Ramadan 2012 TV Shows

I always look forward to Ramadan each year, not because I am religious, but because it means new TV programs and series (مسلسلات) on the Arabic channels.  Ramadan starts on July 19th in 2012 and looking at MBC's website they have about 8 new shows:

عمر - MSA.  This show looks really good from the preview.  The production quality is really high (the preview says it's the "biggest Arab production") and stylistically it reminds me of 300, Gladiator, or Spartacus.  There's a pretty big outcry in the Arab world about this show though.  A lot of people don't want it to be broadcast because it is about one of Islam's main personalities, 'Umar bin al-Khattab.  I'm hoping the show's quality lives up to the preview.

كنة الشام و كناين الشامية - Gulf drama.  I thought this one was going to be in Syrian because it has شام in the title, but I guess that's just a last name because the show is in Gulf Arabic.

حبر العيون - Gulf drama.

الخواجة عبد القادر - Egyptian drama.

طيش عيال - Gulf animated comedy.

حلفت عمري - Gulf drama.

حكايات بنات - Egyptian drama.

خواطر 8 - MSA/Gulf educational/religious program.  This show is one that I watch each year.  My favorite season was when they went to Japan and compared the Japanese way of life to the Arab way of life and talked about how Arab countries could learn from the Japanese.  It was really interesting.  Season 8 looks to be about charity around the world and helping the poor.

These shows are just the ones that MBC is showing.  If you go to this link, you'll see all the Ramadan 2012 shows that has on its site from many different channels.  There you'll find more variety.  MBC is very Gulf Arabic oriented because it's a Saudi channel.


Syrian Arabic Lesson: It's Out of My Hands

This lesson is on Syrian Arabic and the clip is from the show يوميات مدير عام (Dailies of the General Manager) on MTV Lebanon.  The phrase is "It's out of my hands", الشغلة مو بإيدي.  There are other things to learn from this clip though.  I learned the phrase فالج و لا تعالج , which basically means "the situation is hopeless". 

The context of the clip is that a guy is coming to a government office to turn in a form to enter some competition.  The government bureaucrat tells him that the deadline for entry has passed.  The guy keeps begging him to put the form through, but the official says there's nothing he can do.  It's out of his hands.  The transcript, translation, and explanation are below.

  • اليوم ما بقدر.  إمبارح كنت بقدر.  استوعبت ولا ضل عدلك ياها؟
Today I can't.  Yesterday I could have.  You get it?  Or should I keep repeating it for you?

استوعب - "to absorb or ingest", but it is also often used to mean "to understand or comprehend"
ولا - or
ضل - keep, continue (also spelled ظل)
عد - repeat
لك - for you
ياها - it

  • يعني ما رح تاخذ مني طلب المسابقة؟
So you won't take the competition request from me?

يعني means "it means", but it's really just a filler most of the time and can be translated in various ways.  Here I chose "so".
رح - indicates future tense
تاخذ - take
مني - from me
طلب - request
المسابقة - competition

  • و شلون بدي سجله اذا المهلة خلصت؟  لك و بعدين وين كنت لهلق؟  كنت نايم؟
And how am I supposed to record it if the deadline has finished?  And anyway, where have you been til now?  Were you sleeping?

سجل - to record something, to write something down
مهلة - time limit, extension
لك - this word is used to get someone's attention.  It's like "hey you".  Often it is rude.
بعدين - means "after", but here it's like "anyway"
وين كنت لهلق - where were you til now

  • ايه ما لحقت جهز الاوراق المطلوبة الا اليوم
I didn't have time to ready the required papers until today.

ايه - means yes, but he doesn't mean it here.  He doesn't mean "yes I was sleeping".  You know how sometimes you just say "yeah" and it has no meaning?  That's what this is.  It means nothing here.
ما لحقت - this is a very important phrase.  I hear it used all the time in Syrian shows.  It means "I didn't have time" or "I didn't get a chance to".

  • حلو.  و شو ذنبي انا؟
Great.  And how is that my fault?

شو ذنبي انا - literally "what is my fault".

  • دبّرها استاذ.  الله يخليلك اولادك
Work it out, mister.  May God keep your children.

دبّر - the best translation I could think of is "work is out".  There's also the common phrase دبّر حالك which is like "take care of it yourself", "work it out yourself", "do it on your own", "help yourself".  You get the idea.
الله يخليلك اولادك - this is said in a begging way here

  • لك لسا بيقلي دبّرها.  شلون بدي دبّرها اه؟  هلق انت بتقدر ترجّع عقارب الساعة لوراء؟
And he's still telling me to work it out.  How am I supposed to work it out, eh?  Now can you turn back the hands of the clock?

