confessing: an acknowledgement
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 8, 2008
It always makes me nervous when Arab friends ask me for help with Arabic. I fully understand that citizenship does not confer fluency, but I feel a greater pressure to know the correct answer when someone from the region will be relying upon it.
So when N found me online the other day to ask how to say “was introduced by”, my first thought was: argh.
I’m awful at introductions, even in English. Using the word “introduce” alone is usually an automatic guarantee that I will blank on the name of the person I am introducing, even when she is my sister. In fact, sometimes I blank on my own name.
But I do know the word for “to introduce” – or at least I thought I did.
I think its إعترف, I said, hedging my bets.
I don’t think so, N said. I’m pretty sure that means “to confess”.
I looked it up in my dictionary, and – horrors. N was totally right.
For the past nine years, I haven’t merely been forgetting names of family and friends while introducing them to one another – I’ve been forgetting names while confessing people to one another.
What a nut I must have sounded like. And the word’s alternate translation isn’t much better: “to acknowledge”.
“Esteemed Colleague X, I would like to acknowledge you to my sister, errr, wait, hang on, her name is coming to me – its on the tip of my tongue …”