12 November, 2008


"Al Ain: The civic administration here has waved gardens and parks entry fee for women and children.

"The measure has been taken to persuade Emiratis and expatriate residents to experience the benefit of lush green parks in different areas of city," said an official of Al Ain Municipality.

"Al Ain, which is known as the Oasis city, has around 70 parks and gardens that are the attractive centres for picnics and outdoor parties for Emiratis, expatriates, and tourists from the neighbouring GCC countries. Many of the gardens are free for the public access, while some of them have the nominal entry fee of just Dh1. (...) "

(Outdoor parties in the park? haha!)

"Dubai: A Gulf diplomat’s son is being questioned for the premeditated murder of a 20-year-old Emirati, Dubai Public Prosecution sources said on Wednesday.

The diplomat’s son was stabbed by the suspect, who is facing premeditated murder charges, the sources told Gulf News. (...)"

I was trying to comprehend article 2) but you can see the utter confusion due to the second paragraph!

Number 1) is just terrible English. I can't stand it when the word "the" is omitted when it shouldn't be, but this is the first time I am seeing it used where it shouldn't!

It seems standard of English in Dubai is having direct correlation with the driving.


Lili3 said...

LOL seriously why bother translate if you don't even know the right English grammar XD

Mr DtP said...

...or maybe the English gets a tad weary and standards at the GN drop because the journos are having too good a time raving at the no-holds barred outdoor parties in the Garden City.

Anonymous said...

if it's wrong, correct it!

rosh said...

"..persuade Emiratis and expatriate residents.."

umm..couldn't they've just said -"persuade people"? what's this emi & expat reference? dumbasses!

Anonymous said...

It seems standard of English in Dubai is having direct correlation with the driving

since you insist on using the sentence, shouldnt it be "having a direct correlation..."

...which is nonetheless a very convoluted way of saying "the standard of English in Dubai seems to have a direct correlation with the driving..."

*shrugs* i dunno. "having" just sounds odd.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and also, "...but this is the first time I am seeing it used where it shouldn't!"

I believe the correct sentence is:

"...but this is the first time I am seeing it used where it shouldn't be!"
The first version, without the "be" leaves the sentence hanging in mid-air.

But I completely agree with you. English seems to have gone to the dogs.

Rose in Dubai said...

How could it have been premeditated if the victim was trespassing in the house? Surely that is self defense? or was the guy sitting at the top of the stairs with a knife thinking "I'll murder the next burglar that comes up here"

DUBAI JAZZ said...

It seems standard of English in Dubai is having direct correlation with the driving.

shouldn’t you have said “with driving”?

DUBAI JAZZ said...

terrible reporting.

could it be that gn cant afford a decent editor now with the global economical crisis and all?

i*maginate said...

DJ the reporter(s) seem to be based in Al Ain...maybe they have different salary structures there? Anyway it's an English paper so I expect to at least be able to follow the article (e.g no. 2) and it gets frustrating when you have to figure out what's trying to be said...

And no, I believe my grammer in last sentence is correct.

mr dtp I happen to be off to the Garden City today and will report on any park raves tonight...after paying the "nominal fee of Dh1" ;-)

halfmanhalfbeer said...

It seems standard of English in Dubai is having direct correlation with the driving.

Sorry, but actually it should read:

It seems THE standard of English in Dubai HAS A direct correlation with ITS driving.

Glasshouses? Stones?


DUBAI JAZZ said...

Bless you HMHB, I felt there was something wrong there but couldn’t place it. :-)

the real nick said...


Don't be so harsh on our i*maginate.
She is "in PR" and you know how that breed envies proper journalists.

The Linguist - can you tell the irony.. said...

How petty. Is this the standard to expect from the blog in terms of posts now?

Yes? Oh well then, let me comment...

1/2 M 1/2 B - indeed! The proverbial case of the pot and the kettle...

nzm said...


I saw the 2nd article yesterday and had to read it 4 times. I still didn't get it!

rosh said...

The Linguist: Supposedly, GN is the largest selling and widely read newspaper in the UAE. Horrific reporting (and grammar) from GN, is worth a debate, I think.

elle said...

The article is wriiten by a "Senior" Reporter... What else do u expect?!

Funny story though, from now on, I have to warn my brother's friends to not even come close to my room... who knows? maybe my lovely brother might want to stab them! Huh?!

i*maginate said...

I can't believe you guys didn't get the p***-take which came in the form of the last sentence...! How worrying.

Anon who thinks this post is petty: you obviously don't pay much attention to language then, do you? I DO when I pick up an English paper (or watch an English news channel for that matter).

Nick clever clogs I don't work in PR.

nzm I read it about 5 times lol! Time for a "Corrections" section perhaps...

anon 08.35 yap I should have put "be" at the end but couldn't be bothered (to). ;-)

i*maginate said...

mr dtp, I didn't spot any raves in AA tonight...so I did save the 'nominal fee of Dh 1' haha! Most parks in AA seem to have free access, though, don't they?

secretdubai said...

Generally speaking, people whose first language is Arabic often tend to use "the" too much, probably because nearly all Arabic nouns use Al. So far as I understand it, it is because there is no indefinite article in Arabic, at least not in the same sense of "a" or "an" versus "the".

And generally speaking I have noticed many people who probably speak an Indian language as their first language often wrongly omit articles - both indirect and direct. I don't have enough knowledge of Indian languages to know whether this is because they don't contain them either.

However, there are plenty of Indian and Arabian journalists who write flawless, international quality English that is indistinguishable from that used by an American, a South African, a Brit, a Scot, an Australian and so on. But there are far and few of these writing for low-grade local newspapers. In the same way that the best English English journos in the UAE write for international publications - the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, the BBC - so do the best Arab English and Indian English journos.

(Btw for "Indian" read "Indian subcontinent" if you will - there are plenty of superb Pakistani English language journos out there too).

Anonymous said...

oh yeah I love how indian hinglish goes

1. gimme glass water
2. call taxi man
3. what fuck wrongs with people

in afrikaans it would go

1. Can you aaa gimme aaa glass of theee what-er please?
2. lettttt us catch a taxi
2. what theee fook is wrong with thee pupulation

Anonymous said...

Just an inquiry to the Indian populace here, is it true when you say, write 30million in numbers you do it like this - 30,00,00.00?

Please do enlighten me as i have encountered this several times from some indians and they always insist it's the way how they do it in India.

Mr DtP said...


A quiet one up here in the UAE's very own Garden Centre. This weekend - all rave related activity was down with the Brazilian footballers and Lituanian dancing girls at Paco's. Again.

Still, the AED 1 you saved on entrance would have seen you sail through Happy Hour at the Rugby Club....and yes, of the parks I have been to, all are free or near as damn it.

Nice blog by the way.

hemlock said...

anon nov 14 17:09...
i dont know how it's done in India, but in Pakiland, the urdu script uses commas after two zeros, starting from 1,000. not 100.
so one billion written in urdu would be:
1,00,00,00,000/- or one arab :D (seriously)
and reconciling the desi type with the non-desi type can actually leave your head spinning; which is why i was surprised to hear that people working here are sticking with that.

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