MBC Program: خواطر (Thoughts)

This is the 5th season of MBC's Ramadan TV show خواطر (Thoughts) with host أحمد الشقيري (Ahmad Alshukairy). This season is all about Japan. The shows focuses on how clean and sanitary the Japanese are and also how they are so successful and yet still hold on to their customs and traditions. The following is a 5 minute clip from the program as well as the transcript and translation. The host speaks in Saudi dialect which is really close to MSA. There were a few words that I had to look up such as ماصات and حقته, but the majority of it is pretty clear. This is one of my favorite Arabic shows along with مسلسلات حليمة!

Eating in the schools.

و نتابع الإبداعات في المدارس اليابانية في موضوع مهم و هو موضوع الأكل. الطلبة في اليابان بيأكلو في المدرسة كما عندنا كثير من المدارس العربية الطلبة بيأكلو في المدرسة. ولكن هناك فرق. الأكل في المدارس اليابانية بنظام

And we follow the innovations of the Japanese schools in an important subject, the subject of eating. The students in Japan eat in the school just as in many Arabic schools the students eat in the school. But there's a difference. Eating in the Japanese schools follows a system.

Comments: The word طلبة means "students". Just as طلاب also means "students". طالب is "student". The word أكل can mean "eating" or "food".

The period is over. Thank you.
Thanks very much.

تخلصو كلهم يقولو "اريغاتو" يعني "ثانك يو" للمدرسة. شكراً. و بعدين... جاء وقع ايش يا جماعة؟ ايش قاعين يسوو؟ جاء وقت الغداء

As they finish they all say "arigato", meaning "thank you" to the teacher. Thank you. And after that... what time has come, everyone? What are they doing? Lunch time has come.

Comments: تخلص means "to be finished" with something. بعدين means "after that". ايش means "what". قاعدين literally means "they are sitting", but in Saudi Arabic the word قاعد is used to add an -ing to the verb, just like عم is used in Levantine.

لقينا فجاة الطلاب قاعدين يضبّط الماصات. 4 ماصات جمب بعض 4, 4, 4. صارت طاولات. بعدين جابو طاولات. صفوها صف زي البوفي. و لبس 3 طلبة البلوفرات البيضا إلي هم هذول الطلبة, هم المسؤولين عن تقديم الأكل لباقي الطلاب. إجاهم الأكل من المطبخ, حطو الأكل إترصو. كل طالب طلع مفرش جايبه من البيت. حطه على الطاولة حقته

We found suddenly the students organizing the desks. 4 desks next to each other. 4, 4, 4. They became tables. After that they brought tables and lined them up in a line like a buffet. And 3 students wore white pullovers. These students were the ones responsible for serving the food to the rest of the students. The food came (to them) from the kitchen. They put the food (on the trays) and they line up. Every student brings out a place mat they brought from home. He puts it on his own table.

Comments: He calls the white coats the kids are wearing pulloveraat. It took me a while to figure that out. إترص means "to line up". The very last word حقته means "his own". It is used the same way as مالته in Iraqi, بتاعته in Egyptian, and تبعته in Levantine. They all add possession.

قاعدين يجهزو الصحون و يجهزو الأكل لطلبة الفصل. هذه مسؤولية تناوب عليها الطلبة. اليوم هذه المجموعة هي المسؤولة. اليوم التاني تكون مجموعة أخرى

They are preparing the plates and the food for the students of the class. This is a responsibility that rotates among the students. Today this group is responsible (for it). The next day it is another group.

تغسيل اليد قبل الأكل
Washing the hands before eating.
الطلبة يغرفو لبعض... الأكل. و شوف كيف الأمور منظمة. جلسو و لا واحد اكل. ما في احد اكل إلا أن ينتهي كل الطلبة من صب الأكل

The students scoop out the food for each other. And look how things are organized. They sat down and not one of them ate. No one ate until all the students finished getting food.

