69 million page views

Our dear Yusuf Hamza and the Arabic language

Reader comment on item: Shoeless George Bush
in response to reader comment: Not quite as simple as that

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 24, 2007 at 07:38

You wrote the following gem

>He (Hamza Yusuf) speaks and writes fluent Arabic

Do you speak Arabic and can you write and read Arabic? And would you really understand our dear Hamza's Arabic? If your answer is, as I except, no, then how do you know that?

Here is your little lesson in accents: what gives you or I an accent in a second language is the way we vocalize the vowels in our first language (and yes I realize that languages can have missing consonants that have to be accounted for and in the case of Arabic we don't have the letter P so it is vocalized as beh and a Peter becomes a Beeter and a Paul becomes a Baul. This does not mean that you cannot teach Arabs to vocalize the letter P but you will have great difficulty in teaching them to vocalize properly the English language vowels.

Now in the case of Hamza he for sure has problems, as would be expected, with vocalizing the following consonants: the letters hamza or the glottal stop and the khah and the hah and the 3ayn letters). Back to our vowels: if you learn a second language after around age 14 you will have a real accent in such language which Hamza Yusuf has when he speaks Arabic. And if you notice that when he gives a speach he babbles a few words in Arabic and then he mumbles few more words in Arabic and then he switches to English.

So how good is Yusuf Hamza vocalized Arabic ? One can very much understand it but he for sure has a strong and hybrid accent. You really have to concentrate to be able to understand what he is really saying. he also mumbles his words. yes it is OK to have an accent but people must understand what he is saying.

As for your claim that he writes fluent Arabic, where is your evidence? And would Arabs really understand his written Arabic? Spoken Arabic is very different from written Arabic and modern classical Arabic and local Arabic (eg: Egyptian Arabic) which can be very different from place to place. But the funny thing here is Arabs are very polite people and if you babble in Arabic even if they do not understand you they will just nod their heads and repeat: Ay-wa and they will have no clue about what you really have said. So much for our dear Hamza's fluent Arabic.

See what happens when his likes abandon the language and culture of their ancestors for the language and the culture of the Arabs?

And like I say: you are here defending the culture and the language of the Arabs and you ain't no Arab. Shame

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Our dear Yusuf Hamza and the Arabic language by dhimmi no more

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)