Author Topic: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic  (Read 3122 times)

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Offline rhayat1

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The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« on: February 03, 2010, 10:53:37 AM »
This is not a question I expect to get answered on this forum, but it is something that has vexed me for decades:

Hebrew: Shemesh  Arabic: Shams
Hebrew: Semol      Arabic: Shimal
Hebrew: Moshe     Arabic: Musa
Hebrew: Nefesh     Arabic: Nafs
Hebrew: Gesher     Arabic: Gisr
Hebrew: Anashim   Arabic: Nas
Hebrew: Shalom     Arabic: Salam
Hebrew: Shamayim Arabic: Sama
Hebrew: Shisha      Arabic: Sita
Hebrew: Tish'a       Arabic: Tis'a
Hebrew: Midrash     Arabic: Madras
Hebrew: Parash      Arabic: Faras
Hebrew: Shokhen    Arabic: Sakin
Hebrew: Hoshen     Arabic: Hasan
Hebrew: Nasha       Arabic: Nasa
Hebrew: Rosh         Arabic: Ras
Hebrew: Hamisha    Arabic: Khamsa
Hebrew: Shana       Arabic: Sana
Hebrew: Shen        Arabic: Sin
Hebrew: Nashim      Arabic: Nisa

Of the two languages, Arabic is generally the more conservative.  There are some words where the Hebrew Sin is Arabic Shin (Hebrew 'Asarah = 'Ashrah in Arabic) and a few where they stay the same.  Yet others (such as the numbers Shenayim, Shalosha and Shemonah = Thenein, Thalatha and Thamaniya) where Hebrew shin is thaw in Arabic - which we find also in Aramaic (such as Hebrew Shor = Tor in Aramaic and Arabic).  All this makes me wonder, from a historical perspective how did all this come about?

Many years ago, when I was but a lad, I brought this up with a rabbi in Jerusalem.  His answer was that "Lashon haQqodhesh" does not mean "Hebrew" as we know it.  I suppose one could say that Lashon haQqodhesh was what some would call "proto-Semitic".

Offline Spectator

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 11:22:43 AM »
As for the similarities, there is nothing strange because both Hebrew and Arabic belong to the Semitic language family. You can find even closer lexical similarities between English and German, Russian and Serbian, French and Italian, etc.

Many years ago, when I was but a lad, I brought this up with a rabbi in Jerusalem.  His answer was that "Lashon haQqodhesh" does not mean "Hebrew" as we know it. 

Lashon haKodesh is Hebrew. The rabbi meant that modern Israeli Hebrew is very simplified, both in grammar and in phonetics.

I suppose one could say that Lashon haQqodhesh was what some would call "proto-Semitic".

This is wrong. Even though Arabic and other Semitic languages are close to Hebrew, you cannot extend the concept of Lashon haKodesh (Holy Language) on them. Witten Torah was written in Hebrew, not in Arabic, Aramaic, Ammonite, Moavite, etc. (and it was written for the Jews but not for any of these peoples). Torah was given to the Children of Israel (bnei Yisra'el), not to the children of Sem ("bnei Shem") in general!

Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help (Psalms 146:3)

Offline rhayat1

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2010, 11:26:06 AM »
I don't wonder about the similarities.  I wonder about the switching, specifically, between the shin and the sin.

Offline Spectator

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 11:49:16 AM »
I don't wonder about the similarities.  I wonder about the switching, specifically, between the shin and the sin.

"Sh" is very rare in Arabic. It is almost always "sh" in Hebrew turns to "s" in Arabic, not vice versa. It is just hard for Arabs to say "sh".

In any case, neither similarities nor specific differences don't make Arabic or "proto-Semitic" Holy Language. The only Holy Language is Hebrew!
Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help (Psalms 146:3)

Offline rhayat1

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 11:53:56 AM »
I don't wonder about the similarities.  I wonder about the switching, specifically, between the shin and the sin.

"Sh" is very rare in Arabic. It is almost always "sh" in Hebrew turns to "s" in Arabic, not vice versa. It is just hard for Arabs to say "sh".

In any case, neither similarities nor specific differences don't make Arabic or "proto-Semitic" Holy Language.

Not so.  I assure you, Arabs have no difficulty pronouncing the Shin.

Offline Spectator

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 12:00:57 PM »
I don't wonder about the similarities.  I wonder about the switching, specifically, between the shin and the sin.
"Sh" is very rare in Arabic. It is almost always "sh" in Hebrew turns to "s" in Arabic, not vice versa. It is just hard for Arabs to say "sh".
In any case, neither similarities nor specific differences don't make Arabic or "proto-Semitic" Holy Language.
Not so.  I assure you, Arabs have no difficulty pronouncing the Shin.

They must have learned it from the Jews :) The bottom line is that Hebrew is the Holy Language, Arabic is not.
Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help (Psalms 146:3)

Offline Boyana

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 06:36:39 AM »
They must have learned it from the Jews  The bottom line is that Hebrew is the Holy Language, Arabic is not.




http://www.jewishmag.com/58mag/hebrew/hebrew.htm



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All words in Hebrew are related through the letters that are used in the word. This is because G-d Himself created the Hebrew language in order to create the world. Each letter is a separate power that when G-d spoke the letters that came together forming words, and via the words formed physical objects.

Offline rhayat1

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Re: The switching of the shin and sin in Hebrew and Arabic
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 08:28:25 PM »
They must have learned it from the Jews  The bottom line is that Hebrew is the Holy Language, Arabic is not.

http://www.jewishmag.com/58mag/hebrew/hebrew.htm


 :dance: :dance: :dance:

All words in Hebrew are related through the letters that are used in the word. This is because G-d Himself created the Hebrew language in order to create the world. Each letter is a separate power that when G-d spoke the letters that came together forming words, and via the words formed physical objects.

Yes, I am aware that the Kabbalists associate Hebrew letters, words and phrases to higher powers.  This being the case, you'd expect those who subscribe to Kabbalistic ideas to be the most careful about maintaining the ancient Hebrew pronunciation.  After all, switching letters around, in prayer and Torah reading, certainly cannot have a good effect in the higher realms.  As a matter of fact, I've known some such people, who went to great pains, to correct their Hebrew - but they are very few.