Arabic Saying: Hit the Iron while it's Hot

I am subscribed to the Jordan TV channel RoyaTV on YouTube.  They put up a lot of stuff so I don't watch it all, but today I happened to click on a clip titled على رأي المثل : اضرب الحديد وهو حامي. The show is called على رأي المثل ('ala ra'i almathal) which is how you say in Arabic "as the saying goes".  They go around and ask people what a saying means.  This is absolutely perfect for those learning Arabic.  You get a bunch of different people talking about what common Arabic sayings mean to them.  Since the channel is Jordanian the responses are in Jordanian and Palestinian dialect, but these sayings mean the same thing everywhere.  The saying in this clip is "hit the iron while it's hot". 

اضرب الحديد و هو حامي يعني ما تأجلش الموضوع. ساويه هسا او... يعني ما تأجلوش ساويه هسا
Hit the iron while it's hot means don't postpone the issue.  Do it now or... I mean don't postpone it.  Do it now.

(The ش at the end of تأجل is there to negate it.  This is used in Palestinian dialect.  ساويه means do it.  هسا means now.  It comes from هذه الساعة and in some places is said with an ع. هسع.)

اضرب الحديد و هو حامي يعني... تفوت بموضوع او... مش شرط موضوع بس... يعني حعطيك مثل.  يعني مثلا صار في مشكلة او اشي.  تروح تحكي مع الانسان بالمشكلة او بتفوت بالموضوع على طول قبل ما يبرد الموضوع.  لا؟  مش هيك؟  ما بعرف.
Hit the iron while it's hot means... enter into an issue or... it doesn't have to be an issue but... I mean I'll give you an example.  I mean for example, (if) there is a problem or something, go talk with the person about the problem or enter into the issue right away before the issue gets cold.  No?  That's not it?  I don't know.

(The phrase here مش شرط means "it doesn't have to be".  A شرط is a condition or a term in an agreement.  In حعطيك the ح indicates future tense.  على طول means "right away".)

دق الحديد و هو حامي... اذا ناويت... اي واحد اذا ناوى يعمل شغلة و فيها خير و توكل على الله يعملها على طول
Hit the iron while it's hot... if I intended... anyone if he intended to do something and it's good (he should) rely on God and do it right away.

(دق is a dialect word for hit.)

لما يضرب الحديد و هو حامي يعني لازم يعمل اشي و لساته بمحله. بوقته
When someone hits the iron while it's hot it means that one should do something while it's still in its place.  In its time.

بظن المثل بيحكي انه لما يكون عندك فرصة على طول تستغلها و ما انه ما منستنى.  ما منستنى لاشياء تصير انه عشان احيانا الاشياء ما بتتحسن.  فانه على طول لما يكون في فرصة منستغلها منشان احتمال تكون احسن فرصة.
I think that the saying says that when you have an opportunity, take advantage of it right away and don't... we don't wait.  We don't wait for something to happen because sometimes things don't get better.  So, right away when there's an opportunity we take advantage of it because it might be the best opportunity. 

(The word يستغل means "to take advantage of an opportunity".  Young people use the word انه in Jordan a lot.  It's a filler a lot of the time.  Like the word "like" in the US.  Literally it means "that".  رجائي قواس has a comedy bit making fun of this.)

دق الحديد و هو حامي معناته بس يجي بحياتك فرصة كبيرة او انه حتى لو فرصة صغيرة يعني خذها و انت واثق من حالك و احتمال تطلع انه فرصة كبيرة و بتغير بحياة الواحد
Hit the iron when it's hot means whenever a big opportunity comes into your life or, even if it's a small opportunity, I mean, take it and be sure of yourself and it's possible that it will turn out to be a big opportunity and (it could) change a person's life.

(The word تطلع here means "to turn out to be".)

يعني لحق الموضوع و هو يعني بالقمة تبعته.  يعني اذا كنت متخانقة مع حدا و بدك تعمل اشي استغل الفرصة و اعمل الاشي الي بدك تعمله
It means catch the issue while it is, I mean, at its pinnacle.  I mean if you were fighting with someone and you want to do something, take advantage of the opportunity and do the thing that you want to do.

يعنى انا و سها تخانقنا... صح؟  بروح بحكي معها دغري عشان ضربت الحديد و هو حامي
If Suha and I were fighting... right?  I (would) go talk with her right away so that I hit the iron while it's hot.


Anonymous said...

Excellent job! Interesting TV + transcriptions + commentary. Exactly what I need at my current level of Arabic. Looking forward to more of this!

Anonymous said...

Arabic Student, at 1'35, what you transcribe as "لحق " - is it a second form? I'm thinking if it were a first form there would be a vowel in front of it as it is imperative. I'm hearing "la77i'" in the video but I'm not sure.

The Arabic Student said...

Yes, Anon2, it's لحّق , measure 2. :)

Graham said...

Do you have a dictionary for levantine dialect that you use when you are transcribing clips like this?

arabicandpersian said...

بالقمة تبعته is more like 'the very best it can be', since تبعة is 'nature, character, way it is', while 'at peak performance' is good too.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most useful post that I have ever read: shokan la ka :)