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)


Jamie said...

I'm so glad you keep up with this blog. Though I'm mostly interested in the Gulf dialect, all of your videos and posts are still helpful and entertaining. Thank you for being so thorough! Could you please do me a favor and offer your translation for the song I have linked in the URL box? Thanks a lot!

zaid said...

هايل أوي. متبصليش كده لأدب اصباعي فعنيك

Pedestrian said...

Thanks so much for this! :-)

I had a question for you: Do you know of any tv shows and/or radio programs, etc with easy Arabic?

I know VOA has an easy english hour, where they read the daily news really slowly, and also provide transcripts. But I'm kinda fluent on the English front :-P I'm looking for something equivalent in Arabic, but haven't had any luck so far. I love watching Arabic tv shows but I'm still not far enough to be able to comprehend much.

Any tips would be very much appreciated! Thanks again :D

The Arabic Student said...

Zaid, ok then I won't look at you like that again :D.

Pedestrian, I don't know of anything like that for Arabic, nothing that speaks slowly. The best thing I can recommend is Al Jazeera for kids at They speak more clearly.

Pedestrian said...

Thanks for the tip Arabic Student.

I was listening to your "hardest part to learning arabic" youtube video, and I beg to differ :-) The hardest part for me is in listening, where you have to figure out where one word ends and the other begins. REALLLLLLLY HARRRRD stuff! :-S The grammar, the pronounciation ... none of that comes close! :-/

Anonymous said...

I'm still learning Egyptian, but I don't think she's saying إلي in the clip. She's just saying a kasra in between بتبص and لي because there's a shadda on the saad and otherwise there would be three consonants in a row.

Your blog is great! Thanks for all the clips.

Anonymous said...

Yeap I guess you are correct she is saying

There is no الى in EA as far as I know.


Asmaa' said...

Begad entta hayel w momtaz geddan, w esloubak baseet lekul 7ad 3ayez yet3allem 3rabi masry. Bs 3ayza a2ollak malhoza soghannana, إلي lahga Shami mesh masry, here bitbuseli = bitbus+li. btw da video Nemo bel masry laziz awi 3ala fekra
Finally, really thanks for your clear effort :)

Kanika said...

All your videos/ posts are quite interesting & helps me in learning the dialect- which am pretty sure will get more polished after seeing the entertaining videos & help me when I visit Arab!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog because I am marrying an Egyptian man and me becoming more versed in the Egyptian dialect is helping me score points with his family big time!