Levantine Arabic: Lesson 2

This second lesson is from a makeover show called Joelle جويل. That's the name of the host who runs a beauty salon in Dubai and does makeovers on women. It's on MBC and both Joelle and a lot of the women she does the makeovers on speak the Lebanese dialect. Joelle herself speaks very very fast so I didn't think a clip of her talking would be a good idea. The girl in the clip is speaking Lebanese giving a summary of all the things that happened in her makeover.

كان يوم صعب كتير و طويل بس حلو بذات الوقت (Kan youm saab ikteer wa taweel bes helu bee zat al wa'it)

It was a very difficult day and long but nice at the same time.

بصراحة تجربة كتير حلوة. كنت كتير مترددة بس بعدين ماشي الحال (Bee saraaha tujrubi kteer helwi kint ikteer mutredidi bes badeen mashi al haal)

Frankly it was a very nice experience. I was very hesitant (at the beginning) but after that everything went well.

إقتنعت انه لازم جرب لازم عمل نيو لوك (I'tinat inu lazim jarrib lazim amil "new look")

I was convinced that I had to try, had to do a new look.

جيت اليوم الصبح عند جويل و بلشتلي بالكونتوراج لجسمي. كانت كمان اكسبيريينس كتير حلوة (Jeet al youm asubuh and Joelle wa beleshitli bil contourage lijismi. Kanit kaman experience kteer helwi.)

I came this morning to Joelle's and she started me with the contourage (shaping) for my body.

خلصت منها و بلشت بحواجبي بالتاتو مثل ما شايفين أكيد (Khalast mina wa ballasht bee hawajbi bi tattoo mithl ma shayifeen akeed.)

I finished that and started on my eyebrows with the tattoo, as you all see of course.

عملت تاتو كتير غيرني و كتير حبيته و أكيد بيبيّن أحلا بعد اسبوعين (Amilt tattoo kteer gheyarni wa kteer hubeytu wa akeed bibayin ahla baad isbooain)

I got a tattoo that really changed me and I really liked it and it will definitely look better after two weeks.

رجعت و عملتلي تاتو على شفافي أكيد بينو أكبر بشوي كمان كتير حبيت (rijat wa amiltli tattoo ala shifaafi akeed bayyanu akbar bi shway kaman kteer hubeyt)

She went back and gave me a tattoo on my lips and they definitely look a bit bigger. I really liked that too.

بعدين بلشنا بشعري. صراحة كنت كتير مترددة انه شو أعمل بشعري باللون خصوصاً يعني ما كنت أعرف نقي لون و بعدين جويل نقتلي هيدا اللون (Badeen belleshna bishaari saraaha kint kteer mitradidi annu shu amul lishaari biloun khoosoosan yaani ma kint aarif na'iy loun badeen Joelle na'it li haydal loun)

After that we started on my hair. Frankly I was very reluctant, I mean, what can I do with my hair, especially the color. I didn't know what color to choose. After that Joelle chose this color for me.

Vocab List:

  • بذات الوقت - "at the same time"; since it's Levantine they pronounce the ذ as ز and the ق as ء
  • مترددة - "hesitant, reluctant"
  • ماشي الحال - "everything is going good"; means the same as على ما يرام (ala ma yuraam)
  • بلش - "to begin"
  • بيّن - "to appear"; don't confuse with بين with no shadda which means between.
  • نقّى - "to choose"; remember the ق is pronounced as ء


Anonymous said...

Hi there my friend:)

I thought you dissapeared somewhere and decided to not continue your blog because of some reasons,but nice to "hear " you again.Very nice lesson again containing many usefull words for Levantine Arabic.I will also add few things which for sure help other people and of course"me" understand this dialogue:

*ذات-zaat this word means "the same" as far as i know in SA (we mostly use "نفس"-nafs)
They arrived at the same time-وصلوا بذات الوقت=waSloo be-zaat al-waq(2)t

*تَجْرِبَة -tajroba means :test,attempt,experiment but here also"experience"

ex:حسب تجربتك -7asab tajrobtak-according to your experience

comes from verb" تَرَدَّدَ "-to hesitate

He hesitated a moment before he answered -تردد شوية قبل ما جاوب=taraddada shwaya q(2)abl maa jaawaba

*اِقْتَنَعَ -eq(2)tan3a-to be convinced :قنع to convince

You can't convince me=ما بتقدر تقنعني =maa bteq(2)der teq(2)na3ne

*بان :بين-baana, bayyan usually goes with علي seem,appear(to)


It seemed to be seriously ill
بين عليها ان كانت ضعفانة تمام =bayyan 3aleyha enno kaanet Da3faana tamaam

*نقي -naqq(2)e-to choose


نقي اللي بدك ياه-naqqe elle bedak yaah!!!=choose what you like!!!

All the best greeting for you:)

The Arabic Student said...

Yeah, I had some university classes that I was doing for 2 months so I took a break from blogging. Now they're over so I can do this again. Doing this is more beneficial to me than college classes are anyway!

Thanks much for the example sentences, Czarek! I think seeing examples of how the words are used is the best way to learn the language and you seem to be an expert.

Anonymous said...

Hi there again,

Thanx a lot of nice words ,but believe me (1,5 learning an arabic by myself i would say is so "little"),but i am not giving up, especially if it goes about "Shamee accent" which i liked the most.
I hope that soon i will have an opportunity to post it here any short film or anything.
Recently i am trying to translate one of the serial which is called "عليا .This is Turkish serial translated into Syrian dialect(anyway very nice),but still my level is so poor .If i will do some trabslations i will post them here in Arabic and English(but for sure it will take much more time.
Have u ever been to any "Shamee country".I am thinking about to travel to Liban or Syria this year but we will see how the things will be with my work(cos last time I work really hard)

Hope hearing from you soon
الى اللقاء

Unknown said...

Hey again, great stuff. I could contribute entire episodes of بقعة ضوء and their transcripts in Arabic but right now due to family reasons I have no time to translate into English and create vocab lists. If interested let me know.

Unknown said...

You can find parts of episodes on youtube, but also try under Syrian Series بقعة ضوء (although they only have part 6 of Ramadan 2008, cause this show airs only during Ramadan each year), and it's only streaming, not downloadable. Enjoy!

The Arabic Student said...

Hey George, I found the complete series of بقعة ضوء at I love that site. It's going to take a while to download though, but I look forward to watching.