Lebanese Lesson: Lost Dubbed in Arabic

When learning a new language it's often helpful to watch movies and TV shows that you know from your native language dubbed (مدبلج) in the target language. That way you know can more easily absorb new words since you know the plot and what's happening even when it's not obvious from the characters' behaviors. I finished watching the first season of the TV show Lost (الضياع) a few weeks back and it was good for me because I first watched that season in English about 4 years ago so there was a lot I didn't remember which kept me interested.

Alas I don't think my favorite movies and shows like Star Wars and Star Trek have dubbed versions in Arabic. I don't know why but it seems like Arabs generally don't like sci-fi. It would have helped me immensely when learning if I had been able to watch shows that I actually liked which is why I think learning something like Chinese, Japanese, or Korean would be easier for me. They seem to like the same kinds of things that I like, video games, space, technology. I'm sure I'm generalizing with that statement but that's the way I see it. I was actually very surprised when I found Lost dubbed because it's one of the few shows that I actually enjoy that I've found in Arabic (aside from Disney movies). I know I shouldn't complain. Imagine if you were learning a language like Mongolian or Kurdish. I doubt you'd find much at all in the way of dubbed media.

Lost is actually dubbed in Lebanese which is rare because most of the time shows are dubbed in Syrian. If you've watched Lost before you know that there's an Iraqi character named Sa'id سعيد. Everyone on the island speaks Lebanese except for him. He speaks Iraqi dialect :). That's a dimension of authenticity you don't get with the American version. Here's a clip from season 2 where John Locke first enters the hatch and meets Desmond. As usual the transcript and a vocabulary list are below.

قال لنا الطيّار أنه إنقطع الإتصال و إطلعنا عن المسار المحدد و بعتقد أنه هالمسافات البعيدة منعت فرق البحث من انه توصل لنا
(aalna atayyaar anu in'ata'a alitisaal wa itla'na 'an almasaar almuhadad oo ba't'aid anu halmisaafaat alba'eeda mana'at fira' albahs min anu toosalna)

The pilot told us that the communication was cut and (that) we went off course. I think that the long distance prevented the search teams from reaching us.

الرحلة إلي طلعت من سيدني على لوس أنجلس؟
(alrahli illi tala't min sydney 'ala los angeles)

The flight that took off from Sydney to Los Angeles.



كانت رحلة إعتيادية
(kanat rahli i'tiyadia)

It was a routine flight.

أيه طبعاً
(ay taba'an)

Yes, of course.

ممكن أني أعرف إسمك؟
(mumkin anni a'rif ismak)

Can you tell me your name? (Literally says, "Is it possible for me to know your name.")

إسمي؟ إسمي دريد
(ismi? ismi dureid)

My name is Dureid

و أنا إسمي جميل. بس أنا برأي ما في داعي لهذا السلاح
(wa ana ismi jamil. bes ana bi ra'iy ma fi daa'i li hatha silaah)

And my name is Jamil. But I don't think there's any need for this weapon.

عن جد؟ و شو رأيك أعطيك ياه إلك؟
('an jad? wa shoo ra'yak a'teek yah ilak)

Really? And what do you think about me giving it to you?

قلي كم واحد أنتو
(illi kam waahid into)

Tell me how many of you there are.

أه, 43 بس 4 منن ركبو طوف و راحو
(uh, thalaath wa arba'een bes arba' minun rikbu toof oo raahu)

Uh, 43 but 4 of them boarded a raft and left.


A raft?!

هالضو هاد مستعوضين فيه عن ضو الشمس لأنكن ما بتطلعو من هون؟ أه في شي طريق تاني للخروج؟
(hal daw had musta'wadeen fih 'an daw ashams lankun ma tatla'u min hoon? uh, fi shi tari' taani lilkhurooj?)

Is this light substituting the sun for you since you don't leave here? Uh, is there another way to exit?

كم واحد منكن مرضان؟
(kam waahid minkun mardaan?)

How many of you are sick?



أيه مرضان. يعني صحته تعبانة
(ay mardaan. ya'ni sahtu ta'baani)

Yes, sick. I mean in bad health.

و يمكن لهالسبب مكتوب "حجر صحي" على مدخل ال
(wa yumkin li hasabab maktoob "hajar sahi" 'ala madkhal al...)

And maybe that's the reason "quarantine" was written on the entrance of the...


Answer me!

ولا شخص لا. ما حدا مرضان
(wala shakhs la. ma hada mardaan)

No one, no. No one is sick.

Vocabulary List:
  • إنقطع (inqata'a) - to be cut - This is used with electricity, communication signals
  • إعتيادية (i'tiyaadiya)- routine
  • ما في داعي (ma fi daa'i)- there's no need
  • عن جد ('an jad) - really, seriously
  • طوف (toof) - a raft
  • حجر صحي (hajar sahi) - quarantine


Anonymous said...

Great blog man. Pardon me, but do you write the Arabic transcripts yourself or do you pull them from some location and translate them? Especially for the TV shows.

The Arabic Student said...

I listen to the dialogue and write them myself.

Jessie said...

Wow, this is superb, I love Lost, where did you find it? Is it available online?

The Arabic Student said...

Thanks. I got it from I paid $20 for unlimited downloads but I think they might have free limited downloads as well.

owiasjee said...

arabic students so cute and i like this blog.

Arabglot said...

Hey there, your blog is really useful, esp for dialects. I thought you might be interested in my blog where im going to be putting up some resources for advanced arabic students. I ve noticed the lack of free, good quality material for advanced learners and you probably have to.
Anyway check out my blog from time to time if you'd like, its still quite new but ill be uploading stuff that might interest you. im studying arabic at university in the UK btw. thanks-

Unknown said...

There is a movie called West Beirut, it is in the lebanese dialect and very funny. I think you would enjoy it, you can find it on youtube or rent it from blockbuster.

Unknown said...

Oh and I think this is mostly in Syrian accent not Lebanese, all though they are very similar there is a slight difference. But this is definitely the Lebanese accent.

Anonymous said...

Man!! I really enjoy reading your blogs! They're interesting!!
By the way I'm an Arab, and I've learned a lot of English words and expressions from your blog.
Believe or not!! I even learned some Arabic expressions that I wasn't familiar with before!!
You're doing a great job!!

Anonymous said...


I came across your blog after my farther in law wanted me to help him find the series of Lost dubbed in Arabic...

I've tried to sign up to but with no success. Do you know how many series have been dubbed? Also do you know of any other torrent sites that list it?

Thanks! Dennis

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog, I too have tried to register at and have been unsuccessful, any idea if they will open registration again or if one needs an invite from a user? I'm going to search around for another similar site but if anyone has information, it would be much appreciated. Thanks, R

Anonymous said...

"بتتناك" وش معنى
someone tell me please!?? I know it's bad :/
still learning arabic :P