Saudi Dialect Lesson

The Saudi Gamer podcast is something that I listen to every week. Video games are one of my interests and it’s always good to have resources that interest you when you are learning a foreign language. The thing is though, the video game resources I can find are either in MSA (written) or Gulf Arabic (spoken). No Egyptian. No Levantine. I imagine this has something to do with the affluence of the gulf over other areas of the Arabic world, or maybe something about the rest of the Arab world fighting for a bite to eat. That doesn’t leave much leisure time for video games.

I’ve been listening to this podcast since December 2011, so a little over a year, and I couldn’t understand much at all when I first started listening. It’s amazing how much your brain can pick up if you just keep doing something. I haven’t had any lessons in Saudi dialect but I can understand it, at least this podcast, pretty well now. If you’ve got some form of Arabic down pretty well, be it MSA or some other dialect, it isn’t such a huge ordeal to learn another form.

Anyway, this post is a transcript from a part of episode 115 where they talk about Blizzard making World of Warcraft free to play up until level 20. You can listen to the entire podcast here. The clips starts at 48:05 and goes until 51:35 just in case you want to listen to it there. In hindsight I should have made the clip shorter, but I wanted to get all the context in there and not leave you something ambiguous.

Also, I want to let you know that most of the stuff in this clip is used in other dialects too, just some dialects use certain things more often or less often. For instance,ببلاش (free) is said in Egypt as well as in this Saudi clip عشان (in order to or because) is used in Levantine, and there are tons of other examples. After having exposure to different dialects you realize how many similarities there are even at first it doesn’t seem so. I think the accent and the way things are said makes people think the dialects are so different from each other.

((The Arabic text in this post varies from small to large. Blame it on Blogger. Their font changer works randomly with Arabic. If the small text is too small to read, hold down Ctrl and move your mouse wheel. That will change the text size.))

Links to the audio (several because they inevitably go down eventually):


في الخبر إللي الصراحة صدمني و ماني متأكد منه. انت راعي وورلد اوف واركرافت. هل صحيح انه الشركة الحين سمحت لأي احد يلعب ببلاش الى ما يوصل لليفل 20؟

There's some news that, frankly, shocked me and I'm not sure about it. You're the World of Warcraft guy. Is it true that the company now has allowed anyone to play for free until reaching level 20?

انت راعي وورلد او واركرافت - Basically this means “you’re the Word of Warcraft guy” or “you’re the one concerned with it” or “you’re the one who knows about it”.

ببلاش - for free. Comes fromب لا شيء "for nothing".


ايوه بس... اوكي. الخبر الان, قبل ما ننتقل في هذا الخبر, الان فتحوا او الباتش الجديد إللي اسمه رايج اوف ذا فاير لاندز. طبعاً بالنسبة لواحد زيي انا خلصت كل البوسز إللي كانو موجودين اول و الريدز. يعني بالعربي ما صار عندي شي جديد في اللعبة أساويه... خلصت الكونتنت كله تقريباً. الان نزلوا الباتش الجديد إللي هو رايج اوف ذا فاير لاندز. فتحوا مناطق جديدة في اللعبة. فتحوا رايدز جديدة و بوسز جدد و يعني كويستات كثيرة فأي أحد يلعب واو حيقدر ينبسط...

Yes, but... ok. The news now, before we get to this news, now they've opened... or the new patch called Rage of the Firelands. Of course with regard to someone like me, I have finished all the bosses that were there in the beginning and the raids. I mean in Arabic I don't have anything new in the game to do... I finished pretty much all the content. Now they came out with a new patch, Rage of the Firelands. They opened new areas in the game. They opened new raids and new bosses and, I mean, lots of quests, so anyone who plays WoW is going to be able to have fun...

بالعربي - literally means “in Arabic”, but in English we would say “in plain English”

نزل - this words has a lot of different uses in Arabic. It can mean to get out of a car, to go down a mountain, but here it is used to mean “to come out with something”, in this case a patch for a video game.

ينبسط - have fun, be happy. انا مبسوط - I am happy


هل تحس بالليفل حقك؟ انت واصل لليفل عالي صح؟

Do you feel your level? You've reached a high level, right?

حقك - “yours” or “belonging to you”. All dialects of Arabic have a word like this. In Egyptian it is بتاع. In Levantine it is تبع. In Iraqi they say مال. These all indicate possession. الليفل حقك is the same thing as ليفلك. It’s just another way of saying that it’s yours. حق


انا خلاص ماكس. 85

I'm done. Max. 85.


