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Karaha arabice cucurbita sed kara stercus.


Karaha AC e | Karacha B | Kharaha f

kara ABC | kha’ra f | cara e

stercus (-cus B f) ABC f | stacus e


Karaha is Arabic for Latin cucurbita {"gourd"}, but kara means stercus {"dung, excrement"}.


ﻗﺮﻉ /qarʕ/ (coll.; n.un. ﺓ) "gourd, pumpkin" (Wehr, 1976). (ﻗﺮﻋﺔ /qarʕa/ "one gourd"}. Siggel (1950: 59): ﻗﺮﻉ /qarʕ/ e. Cucurbita, Kürbis, Arten desselben {i.e. "gourd, species of gourds"}.

ﺧﺮﺍﺀ /ḫarāʔ/ "excrement, feces" (Wehr).

Here Simon obviously warns of mixing up what is to him two near homophones, possibly pronounced */kára/ {"gourd"} and */kará / {"feces"} by him. This shows which sounds he finds difficult to distinguish in Arabic, sounds which to this day are difficult to distinguish for most Romance language speakers and indeed for many Europeans:

/q/ and /ḫ/, i.e. /qāf/ and /ḫāʔ/; short and long vowel: here /a/ and /ā/; /ʕ/ and /ʔ/, i.e. /ʕain/ and /ʔalif/, sounds that are often ignored altogether by Europeans in words adopted from Arabic.

Wilf Gunther 07/12/13

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