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Subject: Re: Arabic name
Author: Devonelisa   (Authenticated as Devonelisa)
Date: May 10, 2004 at 9:12:59 AM
Reply to: Arabic name by Kathleen
Imagine you live in a desert. It's brown, it's sandy, it looks pretty much the same from one side to the other (and I say that as a girl born in Albuquerque). Water - that's exciting, believe me - even big clouds were worth a mention when I was in Egypt and rain would have been a blast most afternoons. Desert? What's to say there? Would *YOU* name your son something like Walborn 'born near Walmart'? That's why you're finding the problems you're finding.

It sounds like this is for a character so a bit of unsolicited advice. If you don't know the language or culture enough to realise why Arabic names don't make much mention of deserts or translate appropriate words into English then perhaps writing more realistically about a subject matter known to you would be a better use of talent? Just a thought.

The Arabic for 'desert' would translate as Badieh (ba-dee-ye). You might find a pet named that. In Muslim tradition it wouldn't likely be used for a human as Mohammed was rather into 'good' names himself and such a meaning would have a hard time competing with those he gave his followers. To an Arab, it would still sound 'weird' not because it was made up but because it's not an authentic part of their naming traditions. To actually learn their naming traditions is a bit more involved.


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