لسا - still
عقارب الساعة - the hands of the clock (also عقارب means scorpions)
لوراء - back

  • دبّرها. ابوس ايدك.  صارلي سنة عم بستنى هالفرصة
Work it out.  I kiss your hand.  I've been waiting for this opportunity for a year.

ابوس ايدك - I kiss your hand.  This is used when begging.
صارلي سنة - literally "it's been a year for me"
بستنى - I wait
فرصة - opportunity

  • لا حول و لا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم.  اخي هلق انت ليش ما عم تفهم عليّ؟  الشغلة مو بإيدي
There is no strength or power but in the high and mighty God.  Brother, now why aren't you understanding me?  It's out of my hands.

لا حول و لا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم - This is usually said when you are exasperated or at your wits end.  I did a video explaining it.
الشغلة مو بإيدي - literally "the thing is not by my hand"

  •  يعني فالج و لا تعالج
So it's not going to happen?

فالج - hemiplegia, which is when one side of your body is paralyzed.  The phrase is basically saying that the situation is like this disease and can't be treated.  The situation is hopeless and isn't going to be solved.
تعالج - to be treated (as in a disease)

  • للاسف ايه نعم
Unfortunately, yes.


Syrian Arabic Lesson

I was going through my unsubmitted posts today.  Most of them are things that I started on by then got sidetracked or didn't feel like finishing them, but then I found this post.  I meant to post it over a year ago, but for some reason didn't. This is an excellent transcript of a very funny Syrian show called بقعة ضوء (spotlight).  The episode is called إمرأة سيئة السمعة which means "woman with a bad reputation".  Czarek, a reader and commenter here, wrote out the transcript and I did the translation and explanations.  This is definitely useful for people interested in اللهجة الشامية (Levantine dialect). This show is much more like how authentic Arabic is spoken than the dubbed Turkish soap operas that speak very clearly and without much slang. Also, it's a comedy show and if you are able to understand complex jokes in a language it's a good indicator that you have mastered the language. So why not practice on the hardest part of the language?

(Dialogue starts at 1:06 and here is the link to the YouTube video.)


نعم حبيبي
Yes, baby?

Are you asleep?

(Literally, "Have you slept?")

عم حاول نام بدك شي؟
I'm trying to sleep.  You need something?

لا لا ,بدي اسألك سؤال بس ما في شي
No, no.  I want to ask you a question but it's nothing.

اسألني تقبرني اسأل
Ask, my love, ask.

لا لا خلاص بعدين عادي يعني. بلا ما طيّرلك هلق النوم من عيونك
No, no.  Don't worry about it.  I don't want to wake you up.

(Literally, "I don't want to make the sleep fly from your eyes.")

 اسأل حبيبي انا اصلاً مو جاييني النوم
Ask, baby.  I can't fall asleep anyway. 

(أصلاً here is "anyway", not "originally".  The word أصل literally means "origin", but in my experience with dialect it is rarely used to mean that.  It's more of a filler word like يعني.  Also مو جاييني نوم literally means "sleep is not coming to me".)

 حبيبتي يعني ,قبلي ,قبل ما ادخل حياتك كان في شي حدا غيري بحياتك؟
Baby, I mean, before me, before I came into your life, was there anyone other than me in your life?

(Notice that it's قبل ما ادخل not قبل ما دخلت .  You use the present tense of the verb when you're using قبل even though in English you would use the past tense.)

حبيبي رئيفو كم مرة صرت سائلني هالسؤال؟ عشرين مرة سألتني ياه وقت الخطبة ,و جاوبتك انه لا
 Raeefu, how many times have you asked me this question?  20 times you've asked me it when we were engaged.  And I answered you no.

(The guy's name is رئيف .  She calls him رئيفو as a pet name.)

ماشي خلاص. أنا آسف يعني ,يعني آسف
Ok, fine.  I'm sorry.  I mean, I'm sorry.

معقولة رئيف,معقولة تسألني هيك سؤال و نحنا بأول يوم من شهر العسل
Really, Raeef?  Really you ask me this question while we're on the first day of our honeymoon?

(معقولة means "does it make sense" or something like that.  عقل means "mind".  The best way to translate it though is "really?!" or "are you serious?!")

لا,طبعاً انا عن جد انا "اوبين مايند" و "فري" و عندي ثقة مطلقة وعمياء فيكي بس يعني بصراحة انا سمعت شوية طراطيش حكي
No, of course (not).  For real I am "open mind" and "free" and I have absolute and blind trust in you, but, I mean, frankly I heard some rumors and talk.

حكي شو؟
What kind of talk?

يعني سمعت انك كنت تحبي ابن الجيران
I heard that you used to love the neighbors' son.

لا حبيبي ,مو انا الي كنت حاببته ,هو كان يحبني
No, baby.  I'm not the one who loved him.  He loved me.