Comments: The word صب means "to pour" and I've heard it more commonly with liquids, but I guess it can be used with food too.

بتكون هون تقاليد الأكل في اليابان للطلبة. و بتشرح للفصل مكونات الأكل حق اليوم. و لهم اليوم الأكل في رز و لحمة و خضار. و تقاليد الأكل في اليابان انه الرز على اليسار و الشربة على اليمين. فشوف كلهم نفس النظامة

Here are the eating traditions of students in Japan. And she explains to the class the contents of the food today. And today the food is rice, meat, and vegetables. The eating traditions in Japan is that the rice is on the left and the drink is on the right. Look at how all of them follow the same system.

I don't know why, but I heard him say حق اليوم which I just translated to هذا اليوم. That's pretty much the only thing I'm not sure of in this passage.

تخيلو لو النظام هذا الي شفناه في اليابان موجود في بلد إسلامي. الطفل بداءاً ما يطلع... ياباني يطلع و يقول لهم تقاليدنا الإسلامي. تخيلو كل يوم هذا يحصل. تقاليدنا الإسلامية نقول بسم الله قبل الأكل. و الأولاد كلهم يستمعين لسة ما يأكلو. و انه نأكل بيميننا. تخيلو كل يوم طفل مسؤول عن ذلك. و الأطفال قبل ما يأكلو يطبقو هذا السيستم. كل يوم من اول إبتدائي سينشاء لكم جيل و إحترم يقدر نعمة الأكل

Imagine if this system that we saw in Japan was present in an Islamic country. At the beginning a Japanese child (goes) and recites to the others our Islamic traditions. Imagine this happening every day. "Our Islamic traditions are that we say in the name of God before we eat." And the children all listen, still not eating. "And that we eat on the right." Imagine every day a child responsible for that. And before they eat, the children apply that system. Every day beginning in elementary school. A generation will grown up (for you) that will be respectful and value the blessing of eating.

بتقول لهم أنه اليوم الأكل في بيض و البيض فائدته كذه كذه كذه لأنه يفيد إلك بكذه كذه كذه

She's saying to them that today the food is an egg and that the egg has the benefits etc, etc, etc, and that it benefits you etc, etc, etc.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this nice video.
As for:
حق اليوم و حقته
Actually, in the gulf region of the Arab world the word
(Which means: right or rightful possession) is widely used to indicate ownership. As in yours, mine, his, or its ... etc.
That's not the case though in Syria or Egypt.

The Arabic Student said...

I forgot to thank you for your help! Thanks very much. It seems every dialect has a word like that. بتاع تبع مالت in Egyptian, Levantine, and Iraqi.

Soda-Jerk said...

Hi: Regarding your question about "Hagg", you wrote:

"I don't know why, but I heard him say حق اليوم which I just translated to هذا اليوم. That's pretty much the only thing I'm not sure of in this passage."

"Anonymous" is correct in what he says about "Hagg" but I would like to embelish a little more:

1. "Hagg Al Youm" would, in this context, be best translated as:

"TODAY'S FOOD" or even better, "TODAY'S MEAL" since presumably the students have eaten or are going to eat what is being described.

You translated it as "...the food today" which is, in my opinion, a perfectly acceptable alternative rendition of the phrase.

2. As you mentioned, the Saudi "Hagg" is used almost exactly like the Egyptian "bitaa9" to denote possession.

"Haggee" is a very common expression meaning "Mine" or "It's mine".

3. At the same time, the Egyptian term "bitaa9" is not at all uncommon and certainly not unknown in Saudi Arabic (particularly in the Jeddah area). The obverse, however, is not the case. An Egyptian would never use the Saudi term "Hagg" for possession.

4. Another interesting point about this term: I don't know if you mentioned it, but the letter and sound QAF in Saudi Arabic is actually pronounced "GAF".

