Egyptian Arabic: Lesson 1

The Arabic The Little Mermaid is called عروسة البحر (aroosat al bahr), literally "bride of the sea", but it more commonly means "mermaid". Like most Disney films dubbed in Arabic, this one is in Egyptian dialect. It shouldn't be too hard to understand with a little explanation. In the clip Ariel is tempted by Ursula's two eels. If anyone has suggestions on how I can make these lessons more helpful, please let me know.

مسكينة. مسكينة و جميلة (Miskeena, miskeena wa gamila)

Poor girl, poor and beautiful.

عندها مشكلة كبيرة قوي. يا ريتنا كنا نقدر نساعدها. طب محنا نقدر (Andaha mushkila kabira awi. Ya reytna kuna ni'dar nasaaidha. Tub mahna ni'dar.)

She has a very big problem. If only we were able to help her. But we are able.

أنتو... أنتو مين؟
(Intoo, Intoo meen)

You... who are you?

ما تخافيش. إحنا نعرف حد ممكن يساعدك. حد ممكن يحقق لك احلامك كلها. تخيلي كده. أنت و أميرك مع بعض للابد (Ma tkhafeesh. Ihna narif had mumkin yasaadik. Had mumkin yaha'a'lik ahlamik kulaha. Takhayeli kida. Inti wa ameerik ma baad lil abad.)

Don't be scared. We know someone who might be able to help you. Someone who might be able to realize all of your dreams. Imagine this. You and your prince together forever.

أنا مش فاهمة (Ana mish fahima.)

I don't understand.

أرسولا تعمل أي حاجة (Ursoola tamil ay haga.)

Ursula can do anything.

ساحرة البحر؟ بس دا... ما اقدرش... لا إمشو من هنا! سبوني في حالي (Sahirat al bahr? Bes da... ma a'darsh... la imshoo min hena! Sibooni fi haali.)

The witch of the sea? But that... I can't... No, get away from here! Leave me alone.

على كيفك. دا كان مجرد إقتراح (Ala keyfik. Da kan mugarrad iqtiraah.)

As you wish. It was just a suggestion.

إستنو (Istenoo)


إيوه؟ (Aywa?)



  • مسكينة (Miskeena) - Poor in the sense of taking pity on someone. It has nothing to do with money.
  • يا ريت (Ya reyt) - If only. The يا (ya) here isn't a normal يا (ya) like if you were calling someone's name. It's just part of the phrase.
  • ما تخافيش (Ma tkhafeesh) - Don't be afraid. The ش (sh) is added to the end of verbs after ما (ma). "I can't" is ما اقدرش (ma a'darsh).
  • حد (Had) - Someone. This comes from the word واحد (wahid) meaning "one".
  • يحقق (yaha'a') - To achieve, to make come to fruition. Since it's Egyptian dialect they don't say the ق (q) like in MSA. They make it a hamza ء which is a glottal stop.
  • في حالي (fi haali) - alone, by myself
  • على كيفك (ala keyfik) - as you wish, do as you like. It's the same as على مهلك (ala mehlik).
  • مجرد (mugarrad) - just, only, simply. The ج (j) is pronounced as a 'g' in Egyptian.


Bfoali said...

This is a great blog for real, good job man.

Anonymous said...

amazing job! keep up with egyptian dialect!

Nebel said...

Nice job

Anonymous said...

It's great!!! Please, continue) I just try to study egyptian arabic...

Surviving the Recession said...

Where can I buy a DVD of the little mermaid in Arabic? I live in New York.

Anonymous said...

MashAllah ...this is a truly helpful website ! Barakallah (Aleemuddin.India)

Anonymous said...

excellent....great job. thanx for your effort. imran

Belal said...

Hey ya pasha,
Let me introduce myself, I'm Belal Hassan, a content developer for Secondly, I like the effort that you've put into your blog & YouTube videos. We have a similar concept.
By looking at your blog and videos, it looks like a fun and interesting place to sit and learn. At the same time I assume that you know E-learning is different that the normal classroom setting cause the audience is more free to leave the page at anytime and get back again to their social network, which actually makes e-learning difficult.
And that leads me to my question - is your curriculum related to any of those taught at school/university or do you have your own teaching method for your audience?
We try to merge both fun & learning, trying our best to break the typical learning experience.
What’s your experience? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Great site ya m3alim! You're a natural teacher.

Brendan said...

Hey first I want to say thank you for your posts! They helped me a lot in learning the basics of Levantine Arabic (I started with Iraqi and MSA). I just wanted to point out a small difference between على كيفك and بكيفك
As I learned it على كيفك means take it easy/calm down whereas بكيفك means as you wish/do as you like
Hope that helps. Keep up the great posts!

Ettie said...

Thx it's an amazing thing. Can I have a link to all the Egyptian Arabic lessons?

Anonymous said...

great job! plz keep us with updates with Syrian Arabic dialect!