بالله؟ و شو فرقت؟
Really?  And what's the difference?

(The phrase بالله is literally "by God", but it isn't translated like that.  It is used often when you are taken aback by something and is said with surprise.)

لاحبيبي فرقت كثير ,شلون شو فرقت؟ لو كنت انا احبه كمان ,كان اسمها مشاعر متبادلة ,بس القصة كانت من طرف واحد. ينفلج شو بعمله
No, baby, there's a big difference.  What do you mean "what's the difference"?  If I loved him too then it would be called "mutual feelings", but the story was just from 1 side.  He can do what he likes, what can I do for him?

(انفلج is like اصطفل in that is has the sense of "do what you want to do and leave me out of it".)

 ايه لا مشاعر ولا بطيخ هذا ما بيحبك هاد.هذا واحد دنيئ, واطي, ممسحة, سافل, بذاقة.هذا كان بده يوصل لغايات ثانية باسم المشاعر و باسم الحب
Feelings Schmeelings.  That guy doesn't love you.  That guy is a lowlife, scumbag, mop, shameless, and ill-mannered.  He wanted to arrive at other ends in the name of feelings and love.

(The saying لا _ ولا بطيخ is literally "no _ and no watermelon" sometimes it's بلا _ بلا بطيخ "without _ and without a watermelon".  You can put whatever you want in the blank.  The one used here is لا مشاعر ولا بطيخ which means "feelings schmeelings".  You use this construct when you think something is BS or nonsense.  Also, all those insult words can be translated in various ways.  The important thing is just to know that they are insults.  بذاقة literally means "someone who spits".  You could translate each one of them as "lowlife".  Also, the last sentence basically means "He had other things on his mind.  Not love, but sex.  He just said that he loved you.")

ولك ايه سيدي ينفلق شو ما كانت غايته ما بيطلعله. خلص حبيبي يلا نام وارتاح
Yes, sir, he can do what he wants.  Whatever his goal was he wouldn't get it.  Ok, baby, go to sleep and rest.

لا لا مو جاييني النوم بدي اطلع دخن سجارة و برجع
No, no.  I can't sleep.  I want to go smoke a cigarette and I'll be back.



شو حبيبي لسا ما نمت؟
What, baby, you still haven't slept?

شو كان اسمه هذا الكلب ,الحقير ,الواطي ,الممسحة؟
What was the name of that dog, the lowlife, the scoundrel, the mop?

عن مين عم تحكي؟
Who are you talking about?

عن ابن الجيران اليييييي الي كان يحبك
About the neighbors' son whoooooooo who loved you.

حياتي رئيف شو بدك فيه هلق؟ الله يوفقك نام
My life, Raeef, what do you want with him now?  Please go to sleep.


حبيبي بعمل لك كاسة شاي
Baby, you want me to make you a cup of tea?

لا ما بدي ,هيفا
No, I don't want one. Haifa?


هذا التافه الحيوان كنت تلتقي انت وياه شي
That stupid animal, did you meet with him at all?

عن مين عم تحكي حبيبي؟ عن عماد؟
Who are you talking about, baby?  About 'Imad?

لا تنطقي اسمه! ايه هذا البطيخ كنت تلتقي انت وياه شي؟
Don't say his name!  Yes.  That watermelon (insult).  Did you meet with him at all?

أعوذ بالله لا طبعا حبيبي
God forbid!  No, of course not, baby.

ماشي فوتي نامي
Ok, go in and sleep.

حبيبي اذا بدك بسهر معك بسلّيك
Baby, if you want I'll stay up with you and keep you company. (بسلّيك literally means "I'll entertain you")

لا لا فايت انا هلق نام وراكي
No, no.  I'm coming in to sleep right now behind you.



طالما ما انتو تلتقو مع بعض كيف عرفتي انه بيحبك؟ شو كنت تعلمي بالغيب؟
Since you never met together, how did you know that he loved you?  What, did you read his mind?  (to know something بالغيب is to read someone's mind)

لا ما علمت بالغيب
No, I didn't read his mind.

معناها صار بيناتكن لقاء على الأقل
That means there was at least a meeting between you.

حبيبي ما صار .غير بالشارع ما صادفته ولا مرة
Baby, it didn't happen.  Other than on the street I never came across him, not even once.
(صادف means "to come across/to just happen to see/to bump into (not literally)")

يعني بدك تقنعيني انو قلك ياها بالشارع
So you want to convince me that he told it to you in the street?

شو هاي؟
What's that?

كلمة بحبك
The phrase "I love you". (They will sometimes refer to something that is more than 1 word as a كلمة like he does here.)

لا حبيبي ما قلي ياها بالشارع. بعت اخته و اخته قالتلي انو هو حاببني
No, baby.  He didn't tell me it in the street.  He sent his sister and his sister told me that he loved me.

