihaa"
-page53: "is-Saala" - should be "iS-Saala"
-page55: a letter for "l" is once spellt as "laam" and twice as "lam"
Lesson 5:
page66: one color "lemon" is spellt as "liimuuni" and once as "lamuuni"
(this it not a big problem, because sometimes you can insert "a" vowel" and sometimes "i" in the same place, but I think in the texbook for beginner there should be some consistency in transcription method used)
page67: number "40" is written once as "arba9íin" and once as "9rba9íin"

Update March 5th:
-page64: "gallabíyya" and "galabíyya" on the same page
-page77: "kam" instead of "kaam" ("how much")
-page84: "ah ámm" which means "more important, and on page 83 it's spelled as "áhamm" with accent on the first "a"
-page90: "otobíis" (bus) and " 'otobíis", this small > ' < sign means glottal stop which is treated as a consonant in Arabic and is very important
-page91: "bit-taks" instead of "bit-taksi" ("by taxi") - small spelling mistake

Update April 2nd:
-page103: "iT-Tayáara" is spelled on page130 as "il-Tayáara"
-page104: "is-sáa9a sába9" and on page108 "is-sáa9a sáb9a"
-page106: "madrása" (school) and on page125 it's spelled as "mádrasa" with an accent the first "a"
-page110: "núkhrug" (we go out) but on page 124 it's spelled as "nákhrug"
-page111: "H-ákhrug" but on the same page it's spelled with " ú " in "b-úkhrug"
-page113: "gám9it il-qanáah" and on page114 "gám9it il-qanáat"
-page123: the word squash with the definite article is spelled as "is-skwáash" while on page125 it's written as il-iskwáash"
-page126: the word "tí9mil" is on page128 spelled as "tí9mal"
-page127: similarly as above the word "yí9mil" is on page128 spelled as "yí9mal"
-page162: "9imáaraat" is spelled in the dictionary, page303, as "9imaráat"
-page192: plural of "ustáaz" is spelled "usáatiza", but in the dictionary at the end of the book,  on page298, it's spelled as "asáatza"

Do you know any textbooks with spelling mistakes?

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