It's the same sound Egyptian uses for "JEEM"......they say "GEEM"

As you know, the sound "GAF" technically does not exist in MSA or the Classical but it's interesting to note that almost all dialects use that sound somewhere in their spoken repertoire.

5. Another point: "doubled" letters (as you know) are often hard to pick up in rapid speech. The term "HAGG" however, has a very noticeable and pronounced doubling of the final G. You can really hear it "being doubled" or better "extended".

6. Finally (are you bored yet?), there is the problem of usage.

Although in Saudi you can say "Al-Akl Hagg Al-Youm" to mean "Today's food" etc. as mentioned above, I don't believe you can say - in Egyptian - "Al-Akl bitaa9 Al-Youm" (or, as the would say, Al-Akl bitaa9 Al-NarHarda). I think that would sound strange in Egyptian. Maybe I'm wrong.

In other words, although "bitaa9" and "Hagg" share some common features, Saudi "Hagg" has a much larger linguistic horizon than Egyptian "bitaa9" is used in many more linguistic situations than its Egyptian counterpart.

On one issue I disagree with you.

Somewhere on your blog (your astonishingly interesting and useful blog I might add) you said that Saudi Arabic is the "closest" to MSA or classical.

At least at the everyday level, once they really "get going", Saudi Arabic is extremely dense and fused. It lacks the clarity of Lebanese, Egyptian and so on. It's like they slur everything together. I think it's the most difficult dialect, in fact. I mean, if you want to "speak like a native" kind of thing.

Thanks again for your fascinating blog which I just ran into.

Oh, before I forget: I do agree with you on another point you made somewhere on your blog.

Egyptian most often drops the "QAF" in words and substitutes it with a pause (technically, a hamza) presumably because the "QAF" is such a difficult sound to get just right even for native Arabic speakers. However, as you said, this MAKES THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE WORD EVEN MORE DIFFICULT.

As an example, I always use the Arabic word for "minute" which is "daqeeqa". In Egyptian it becomes "da'ee'a". Not only is that word very difficult to get right, it sounds positively silly. Saudis have it better..."dageega".

Soda-Jerk said...

I’d like to make a couple of corrections to my first post above and add another comment or two.

1. Under #6 above, I used the Egyptian term for “today” and wrote [Al-NaHarda] with the “hard H”. In fact, the word should be [Al-Naharda…..نهار] with the “soft H”.

2. In the paragraph before the last, I wrote:

”Egyptian most often drops the "QAF" in words and substitutes it with a pause (technically, a hamza)"

This is incorrect. The sound Q is not substituted with a “hamza” (which is a letter). It is substituted by a “glottal stop” (which is a sound but not a letter).

3. I mentioned that for the word (minute), Egyptian uses [da’ee’a] which, as I said, not only sounds silly but actually makes
the ‘original’ [daqeeqa….دقيقة] harder to pronounce.

I should have added that the PLURAL of this word (minutes….. دقائق), which in colloquial Egyptian sounds like [da’aa’i’] is even sillier and harder to pronounce than the singular.

This is because this Egyptian plural not only has two glottal stops, it ALSO has a true sitting Hamza (which is also a kind of “stop”) for a total of 3 “stops” of one sort or another AND….one of the glottal stops occurs at the END of the word which makes the whole thing almost unpronounceable.

In practice, of course, things are not as difficult as in the description.

In normal “rapid” speech, [da’aa’i’] sounds more like [da-aa-i] – a sort of extended “a” sound ending with a weak [i] sound with the accent or stress on the double [aa]

Pax Vobiscum

Soda-Jerk said...

Here's a couple of more off-the-wall facts that your readers might find interesting. I thought about them when I read your comment below:

Comments: The word طلبة means "students". Just as طلاب also means "students". طالب is "student".

The word TALIBAN (fanatic fighters in Afghanistan), who we all are familiar with, is a derivative of the Arabic TAALIB (student).

In Arabic, the word TAALIBAN means (TWO Students...ya'9ni, the dual of some grammatical contexts)).

