White Guy Speaking Sudanese Arabic

I was told of this video of an American guy speaking Sudanese like a native.  I mean if you close your eyes you would think he was a black Sudanese guy.  In the video he's trying to raise money to make a movie called Faisal Goes West about a Sudanese guy who goes to live in the US and the problems he faces.  The film's website is It's pretty crazy how well this guy gets the accent down.  It makes me wonder how long he has lived there, because I imagine that the only way you could get an accent that good is actually living in Sudan.  I mean there aren't many resources to learn the Sudanese dialect online.

I know literally nothing about Sudanese Arabic.  The only way I can understand it at all are from its similarities to Egyptian, but I will write some of it in a transcript.

It seems that in Sudanese a man or person is called زول .  A couple of times in the clip he says اي زول meaning "anyone". 

The parts I put in (()) are my best guesses, don't take them as the truth.

بوه.  المهم أنا قبال 3 شهور كنت في مطار الخرطوم.  في واحد جنبي لابس جلابية, طاقية, مرقوب, أي حاجة.  يعني سوداني سوداني كده.  قاللي بانجليزي... بانجليزي خلي بالك.  قاللي
"Yo what time the flight comin' in."
يعني الطيارة دي جاية الساعة كم.  عجبت مرة.  يا زول انت, خلي نعلن الخواجة يتكلم عربي, انت تعلمت انجليزي للدرجة دي وين؟  قاللي في امريكا.  في دالاس.  ....ده مولود فوق. شرحلي و قاللي تربى هناك و درس هناك كلية و جامعة و اي حاجة. المهم الازمة الاقتصادية, الامور في امريكا بدا صعبة شوية.  قرر خلاص يرجع عالسودان. المهم قلتله يا خي انا كتبت عنك فيلم

He starts out saying بوه or "boh".  I don't know how spell it, but I guess it means "ok" or طيب.

Ok.  The important thing, about 3 months ago I was in the Khartoum airport.  There was a guy next to me wearing a robe, knit cap (like a yarmulke but covers more of your head), slippers, etc.  I mean he was really Sudanese looking.  He said to me in English, in English mind you, he said, "Yo what time the flight comin' in?" Meaning, "What time is the flight coming in?"  I was taken aback. Man, you... ((I'm not 100% on this part, something like "let's let him know that this white guy speaks Arabic" or something)).  Where did you learn English so well?  He said to me, "In America. In Dallas.".  ((couldn't understand anything except what I wrote, ده مولود فوق which I imagine means "he was born over there", but in any Arabic I've learned it means "he was born up above" or "north"))

He explained to me and told me that he was raised there and studied in college and university etc (there).  What's important, (with) the economic crisis things in the US became a little difficult.  He decided to return to Sudan.  What's important, I told him, "Brother, I wrote a film about you."



No One Takes a Sandwich to a Restaurant

This saying is mostly used when a man doesn't want to take his wife or girlfriend to a place where he plans on hitting on other women.  The wife or girlfriend is the sandwich in the saying.  The restaurant would be like a nightclub or something.  The saying in Arabic is ما حدا بيروح على مطعم و ياخذ ساندويتشته معه .  I made a video about the saying and I've also go the clip that I originally heard it.  The show is called Jamil w Hanaa and you can watch it on MTV Lebanon.

This context for this clip is that the man is going on a trip to some country that requires a visa.  He didn't get a visa for his wife and then she says the sandwich thing.

انا ما قدمتلك ع الفيسا لا

I didn't apply for the visa for you, no. 

 طبعاً!  لأنه ما حدا بيروح على مطعم و ياخذ ساندويتشته معه

Of course (not)! Because no one goes to a restaurant and takes his sandwich with him!

شلون حزرتي؟ برافو

How did you guess?  Bravo!

ولو؟ من السفرة الماضية

Seriously? From the last trip.


Palestinian Jokes Explained in English

So there's this show on the Jordanian TV channel Roya (رؤيا) called نكت شوارع (Street Jokes) where this guy Mohammad Lahham (محمد لحام) goes around to different locations and asks people to tell him a jokes. There have been 2 seasons of the show thus far and he's been to many places in both Jordan and Palestine. I'd like to see the show branch out to Lebanon and Syria in the future. For me, the ability to understand jokes in a foreign language is the epitome of mastering the language which is why I really like to watch Arabic comedy and joke shows. They have the hardest type of speech to understand.

