Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav

The Good Wife—the poor Arabic

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I thought that embarrassing goofs in the West involving Semitic languages were limited to Hebrew. Apparently not. In the  episode On Tap of the otherwise excellent series The Good Wife, the producers apparently couldn’t find someone with even a modicum of knowledge of Arabic to get an accurate rendition of the words Masjid Al-Murad (“Al-Murad Mosque”), to place on the façade of a building by that name.

"DARM LA DJSM"—seriously?

“DARM LA DJSM”—seriously?

At first, the letters appear to be random, as if just plucked from the Arabic keyboard haphazardly—an impression reinforced by the fact that some of them are in their end-of-word form, rather than the form they should have at the beginning or middle of a word. But a quick search online revealed that IMdB, which caught the goof some time ago, pointed out that the spelling is correct—only in reverse order: so instead of MSJD ALMRAD, they ended up with DARM LA DJSM. (A common problem with unsuspecting users of Hebrew, as well.)

Shucks. I could have produced the right artwork for them, for a fraction of what they pay the continuity consultant.

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Author: יונתן אור-סתיו | Jonathan Orr-Stav

Hebrew-English translator, editor, author. מתרגם עברית–אנגלית, עורך באנגלית, וסופר.

2 thoughts on “The Good Wife—the poor Arabic

  1. Pingback: המילים סדר היפוך – אָל פָדִיחְ

  2. Pingback: Nice try—but (alas) no nargillah | Notes by Autumn Light

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