Syrian Dialect Lesson

This post consists of clips taken from Jamil wa Hanaa (جميل و هناء), a Syrian comedy. As I was watching this episode (episode 25, season 1) I made note of some words and phrases that are useful. They're all said at normal speaking speed and the show is intended for native Arabic speakers, so it may be difficult, but if you listen to each one several times you'll get it. This dialect is Syrian, but it's close enough to other Levantine dialects to be understood in many places.

1. نص ساعة دعايات ربع ساعة برامج. خلصونا بقى (nus sa'a di'ayaat rub'a sa'a baraamij. khalisoona ba'a) - Half an hour of commercials and a quarter hour of shows? Come on!


The woman's name is ام محمود (Im Mahmud). She bought a lotto ticket and is watching the TV show to see if she won or not. She's annoyed because there are more commercials than actual show.


نص is نصف in MSA and means "half"
دعاية - commerical; دعايات - comercials
خلصونا بقى - you can translate this as "come on!" here; it is normally used when you're fed up with something

2. العمى! حطيت 70 ليرة عالفاضي (al'ama! huttayt 70 lira 'al faadi) - Damn! I spent 70 lira for nothing.


It turns out that ام محمود 's ticket didn't win in the first round so she is upset.


العمى - literally it means "blindness", but it's used like "damn" when something you don't like happens
حطيت - I put.
عالفاضي - combination of على "on" and فاضي "empty". Literally the sentences says "I put 70 liras on nothing". عالفاضي is used to expressed wasting something or getting nothing in return.

3. ام محمود؟ ام محمود؟ ياه! وين راحت؟ ما في بالعادي تطلع برات البيت و تترك باب الشقة مفتوح. و هاي عكازتها. ما تقدر تمشي بلاها! شو القصة (im mahmood? im mahmood? yah! wayn raahit? ma fee bil 'aadi titl'a barraat albayt wa titrik bab alshi'a maftooh. wa hay 'akaazita. ma ti'dar timshi balaaha. shoo al 'issa?) -

Im Mahmud? Im Mahmud? Yah! Where did she go? It's not normal for her to go outside the house and leave the apartment door open. And here's her cane. She can't walk without it. What's going on?


On the last drawing Im Mahmud's ticket won so she had a mini stroke and her neighbors took her to the hospital. The lady in this clip is another neighbor wondering where she went.


ما في بالعادي - it's not normal/usual
تطلع برات البيت - (for) her to go outside the house
عكازة - cane/walking stick
بلاها - without it
شو القصة - literally "what's the story?", but means "what's going on?"

4. جارتنا, الله يرضى عليكي. انتي خليكي هون شي ساعة ساعتين. اذا ماتت ام محمود خبرينا (jaaritna, allah yirdaa 'aleyki. inti khaleeki hoon shee saa'a saa'atayn. Iza maatit im mahmood khbreena.)

Neighbor, may God be pleased with you. You stay here an hour or 2. If Im Mahmud dies, let us know.

ليش؟ انتو وين بدكن تروحو؟ (leesh? intoo wayn bedkun troohoo?)

Why? Where are you guys going?

منروح عالبيت. دق خلقنا. صارلنا زمان هون (minrooh 'albeyt. da' khili'na. saarlna zamaan hoon)

We're going home. We're fed up. We've been here for a long time.


The man is Jamil. He and Hanaa, his wife, brought Im Mahmud to the hospital and have been waiting there for a long time. He's tired and ready to leave.


جارتنا - our neighbor
شي ساعة ساعتين - the word شي means "about" here. "About an hour or 2"
دق خلقنا - a saying that means "we're fed up"
صارلنا زمان هون - we've been here a long time


Ana said...

Wonderful lesson! I've just seen it now, since I wasn't able to join for some days cause of anf al enz, influenza (nose of the goat, Ibn Sina is the one who invented this term as he is the first to describe it).
I have two questions to bother you with, can you explain just a bit more the expression to be fed up? khil2na da2... i know we should take expressions as they are but for me is very useful to understand each word in order to remember.
And my other question, is it possible to see the videos? Sometimes i can see them, and sometimes i cant, I know its being spoiled but I would love to hear them since I also have your wonderful explanation...
Thanks for everything!

Anonymous said...

As i know expression
ضاق خلقي=Daa2 5'el2e
(lit means my temper became cramped)
It means like I was restless , bored
ضاق خلقي من هالجو=i am fed up with this weather

There is also another verb that i came across in Levantine dialect
مل من=mall men(it is also used in MSA)

ex:انا مليل من كل هالشغلة
=ana mallel men kol hal-sha3'le
i am fed up with this whole business.


Anonymous said...

Keep going with levantine it helps me greatly!

рεяfεcтℓγ▪ιмpзяfзcт said...

never stopppp doing what youre doing.

Ana said...

Thank you Czarek for explaining. I don't know why I didn't think of daaqa with dad, now I understand, and I've met a lot the expression daaqa zir3an in MSA, has the same meaning of sa2ima. Thanks a lot, don't know where my head was.