One thing I've noticed from watching shows like this is that every country has a city whose people they consider stupid and who they make fun of in jokes. In Palestine it's people from الخليل (Hebron), in Jordan it's people from الطفيلة (Tafilah), and in Syria it's people from حمص (Homs). I can't remember which Lebanese city gets made fun of, but they make fun of people from Homs too. This is all in fun though, they don't really consider the people from these places dumb. It's like old Polack jokes in the US. No one really thinks all Polish people are stupid.

For this post I've taken a few jokes from the Ramallah episode of Street Jokes. I realize that explaining jokes makes them not funny, but this is about learning the language better. The jokes are told in Palestinian dialect and they aren't so easy to understand, but having the text makes it easier.


في واحد بيشعر حاله كلب. فراح عند الدكتور النفساني. يقله يا دكتور أنا بشعر حالي كلب. قاله كيف تشعر حالك كلب؟ قاله لما أحك حالي... بضل أحك في حالي زي الكلاب, بضل أعوي زي الكلاب. قاله الدكتور من ومتى تشعر حالك كلب؟ بيقله من و أنا جرو

There was a guy who thought he was a dog so he went to the psychiatrist.
He says to him, "Doctor, I feel like I'm a dog."
He said to him, "How do you feel like you're a dog?"
He said to him, "When I scratch myself... I'm always scratching myself like dogs, I'm always barking like dogs."
The doctor said to him, "How long have you felt that you are a dog?"
He says to him, "Since I was a puppy."

The hard part of this joke for me was understanding how he was saying "how long" at the end of the joke. I knew it had to be something like that from context. The way he says it sounds like "min wemta" من ومتى. Instead of "mata" متى (MSA) or "emta" امتى (most other Levantine dialects and Egyptian).

جرو - puppy
حك - to scratch
عوى - to bark
ضل - to keep on doing something, to stay


في أربعة سمر سمر سمر. حطو عليهم حذام أحمر. ليش؟ عشان دعاية لكيت كات

There were four very dark guys. They put a red belt around them. Why? For a Kit Kat ad.

The kid says حذام. I'm assuming he means حزام for belt.

دعاية - advertisement, commercial
حط - to put


مرة جاجة تحممت بشامبو جونسون. باضت بيضة بلا قشرة

Once a chicken took a bath with Johnson shampoo. It laid an egg without a shell.

Often jokes will start with مرة which is "one time" or "once". In Palestinian and Jordanian they say جاج or جاجة instead of دجاجة. This joke may have gone over some heads. It's a pun. The word قشرة means "shell" and also "dandruff". On shampoo bottles it will say ضد القشرة (anti-dandruff). So when the chicken took the bath with the shampoo it got rid of the egg shell, not the dandruff.

بلا - without
قشرة - shell, dandruff
باض - to lay an egg


واحد بيضل يحط بالشامبو دودة. ليه؟ لأنه مكتوب عليه دعه لثواني معدودة

A guy kept putting a worm in the shampoo. Why? Because it had written on it, "Leave it for a few seconds." (Leave it for a few seconds with a worm.)

The reason this joke is funny is because the word معدودة (a few) sounds just like مع دودة (with a worm).


مرة واحد خليلي بيبيع في دكانة فإجا واحد صيني بده يشتري 10 قناني كولا. الاول الصيني بيقله يسشتينسشتينسشتينسش كولا؟ و الخليلي بيقله بدك 10 قناني شو؟

Once a guy from Khalil was selling in his shop. A Chinese guy came and wanted to buy 10 bottles of cola. First the Chinese guy said to him (Chinese impression) cola? The Khalili says, "You want 10 bottles of what?"

This is funny because the only thing that the Khalili didn't understand was the word "cola" which the Chinese guy said in Arabic/English. Somehow he understood all the Chinese.

دكانة - a shop
إجا - to come
قناني - bottles


الخاروف لما تقطع رجليه شو بيصير؟ غيمة

What does a sheep become when you cut off its legs? A cloud.

Pretty self explanatory. A sheep is fluffy like a cloud. :)