A very good reason why Germans should start learning Arabic
Recently, I met a guy telling me that he is trying to lose some weight. I asked him about his diet and he answered: “al-Mazeed”.
He really pronounced it very much like the Arabic word الْمَزِيد. It was a bizarre situation.
The Arabic word مَزِيدٌ is based on the root ز-ي-د. The root means to become greater; to increase; to amount more; to go beyond an amount or number; to add; to extend; to expand… The word مَزِيدٌ denotes, for example, superabundance; excess; increase.
I guess there are not many Arabic roots which would corrupt the intended meaning of a diet that much.
When I told him what the name (as he pronounced it) would mean to Arabic speakers, he was totally surprised. He had no idea about that.
So, I googled the product. The registered brand name is “Almased”. On the company’s website, you can read that this product is the “the market leader in Germany”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about the history and meaning of the brand name – but only that around 30 years ago, “Hubertus Trouillé’s passion for holistic science lead to the development of Almased – a product he created to help his patients with their slow metabolism.”
Okay, maybe he was just unlucky and mispronounced it. Nope! He was not the only person. I met other people who also told me that they use “al-Mazeed”.
It wanted to dig deeper. Even on Youtube, you find many German people who tell you how they use “Almased” – and most of them pronounce it close to the Arabic pronunciation of الْمَزِيد.
I have no idea if the product works as I have never tried it. So if anyone uses it, don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against this product.
However, I think that now it is time that German people skip Latin and Greek and teach Arabic at schools – at least, they wouldn’t be shocked anymore if an Arabic speaker tells them, what the name of one of the best selling diets in Germany in Arabic may mean.
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