Explaining Some Machine Translated Arabic found on VTuber Chat

in Cross Culture9 days ago

Interesting interactions I had in the comment under a VTuber video.~


A while ago, I stumbled upon the Youtube video below, about a VTuber who got a Super Chat Message in Arabic. It had a clickbait title and thumbnail but it got me interested to know what her reaction was so I watched.

(Note: I don't watch VTubers live in general, but I watch some clips with VTubers in them. That's why I know some of their names. They're quite funny.)

It was quite fun, how she screamed "No" because the guy said he was gonna sleep. Just because she didn't want him to sleep. It was extra funny to me, because she didn't react to the part that Native Arabs could percieve as an insult!

The Super Chat she recieved was:

"أعطيتك المال وأنا نعسان لذلك أنا ذهاب للنوم. ليلة سعيدة. كلب."

It means "I gave you money and I'm sleepy, so I'll go to sleep. Dog."

The way the way it's written sounds off to Native Arabs. Like, it's grammatically correct sentence, but natives don't write this way. We have the Modern Standard Arabic we use for formal things, but natives also have their dialects they're born into.

I described it in my responses under in the comments there:

"Even when we speak Modern Standard Arabic, (which is more formal than dialects) we tend to add our own dialects to it or switch tone to sound more informal ...The superchat was too formal and weird that no native will write that way."

"It sounds less like a fictional dialogue, and more like an academic essay."

"we all think it's a AI translator... If it's non-native trying to write it would be unreadable, but if it's a native s/he won't write it like that at all."

This is clearly a Machine Translated message from another language. The biggest hint was the way Dog was written at the end. The word "كلب" is written in masculine form depite referring to a female.

The Cute Puppy!

Another aspect I participated in the discussion about in the comment section, was the way Dog is written at the end. If native wrote it like that to another native, it'll most likely be viewed as an insult. (I know it makes sense for the word Dog to be there, as the VTuber Korone is a Dog character.)

The correct feminine form of the word is "كلبة" but that comes with its own problems. Calling a person Dog isn't percieved well in the Arab world. As I explained in a chain of replies under the video.

"If you want to use "Dog" in Arabic (while not referring to actual Dog) you have to be very careful!

Fun Fact: On the other hand, some animals are viewed as a complement like Lion (أسد/ليث,) Hawk (صقر,) Deer (غزال.) The last one is used for children a lot (both genders) where I live."

In a reply to that, I found out that Dog is an insult in Russia too. Russia also shares the Arab world in that Dog can still be a complement you said something like: 'Loyal like a dog.'

if you add a virtious aspect, it won't be insulting even for Arabs. "مخلص مثل الكلب" (Loyal like a Dog) is a compliment. Everyone will focus on "loyal" part and not whatever bad things about Dogs that offend them.

I was asked if it being a questionable animal is based on religion.

Comment by NX3:

"yeah but pretty sure in Arabic its kind of a more questionable religious based bad animal..? Also like pig (for the Jews too) so its kind of deeper..? Unlike say China where pig can and does often has a positive meaning (symbol of wealth, prosperity, good luck), and its even a zodiac sign!"

I answered that in the Dogs case it's cultural, not religious. (As far as I know, anyway.) I further explained through our conversation:

"In Islam it's forbidden from taking Dogs as pets but allowed for having them for reasons like guarding. In general, Dogs are respected in Islam, but because of its teachings on what's allowed or not to do with Dogs, some seem to have taken it too far."

"Pigs on the other hand, we're forbidden from raising them or eating their meat. That's an Islamic teaching. Not all Arabs are Muslims."

"Most Arab are Muslims but I just wanted to put it there because some people think Arabians and Muslims ate the same thing."

"Also, a lot of things Arab do are traditions that have no root in Islam, (even if some Muslims have started those traditions) especially when you're talking about local traditions and not something all Arabs do. Dislike for Dogs in some Arab countries (even mine: Libya) is just Cultural."

What do you think?

Considering the context, we all agreed that the person who did this was probably Japanese. The username was in Japanese after all. It makes it even more interesting to me.

~ Thanks for Reading ~

  • All text is written by me, except the ones in double quote sections.

I like how you take a very small thing that's bothering no one in the world and you analyze it like it's your homework 😆 and you make it informative too! Ever thought about making a youtube channel?

Btw if you tell someone in Arabic "you're loyal like a dog" I'm pretty sure it'd usually be received as sarcasm, although it depends on how nice and optimistic the person is, but most people (from my experience) are sensitive to negative words regardless of context and would easily misunderstand your intentions.
For example, here in Saudi Arabia it's very awkward to bring up a guy's mother, even if you're only asking how she's doing after surgery, of course a lot of people are more loosen up today, but this is still something you consider carefully in a conversation.

True, depends on how you say it.

As for the Mom things, people are more "cultured" here these days, if you're a decent person you won't have to be careful about saying the word "Mom" in a perfectly normal context.

On thinking about it, it's not a common issue here, but sadly there are still ignorant people who view their women as something to be ashamed of.

Yay! 🤗
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