- اسمعيني - Listen to me
- فتحي دينيكي- Open your ears
- انا و انتي صارلنا سنين متجوزين و بنينا عيلة من يوم عرسي و انا متاكد ان حياتنا شنق ليلة - You and I have been married for years and we've built a family. From my wedding day I was sure that our life would be great.
عيلة is عائلة which means family in MSA.
شنق ليلة is a phrase I had to ask about. It's specifically Jordanian. It literally means "choking the night", but figuratively it means "awesome" or "really great".
- كل شي كان عسل حتى لو انك ماكلي بصل - Everything was honey even if you ate onion.
- بدي منك تسمعيني اكمل كلمة ككلمة - I want you to listen to me say what I have to say.
- بتذكر بعد العرس لما رن جرس البيت فتحتي الباب حكيتي كلمة لواحد ازعر قد الحيط - I remember after the wedding when the doorbell rang and you opened the door and spoke to some lowlife.
ازعر is a negative word to refer to a guy. I chose to go with "lowlife". قد الحيط is something that confused me and I asked several places about it. Everyone told me that it means someone who is really big which is what you would get when you thought about the definition. It literally means "as big as the wall". However, that doesn't make sense here as the guy she sees at the door isn't huge. Maybe he's just exaggerating like in the rest of the song. But I have it from many sources that قد الحيط refers to someone who is very large.
- عامل حالي مش عارف بس انا فاهم كل الطبخه - I pretended like I didn't know, but I understand everything that's happening.
انا فاهم كل الطبخة - I understand everything that's going on. "She's cooking something up." الطبخة is used in kind of the same way we'd use it in English. طبخة is literally a plate of food or something being cooked.
- صاير وضعك مش طبيعي شو؟ شايفتيني لطخة؟ - You've changed. What? Do you think I'm stupid?
شايفتيني - You see me
لطخة - stupid
بتخونيني - You betray me.
Also could be translated as "you cheat on me".
- كومستير - I found you out.
- شفتك لما دخلتي عند ابو سامح تبع الخضرا - I saw you when you went into Abu Samih's vegetable shop
- وزنلك كيلو بطاطا و انا عارف كان نفسك خضرا - He weighed a kilo of potatoes for you and I knew you wanted vegetables.
- و مرة عالاشارة لما اجاكي ذاك الشب بده يبيعك حبة علكة تعطر تمك تروي القلب - And one time at the stop light when that guy came up to you. He wanted to sell you a piece of gum to freshen your breath and quench your thirst.
The root روى is MSA and means "to quench thirst". I don't think I've ever heard that gum "quenches thirst" in English, but you get the idea. "To satisfy you" might be better.
الاشارة - stoplight
ذاك الشب - that guy
- قلتيله شكراً حبيبي. حبيبي؟؟؟ - You said to him "Thank you, habibi." Habibi???
- مالك؟ مش عارف. بظن في اشي محلق بزوري - What's wrong with you? I don't know. I think there's something stuck in my throat.
محلّق بزوري - stuck in my throat
- جاجة ورا ثلاجة و جاجة راكبة دراجة و جاجة ورا جاجة وين؟ فوق الثلاجة و جاجة - A chicken behind the fridge and a chicken riding a bike and a chicken behind a chicken. Where? On top of the fridge. And a chicken.
- و انت كمان يا صاحبي واقف معي شو ما يصير بتخاف علي اكيد و ع مرتي اكتر بكتير. اكيد! - And you, my friend always stand with me no matter what happens. You worry about me, for sure, and about my wife so much more. For sure!
- كان لازم و انا مسافر و انا بعيد قلبي اتطمن من بعد العيشة معك بكون حمار لو ما بتعلم - I had to make sure when I'm traveling and far away that my heart is at ease. After living with you I'd be a donkey if I didn't learn.
There's a saying that says التكرار يعلّم الحمار (repetition teaches the donkey). So if he didn't learn from all the times she's "cheated" on him, he'd be a donkey.
إتطمن means "at ease". Often someone will say طمّني عليك. It means, let me know how it's going. Literally "put me at ease about you". In MSA الإطمئنان is tranquility, peace of mind, calmness.
- اضطريت اوصي صاحبي بغيابي يضل معكي و بالليل جنبيكي نام يحط ايده حواليكي - I'm forced to instruct my friend in my absence to stay with you and at night to sleep next to you and put his arm around you.
ضل or in MSA ظل means "to stay".
ولو - Naturally!
ولو can be translated different ways. Here, "naturally" is a good translation. You might also put "of course". It's often used in the following situation. If you ask someone for help (some money or something) and they feel offended that you thought they might not help you they could say طبعاً بساعدك ولو "of course I'll help you". I've heard this word used many many times and still have trouble pinning down a good definition and exactly where to use it. There really isn't a perfect equivalent in English.
