Syrian Lesson: Jamil Wa Hanaa

This lesson is taken from the Syrian comedy show Jamil and Hanaa (جميل و هناء). The main premise that I've gotten from the show so far is that Jamil, Hanaa's husband, is shy around women that are not his wife and gets upset when Hanaa would like him to be more open around other women and even flirt with them. There's another couple that's the opposite of them. The husband always hits on other women and the wife gets upset. I'm on episode 7 and I really like it. It's not like most Syrian shows that I've seen that are very conservative. I mean in Jamil and Hanaa they aren't wearing revealing clothes or anything, but the kinds of things on the show are a little risque by middle eastern standards today. There's lots of flirting for example.

The clip starts with Jamil reading from a book trying to give Hanaa a hint that she should do what he says and care about him more or else he might divorce her. The parts he's quoting from the book are in MSA. The rest is Syrian dialect:

جميل: لم تهتم به فطلّقها. نبّهها. لم تصغي إليه فطلّقها. قال لها (lem tahtam beehee fa tallaqaha. nabbahaha. lem tusghi ileyh fa tallaqaha. qaala leha)

Jamil: She didn't care for him so he divorced her. He warned her. She didn't listen to him so he divorced her. He said to her...

هناء: تفضل (tfaddal)

Hanaa: Here.

جميل: يسلمو ايديكي... ردي عالتليفون (yislamu eedayki... riddi 'al tilifoon)

Jamil: Thanks. Answer the telephone.

هناء: قوم رد انت و اذا رفيقة من رفقاتي بدك تحكي معها و تسلّم عليها! قوم بقى (oom rid entay wa iza rfee'a min rif'aati beddek tahki m'aa wa tsellim 'aleyha. oom ba'a.)

Hanaa: You get up and answer it. And if it's one of my friends you're going to talk to her and say hello! Get up!

جميل: انا ما رح ارد قومي ردي انتي (ana ma rah arid oomi riddi inti)

Jamil: I'm not going to answer. You get up and answer.

هناء: ما رح ترد؟ (ma rah trid)

Hanaa: You're not going to answer?

جميل: لا ما رح ارد (la ma rah arid)

Jamil: No, I'm not going to answer.

هناء: ايه مو على كيفك. بدك ترد يعني بدك ترد! بطللي عادة هالخجل! قوم رد لشوف! يلا قوم (ay moo 'ala kayfak. beddek trid y'ani beddek trid. battilli 'aadat hal khajal. oom rid lashoof. yalla oom.)

Hanaa: It's not your choice. You're going to answer means you're going to answer! Stop this habit of shyness! Get up and answer! Come on, get up!

جميل: هناء قومي ردي و تعرفي كلمتي كلمة. ما رح ارد يعني ما رح ارد (hanaa oomi riddi wa t'arifi kilimti kilmi. ma rah arid y'ani ma rah arid.)

Jamil: Hanaa, get up and answer and know that I mean what I say. I'm not going to answer means I'm not going to answer.

هناء: ايه لنشوف (ay linshoof)

Hanaa: Ok. We'll see.

جميل: لم تصغي إليه فطلّقها (lem tusghi ilay fa tallaqaha)

Jamil: She didn't listen to him so he divorced her.

هناء: رد (rid)

Hanaa: Answer.

جميل: الو. اهلين يامو. الحمدلله الحمدلله. إمسكي إحكي مع امي بدهاياكي (alu. ahlayn yaamoo. hamdilla alhamdilla. imsikee ihkee m'a immi bidayaakee)

Jamil: Hello. Hi, Mom. Thank God. Thank God. Take it and talk with my mom. She wants you.

هناء: الو. اهلين مرة عمي. كيفك. الله معك. سلامة (alu. ahlayn mart 'ammi. keefik. allah m'aik. salaami.)

Hanaa: Hello. Hi, mother in law (literally "my uncle's wife"). How are you? (I cut out the phone conversation.) God with you. Bye.