ايه فهل تحس انه بالاضافات هاذي الجديدة انه تدخل تموّت و تخلّصها و خلاص؟

Right, so do you feel that with these new additions, that you can go kill anything and be done with it?

موّت - measure 2 of موت (death), so it means to make something dead, or to kill something.


لا. شوف. الواو... الرايدز او الغارات الجديدة إللي مسوينها مرّا صعبة. مرّا مرّا صعبة يعني. حتى لو انك واصل لأقوى ليفل و بأحسن قير هو ما يفرق عليك انت بس لازم القروب كله إللي معاك, لأنك أنت ما تطلع لحالك, تطلع كفريق. الفريق كله إللي معاك لازم يكونوا يعني ناس "ايبك" على قولهم. ناس كذا تلعب مظبوط. ولازم طبعاً تفاهم في الفينتريلو إللي هو البرامج التحارب في الصوت زي كذا ع اساس يقدر ينسقوا بينهم. فلا هي ممتعة و مسلية جدا يعني فيعني بالعكس شي ممتاز انه بيسووا هذي الاشياء و بعدين ببلاش يعني. انت ما انت دافع شي. فهذه الخطوات ذكية جدا من بليزرد انه يسوي ذي الحركات. طبعاً الحركة الجديدة إللي سواها و هي خطوة ذكية أيضاً هي خطوة تسويقية. اول كان عندك الترايل إللي هو النسخة التجريبية من اللعبة. كان يخليك تلعب بمدة 14 يوم. بس بعد 14 يوم يقفّل عليك. خلاص ما تسوي شي إلا لين ما تشتري اللعبة. طبعاً هذا ال14 يوم هل وصلت ليفل 20 ولا ما وصلت هم ما لهم شغل.

No, look. WoW... the new raids or the new "ghaaraat" that they've done are very difficult. Very, very difficult. Even if you've reached the strongest level and are in the best gear, it makes no difference to you, but your whole group that's with you (has to be max level and have the best gear too), because you don't go by yourself, you go as a group. The whole group that's with you has to be, I mean, "epic" people as they say. People who can play well. And of course there must be an understanding of Ventrillo which is the program where you can talk and fight (VoIP) so that they can coordinate between each other. So, no it's very fun and enjoyable, I mean, so on the contrary it's something excellent that they've done this and on top of that for free. You're not paying anything. So these steps are very smart from Blizzard that they're making these moves. Of course this new smart step is also a marketing step. At first you had a trial which is a "trial copy" of the game. It let you play for 14 days. But after 14 days it locked you out. Done. You can't do anything until you buy the game. Of course (during) these 14 days, have you reached level 20 or not reached it, they don't care. (That's how it used to be. Now it's free until you reach level 20.)

مرّا - very. Could also write it مرّة. This word also means “one time”.

على قولهم - “as they say”. He says the group members need to be epic.

مظبوط - correct or right

على اساس - so that

لين - the same thing as حتى “until”. I think it comes from ل and حين “until the time”.

ما لهم شغل - “they don’t care” or “it makes no difference to them”.


الآن قالوا لا. إحنا نسوي شي جديد اسمه وورلد اوف واركرافت بيقنرس او ايش يسموه؟ ستارترز ايدتشن. يعني نسخة المبتدئين. يندّيك اللعبة و مفتوحة لين ليفل 20. يعني ينديك تلعب و تكمّل و ان شاء الله طفيت اللعبة اليوم و انت بتكمّلها بعد اسبوعين. بس اهم شي ما توصل لين ليفل 20 و خلاص. بعد كذا ما ينديك تكمّل.

Now they've said "No, we're going to do something different." It's called World of Warcraft Beginners or what-do-you-call-it... starters edition. Meaning "starters edition". They give you the game and it's open until level 20. I mean you can play and finish and turn off the game today and continue it in 2 weeks. But the important thing is when you reach level 20 it's done. After that you can't keep going.


طيب جميل عندي بس سؤال واحد بس بالنسبة للخبر هذا. هل بتكون جميع الاماكن مفتوحة لي؟ لأني اذكر بعض الالعاب إللي تيجي كذا محدودة او يعني مجاناً يقولك بس بعض الاماكن تروح لها اما تروح في كل الاماكن لا.

Ok, Jamil. I have just one question with regard to this news. Are all the locations open to me? Because I remember some games that come limited like this or free, they tell you that you can only go to some of the locations, as for going to all the locations, no.