But the TAALIBAN we (in the West) know is really the Pashtoo (Afghani language) PLURAL.

In other words, PASHTOO took over the word TAALIB from the Arabic but only in the singular.

When they wanted to pluralize it, PASHTOO reverted to its own grammar which forms plurals by adding AN at the end of words so that the word TAALIBAN in PASHTOO means STUDENTS (and not 2 students as it does in Arabic).

So if someone asks you what does TAALIBAN mean? You can say "It means Students". [If you wanted to be a smarty-pants, you could say "In which language?"]

This feature of borrowing words from another language but using the grammar of the borrowing language to manipulate the imported word is quite common in almost every language, including English and Arabic.

For example, Egyptian Arabic has borrowed the word "FILM" (either from English or French) but it does not use the plural "FILMS".

Instead, it uses an Arabic plural pattern and the world "FILMS" becomes "AFLAAM" in Egyptian.

Soda-Jerk said...

Some additional comments on my last post regarding the term طالب (a student):

1. "Borrowings" of lexical items (that means WORDS) between languages is a minefield for all kinds of things - political, social, economic etc. It's a hugely complicated subject despite its seemingly placid subject matter.

(Note for example how the French Academy approaches English words imported into the French language!).

2. As I said, Pashtoo (an Afghani language very close to Persian) imported TAALIB but uses its own plural rules to make the plural TALIBAN (students)طالبان

3. Even more interesting and even more complicated:

Pashtoo uses a modified form of the Arabic alphabet, including the hugely distinctive Arabic letters (and sounds):
ص ض ط ظ ع ق ح
and others.

However, even tho these letters occur in written Pashtoo, NONE OF THE CORRESPONDING SOUNDS are found in natural Pashtoo. In other words, the Arabic SOUND [QAF ق] is unknown in Pashtoo.

3. Now, if this is true (and it is), why does Pashtoo have these letters in its alphabet?

I suspect that these letters occur ONLY in imported words from the Arabic, such as in the word TAALIB. I suspect this is what's going on here even tho I personally don't speak Pashtoo.

(This might be similar to what English does with some imported words from, for example, French and German, keeping the ACCENT MARKS of French and the umlauts of the German - although in Pashtoo this practice has gone much further than is the case in English.)

4. Following the Islamic Conquests of the 7th century, Arabic had a huge impact on foreign languages escpecially in the lexical (words) sphere. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of Arabic words in languages such as Persian, Pashtoo, Urdu, Turkish and so on. "Islamic" languages very often imported not just words but very often actual grammatical constructions and blended them into their own grammar, a very unusual development.

Despite rumors to the contrary, the impact that Arabic had on SPANISH was not as great as is generally believed. I am a NATIVE Spanish speaker and a fluent Arabic speaker and try as I might, I cannot for the life of me find any but the most distant traces of Arabic in Spanish. In fact, I can't think of a single Spanish VERB that comes from Arabic. Even those words that definitely come from the Arabic are mostly off the wall hardly ever used words.

There are a FEW words that are common, such as ADUANA (customs at airports and borders) from the Arabic DIWAN but these are really few and far between. (By the way DIWAN is really a Persian word in origin which came into Arabic and THEN went into Spanish).

5 Finally, a word about FILM-AFLAAM I mentioned in my last:

I said that this was an Egyptian word. However, this is now also an MSA word and as far as I know, it is also used in all Arabic dialects.

The question is: was FILM imported from French/Italian by MSA FIRST and then taken over by the dialects? Or, as I suspect it to be the case, was it imported first into Egyptian and then taken over by MSA and all other dialects?

I think the route was FRENCH-->EGYPTIAN...> MSA----> DIALECTS.

Bottom line: it is not true that DIALECTS exclusively import words from the Classical or MSA. It is also true (but never admitted) that MSA frequently imports from the dialects as was the case with FILM.