يعني انت عفرتي عن طريق اخته
So you knew via his sister?

ايه طبعاً
Yes, of course.


يا ربي دخيلك شو هل الليلة؟
Please Lord, what's with this night?


شو حبيبي قررت تنام؟
What, baby, have you decided to sleep?

المراسلات بينك و بين هداك التافه كانت تتبع عن طريق اخته ما هيك؟
The correspondences between you and that moron were carried out via his sister, right?

مراسلات شو حبيبي؟ ما كان في مراسلات. هي مرة وحدة اجيت اخته قالتلي ياها و خلاص
What correspondences, baby?  There were no correspondences.  It was one time, his sister came, she told me it, and it was done.

و الحيوان اقتنع بهالشي؟ ولا ضربه صراع على موقفه؟
And was that animal convinced by this?  Or did he get mad about it?

شو بيعرفني؟ ما عاد انفتح هيك موضوع
How should I know?  The subject never came up again.

يعني انت ما عدتي سألتي اخته شو صار معه؟
So you never asked his sister what happened to him?

لا طبعا ما سألتها منشان شو بدي اسألها
No, of course I didn't ask her.  Why would I ask her?

و اخته ما عاد فتحت الموضوع و خبرتك شو كان رده؟
And his sister, she never again brought up the subject and informed you what his response was?

لا حبيبي ما عاد فتحت الموضوع
No, baby, she never brought up the subject again.

ماشي نامي
Ok.  Go to sleep.


شلون ما شفتي لهالحيوان غير بالشارع؟ ممكن تقنعيني؟
How did you only see that animal on the street?  Could you convince me?

بشو بدي اقنعك؟
What should I convince you of?

يعني طالما كان في زيارات متبادلة بينك و بين اخته, تروحي لعندها و تزوريها و تجي لعندك و تزورك.ما التقيتي فيه ولا مرة ببيتهن؟
I mean, since there were exchanged visits between you and his sister, you'd go to her place and visit her and she'd come to your place and visit you, you never met with him even once at their house?

من قلك انه كان في زيارات متبادلة بيني و بين اخته؟
Who told you that there were exchanged visits between me and his sister?

يعني بس اخته كانت تجي تزوركن؟
So only his sister would come to visit you?

لا هي كانت تجي تزورنا ولا انا كنت روح زورهن
Neither did she come visit us nor would I go visit them.

لكن هيك من هالبلكون خبرتك انه اخوها كان يحبك؟
Then just like that from the balcony she informed you that her brother loved you?

لا حبيبي اجيت هالمشوار خصوصي منشان تخبرني و خلص ما عاد اجيت بعدها
No, baby, she made a special visit to inform me and that was it, she didn't keep visiting after it.


يا رب
Oh Lord.



حبيبي شو بك؟؟
Baby, what's wrong?

هيفا ارجوكي,لا تخبّي علي شي
Haifa, I beg you, don't hide anything from me.

شو بدي خبّي عليك؟ شو بدي خبّي؟
What would I hide from you?  What would I hide?

يعني ما في اية بنت او شب اللي بيمر التجربة بعمر المراهقة. هذا شي طبيعي. عادي. خليكي" اوبن مايند" خليكي فري
I mean there's no girl or boy who passes by this experience in the teenage years (meaning relationships/sex).  This is something natural.  Normal.  Be open minded, be free.

طيب, طيب شو؟
Ok, ok.  What?

قوليلي كوني صريحة معي
Tell me and be frank with me.

With what?

هدا الكلب,الحيوان ,الحقير,السافل,المزبلة.ما حاول شي مرة يعزمك او يطلع هو وياكي؟
That dog, animal, lowlife, scumbag, trash, never tried ever to invite you out (to a meal) or that he go out with you?

لا ما حاول
No, he didn't try.

هيفا رجاء اذا حاول خبريني خليني عارف منك احسن ما أعرف من العالم ,خليكي اوبن مايند,خليكي فري شو بيك؟
Haifa, please.  If he tried, tell me.  Let me know from you rather than me find out from the world (other people).  Be open minded.  Be free.  What's wrong with you!

ما حاول والله ما حاول
He never tried.  I swear he never tried.

ما حاول ولا مو متذكرة؟
He did try or you don't remember?

ايه فهمنا بقى رئيف. فهمنا. عشرين وحدة بحياتك قبلي انا اللي لازم افتح معك تحقيق مو انت
I get it, Raif.  I get it.  There were 20 girls in your life before me.  I'm the one who should open an investigation, not you!

(فهمنا بقى is like saying "enough already!")

ايه ايه لا تعيطي خلص خلص نامي ريّحي نامي
Yeah, yeah.  Don't yell.  It's through. It's through.  Go to sleep.  Relax.  Go to sleep.