- حواليكي؟ حواليها؟ - Around you? Around her?
- بتخونيني - You betray me.
- فيثاغورس - Pythagoras
Walaw ولو can mean like sure or no problem, etc. Very informative blog keep it up!
awesome, thank you.
A huge post! Thank you, Andrew!
Seriously Andrew, I'm listening to your Levantine Arabic phrases in the background on Youtube, and you have a better dialect than some arabs I know! Myself included (I'm half Lebanese)
From all the dialects you've learnt, which one was the easiest to pick up?
Kudos to you!
All the best!
Thanks. For me it was Syrian and Lebanese were easy for me because that's what I watched on TV the most. Sometimes when they use French in Lebanese I get lost though.
Shukran Sadiq!! A very informative post, the language is as ancient as the moon but it is as mighty as the dinosaur..
ُThanks so much for your blog, there aren't many resources out there to help with learning Levantine dialects (esp. Jordanian, which is what I'm working on), and this is really helpful to me. Keep up the good work, your Arabic knowledge is impressive:)
Hey, Love the blog. I think the Jordanian dialect is among the most neglected in terms of resources. A lot of people just throw it in with levantine when it's not the same thing. (especially the fala7i varients which is very common in irbid and zarqa)
Anyway I was wondering if you could tell me the point of "fee" in the sentence
بظن "في" اشي محلق بزوري
I can't figure that out. I hope you do more grammatical posts regarding jordanian arabic soon.
I like your work, and visit every once and a while. I might have a little difference of opinion about Hebibi. I think it may just be a little bit stronger than you say. i think it's used for "lover" (darling, love) but also any family member can use it for a male family member. For a female, or a female family member they say, hebipti.Also guys use it for close male friends, and girls use the female for close female friends, but I don't think, generally speaking, husbands like their wife to use it with some other man. At least in Jordan. :D
Keep up the excellent work though
Thank you very much for this precious lesson, ya Mudarris..!! ;-)
Hey there, I know you said it sounded strange that "nafsak" appeared in a song in Jordanian but perhaps it actually forms part of the idiom "nifsahu khadra" which refers to a person that is still interested in other men/women depending on the gender though they are old/married/whatever. I learned the phrase from al-kitaab part 1. Thoughts?
Regarding كومستير, my Arabic knowledge is pretty basic, but I would bet it does have an Arabic origin. Don't you think it's from the root س.ت.ر, which relates to hiding and covering (like ستار = curtain)? This root also means "to hide" in Hebrew, and I think they're related. I'm not sure about the كو in the beginning, but it might be two words merged together, that together mean to discover the thing that is hidden.
كومستير = Come, stare! ?
great post... with me being jordanian i love to see posts have something to do with jordan, about (كومستير) i don't think you should bother to look for where it came from, i don't think anyone knows, and i don't think anyone will know for sure!!
Yeah, I think Caitlin has it on the nose with nafsak - there's wordplay going on there with her buying veggies by having an-nafs alkhadra (I'd translate it awkwardly as 'healthy libido"). I'm not sure whether it'd be a true pun here - I knew you wanted veggies/were randy as it would be in Egyptian, maybe just a play on the meanings and rhyme of khadra.
Haha that was so funny I liked it. I have an anatomy exam tomorrow and I don't know how I came here !
I'm Jordanian and I understand most of the other Arabic dialects very well.
Let me tell you something you may already know. Arabic language in general is like an ocean. So many words so many meanings, and you may find several words in Arabic that have only one meaning in English or other languages, but these several words actually have some differences in their meaning that is very hard to translate it to another language. Arabic language as you know is so ancient as well as so rich.
قد الحيط it is not a nice/polite way of telling that someone is not a child anymore. Maybe it was used here to say: the one who was on the door is a big "adult" man not a little boy, so don't be so sweet with him.
Literally، لطخة means a smear. Lol. I don't know how to explain the relationship between smear and stupid, but this may help: smear has no brain haha! It is just there doing nothing, just being in its place not moving not understanding what is happening.
Usually as you can see, we use other words with other meanings to express a certain thing. Usually there is similarities some how.
- it is معلق بزوري not محلق بزوري
-محلق is from تحليق which means flying.
But معلق means stuck.
I am trying to learn Jordanian Arabic.
I stay in South Africa - I cnat find anyone who can teach Jordanian Arabic.
Websites teach quaranic Arabic and Egyptian Arabic.
Does anyone have links / sites that I can use to learn Jordanian Arabic
Currently wits university has an Arabic course that teaches Syrian and egyptian dialect. I think phone the language school their if your interested and live near the Johannesburg area.
Hope this helps!
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