'Quick' in Syrian Dialect

Lots of times in Arabic dialects the MSA word will be used as well as another word to mean the same thing. This is the case for the word قوام (qawaam). It is used to mean "quickly", but the MSA word بسرعة (bisur'a) is also used. This word is used in Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian and I'm sure some surrounding countries as well. I know very little about Palestinian and Jordanian because most of the language I hear is from TV shows and only a few TV shows come out of those countries. An example of the usage of this word can be found below the video.

1. حضريلي كاسة شاي قوام (haddireelee kaasat shaay 'awam) - Fix me a cup of tea, quickly.

If you used بسرعة instead of قوام it would mean the same thing. If you know MSA but aren't so great at dialect you can always use the MSA word and 99% of the time it will work fine. Remember, Arabic speakers watch the news and understand it so if you throw in a news word you're going to get your point across. Some people will tell you this isn't true and I've had people tell me that as well. They say that you can't speak MSA in an Arabic speaking country and be understood, but in my experience the reason these people weren't understood is because their pronunciation was very bad. If all you know is MSA and you speak it in an Arabic country people will find it funny since it's rarely spoken by regular people in everyday situations, but you will be understood just fine.


Anonymous said...

I'm not Syrian, but I do have a fairly good understanding of the dialect. I think (and I need someone to back me on this) the word means something like "at once", "immediately", or "right away" rather than quickly. Imagine that you want to use the word to describe an even that happened in the past. You wouldn't use this word to say someone did something quickly. Another time I'm not really from Syria so I'm not sure about that.

Jaz said...

Same in Egyptian, 2awam - straightaway, besor3a - quickly