When first starting to learn Arabic it seemed so foreign and strange that they don't have the simple word "of". I found myself struggling to form basic sentences because I didn't really understand the idafa. I would throw in the word مِن thinking that it meant "of" instead of "from" and get blank stares from my teachers. Here are some more examples to help drive home the idea of the idafa:
- صواريخ بعيدة المدى (Sawareekh ba'eedat almada) - Long range missiles, literally "missles long of the range"
- سرطان الجلد (Sarataan aljild) - Skin cancer, literally "cancer of the skin"
- تكنولوجيا المعلومات (Technologia alma'loomaat) - Information technology, literally "technology of the information"
When the owner of the object is already a definite noun, such as a proper name, you don't add the alif and lam. For example, if you're talking about Nadir's wallet, you're not going to say "wallet alNadir". You would just say "wallet Nadir". محفظة نادر is correct, NOT محفظة النادر . Here are some more examples:
- ولاية فلوريدا (wilaayat florida) - The state of Florida
- مراسل بي بي سي (muraasil BBC) - BBC correspondent (correspondent of BBC)