جميل: رغم أنه يحبها, لم تهتم به فطلّقها (rughma annahu yuhibuha lem tahtam bihi fa tallaqaha)

Jamil: Even though he loved her, she didn't care for him so he divorced her.

هناء: تعرف لو كنت محل امك انا؟ كنت زعلت منك و ما عاد كنت حكيت معك بنوب (t'arif lo kint mahal immak ana. kint iz'alt minnak wa ma 'aad kint hakayt m'ak ibnob)

Hanaa: You know if I was in your mom's place? I would have gotten mad at you and not talked to you anymore at all.

جميل: ليش؟ شو قلت انا؟ (laysh? shoo ilit ana?)

Jamil: Why? What did I say?

هناء: ما قلت شي. و لأنك ما قلت شي كانت لازم تزعل منك (ma ilit shee. wa li annak ma ilt shee kaanit laazim tiz'al minnak)

Hanaa: You didn't say anything. And because you didn't say anything she should have gotten mad at you.

جميل: ليش لحتى تزعل؟ (laysh la hatta tiz'al)

Jamil: Why should she get mad?

هناء: الحمدلله يامو الحمدلله. هذا حكي واحد بيحكي مع امه؟ (humdilla yaamoo alhumdilla. hada haki waahid byehki m'a immu)

Hanaa: "Thank God, mom. Thank God." Is that what someone says to their mom?

جميل: شو بده يحكي مع امه الواحد يعني؟ (shoo beddu yehki m'a immu alwaahid y'ani)

Jamil: What should someone say to his, mom then?

هناء: بيقلها كيفك؟ شو اخبارك؟ كيفه ابي؟ (bee illa keefik. shoo akhbaarik. keefu abi)

Hanaa: He should tell her "How are you?","How are things?", "How's dad?"

Vocabulary List:

  • أصغى (asgha) - to listen to, to pay attention to
  • طلّق (tallaqa) - to divorce someone
  • يسلمو ايديكي (yislamu eedayki) - literally "may God bless your hands", a way to say thank you when someone does something for you or gives you something
  • قوم (oom) - imperative "get up/stand up"
  • رفيقة (rfee'a) - female friend
  • كلمتي كلمة (kilimti kilmi) - literally "my word is a word" but it means "when I say something I mean it" or "I mean what I say"
  • يامو (yaamoo) - Syrian way of saying "mom"
  • زعل (za'al) - to get mad


Video Gaming in Saudi Arabia is HUGE

In the past few years video gaming has exploded in Saudi Arabia. I first learned about this fact by stumbling upon Saudi Gamer's podcast. I'm very excited about this trend because as someone interested in the Arabic language it gives me material to watch that I'm actually interested in. There are a ton of You Tube channels of Saudi gamers recording themselves playing different games and commenting as they go. I don't know why, but the majority of videos like this that I've seen are from Saudis and thus they are in Saudi dialect. The dialect was difficult for me to understand at first because I'm used to Egyptian and Syrian, but like with anything I got used to it over time and now I understand most of what is said.

(Pictured above is Abd Al-Latif Al-Himili from Saudi Arabia who recently placed second in the Street Fighter championship at Evo 2011, the largest fighting game tournament in the world.)

I couldn't find anything from any country other than Saudi Arabia having to do with video games. I searched for what Egyptians subscribed to on You Tube in the way of video games and found that they subscribed to channels in English. If anyone knows of video gaming sites from Arab countries other than Saudi Arabia, please let me know. Also, if you know of sites/channels that cover games aside from Call of Duty I'd be happy to know about them. Saudi's sure do love their CoD. :)

1. Saudi Gamer:

I've mentioned Saudi Gamer here before as they were the first Arabic gaming site/podcast I discovered. They even talked about one of my videos about Saudi dialect in podcast #93 (minute 1:43). This is my favorite Arabic gaming site. They cover all the topics that an English gaming site like IGN would cover. Their podcast is the main attraction.