انا اقولك حاجة. أولاً وورلد اوف واركرافت كطبيعة اللعبة انت عشان توصل للمناطق الجديدة حقة الإكسبانشنس اصلاً لازم تعدي ليفل 20 تعدي ليفل 70 حتى. عارف؟ فانت اصلاً كشخصيتك ما تقدر توصل للمناطق البعيدة. فاهم قصدي؟ فانت إللي فعلاً إللي انت بتلعبه هو وورلد اوف واركرافت الإكسبانشن الأول. فاهم قصدي؟ اما بالنسبة لبرنيق كروسيد و ما بعد برنيق كروسيد انت ما تقدر تدخله اساسأ. إلا لين ما توصل للليفل المطلوب. حتى لو اني عندي اللعبة الكاملة ليفل 20 ما اقدر ادخل المناطق هاذي.

Let me tell you something. First of all, World of Warcraft, in the nature of the game you have to be over level 20, or even over level 70 to reach the new locations of the expansions. You know? So you, as your character, you can't reach far away locations. Know what I mean? So you, actually what you're playing is the first expansion of World of Warcraft. Know what I mean? As for Burning Crusade and what comes after Burning Crusade you can't enter it. Until you reach the required level. Even if I have the whole game I can't go to those places at level 20.

حاجة – something

عشان – in order to

حقة الاكسبانشني – of the expansions. حقة makes it possessive just like earlier.

فاهم قصدي؟ - know what I mean?


بس حركة قوية مرّا إجا كذا ان اللعبة تصير ببلاش.

But it's a very strong move to come like this and make the game free.


هي حركة تسويقية. الليفل 20 ترى بسيط. توصل في يومين 3 ايام.

It's a marketing move. Level 20 is very simple though. You can reach it in 2 or 3 days.


لا. يموين 3 ايام تقعد كل يوم 4 ساعاة صح؟

No, 2 or 3 days sitting for 4 hours each day right?


لا لا لا لا. الليفل 20 مرّا سهل انك توصل ليفل 20. شي ما تتخيّل السهولة حقتها. ترى اول كان صعب. الآن صار مرّا سهل

No, no, no, no. Level 20 it is so easy to arrive to level 20. You can't imagine how easy it is. You see, in the beginning it was hard. Now it's very easy.


Anonymous said...

مرة in this context is an intensifier... many Saudi dialects use it as such.

Anonymous said...

Even though I primarily study levantine i love saudi arabic. it's just enough msa to sound concise and clear but has useful dialectical influence so it doesn't sound stuffy and old fashioned.

i feel msa is so much easier on the ears like to watch a syrian drama vs al jazeera, i choose al jazeera

keep it up andrew

Anonymous said...

great post!

i always thought that انبسط was form VII of the (nonexistent?) verb بسط -- and VII makes the root idea passive, parallel to how مبسوط is the passive participle.

love the blog. i teach Arabic, and everything on here is an inspiration. we're using youtube more and more as our source for real-world Arabic.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your fantastic job on the blog, it's awesome! I wonder if you have any tip on online (free) podcasts in Egyptian or Syrian? As you wrote, it's a great way to learn a language, but I'm having a hard time finding (good) stuff to listen to. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

this is extremely helpful, it makes understanding arabic so much more easier.

loveamourhubbamorailublu said...

Whic Saudi dialect is all of this? Hijazi (western)? Najdi (central), or Gulf (Eastern)? Doesn's sound like gulf to me. Its heavily influenced by Farsi

The Arabic Student said...

I wish there were some podcasts in other dialects as well, but everything I find is Saudi. If anyone knows of any in other dialects please let me know.

loveamourhubbamorailublu, the podcast is a mixture of different dialects since they are from different areas of Saudi Arabia. This specific clip, I don't know. I am not a master of the Saudi dialects. I can tell you if something is Gulf/Saudi Arabic and that's as much as I know.

Unknown said...

Masha Allah, Its a great support for all expatriates since you seldom find in written what is usually spoken in streets. This page gives the opportunity.

loverboy247 said...

أفية عليك! هدا البلوغ كلش ذكي و يوفر فرصة نادرة لتدريس لهجات عربية. اني دأدرس اللوغة العربية, اصليا اللهجة العراقي بس هاليام اني داحاول اوسع عملي لغير لهجات و داقطّع كل شيء بهاي الصفحة. كان عندي بروفيسور من باصرة اللي دأمان يقول "ببلاش بس ما قد يدرك هذا الكلمة جاي من "به لا شيء". شكرا جزيلا. Sorry if my Arabic is terrible, but I'm trying to use it more and not be afraid of making mistakes. Translation: Thanks bro, this is awesome!