2. Z-pad:

This website is similar to Saudi Gamer. I don't know which came first or which is more popular. I enjoy both but just found out about Z-pad. Their Zpadcast uses a green screen which they stand in front of and play game footage on which looks really professional. They have their podcast as well as game news. Here's an example of the Zpadcast:

3. xJIoIKeIR:

This channel run by Abu Kahl and is the 20th all time most subscribed You Tube channel by Saudi's with about 12,000 subscribers. His channel is dedicated to Call of Duty: Black Ops (كول اوف ديوتي: بلاك اوبس) which seems to be a common thread for Saudi gaming. CoD has to be the single biggest video game there. The videos are of him playing online multiplayer and talking about either the game or other random things that come to his mind. He's an entertaining guy. In the video below he plays Call of Duty while talking about what makes a friend a true friend.


Check out this channel for something other than Call of Duty. He's done commentaries on Minecraft, Fifa 11, HomeFront, and Battle Field: Bad Company. He started his channel just 6 months ago and is at about 10,000 subscribers. I learned how to say "cracked" (مكرّكة) as in "a cracked version of a game" in Arabic from this guy with this sentence:

لتلعب اون لاني لازم تكون اللعبة عندك اصلية مو مكرّكة

"To play online your game has to be original, not cracked." (One that you bought and didn't download for free. Go to 2:30 in the video below to hear him say it.)

Here's one of his Minecraft commentaries. Go to minute 1:35 to see the little guy he made lol.

5. M4jedHere:

This channel does CoD, but also has a series of Portal 2 commentaries. He goes through the whole game commenting on it in Saudi Arabic. M4jedHere has about 4,000 subscribers. Here's the first video in his Portal series:


Egyptian Lesson 3: Why are you looking at me?

So, the phrase for today is "Why are you looking at me?" I did a You Tube video about it and I've taken a clip from the Egyptian comedy show Al Bab Fil Bab الباب في الباب that uses the phrase. Watch them. Learn how to pronounce it. It's important. So, here's my video:

And here's the clip from Al Bab Fil Bab:

She says ايه هشام؟ بتبص إلي ليه؟ (What, Hisham? Why are you looking at me?). In my video I was saying بتبص إلي كده ليه؟ (Why are you looking at me like that?). The only difference is the كده and the ايه؟. So, to break down the phrase.

ايه (eeh)- "what"

بتبص (bitbus) - "you are looking" or "you look". Don't confuse this with بس (bes) which means "but" or باس (baas) "he kissed" and يبوس (yiboos) "he kisses". They all sound very similar. The only difference is the "s" sound used. Just for kicks, بصبص means "to ogle".

إلي (ili) - "at me"

كده (kida) - "like this" or "like that". It comes from combing the MSA ك "like" and هذا "this". In Saudi they say كذه with a "dh" instead of a "d" which is closer to its MSA roots.

ليه (leeh) - "why"

And in the You Tube video I added:

يا راجل (ya raagil) - man

يا عم (ya 'am) - uncle

يا حج (ya hagg) - hajji (someone who has been to Meca for the Haj)


Saudi Arabia Starting on the World's Tallest Building

It seems like Saudi Arabia is taking the example of Dubai and trying to attract tourism with amazing buildings. Have a look at this article that talks about Saudi Arabia beginning work on the tallest building in the world. It will dwarf the current tallest building that was recently finished in Dubai, but it's not going to be completed for over 5 years, so Dubai's Burj Khalifa can hold on to its title for a little while longer.


A Star Trek Theme Park in... Jordan??

This article doesn't provide many details, but it says that work is about to get underway on a $1.5 billion Star Trek theme park in Aqaba, Jordan on the Red Sea! I thought I had seen all the tourist stuff in Jordan, but if this thing does get built it gives me a reason to go back. It's known that King Abdullah II is a big Star Trek fan and he even had an appearance as an extra on Voyager so I imagine this had a lot to do with the decision.

I'm all for anything science fiction related being done in the Middle East. It might encourage more scientific endeavors there and show people that science is cool in a part of the world where it doesn't seem to garner much interest. Sci-fi isn't just imaginary, far fetched entertainment. It actually encourages kids to get into science and engineering which would be great for the region.