Thursday, March 27, 2008

Egyptian Arabic Alphabet

There's no way I can put Arabic orthography lessons on the site. The only way to learn the alphabet is to practice and memorize. But I'll give a run down of the sounds of Egyptian Arabic using words commonly found in Arabic music.

ا - alif, as in "Ah" آه which means "ow," like an expression of pain or frustration

ب - ba, as in "Bahebbak" بحبك which means "I love you"

ت - ta, as in "Tani" تاني which means "another" or "again"

ث - ta or sa, as in "Sawani" ثواني which means "seconds" from the same word as "tani." While this letter in Standard Arabic is a "tha," it has merged with the letters "ta" and "siin" now. For old and common words "ta" is more common, and from new, borrowed, or reborrowed wor.ds "sa" is more likely.

ج - giim, as in "Gameel" جميل which means "beautiful." In Egypt, it is usually pronounced as a "ga" as opposed to the Standard Arabic "ja."

ح - Ha (7a), as in "Habibi" حبيبي which means "my darling." This sound does not exist in English, but it is like a regular Ha in English only "harsher." A friend has described it to me as a "phone sex 'h'"

خ - xa (5a or kha), as in "Khudni" خدني which means "take me." This sound is like kinda the ch in Bach from german, the french 'r' in "quatre" or to an English speaker probably sounds like they are about to spit

د - daal, as in "Dunya" دنيا which can mean "the world," "the prevailing environment" or "everyone."

ذ - daal or zaal, as in "Dayeb" ذائب which means "melting" often in love. Like "tha," "dhaal" loses its standard Arabic pronunciation, becoming a "da" sound for old and common words and a "za" sound for newer, borrowed, or reborrowed words from Standard Arabic.

ر - ra, as in "Rooh" روح which means "soul." It is trilled like the Spanish r.

ز - zay, as in "Zaman" زمن which means "time" as in the 4th dimension

س - sin, as in "Sawa" سوا which means "together"

ش - shiin, as in "Shuf" شوف which means "see," "look," or "look at"

ص - Saad, as in "Sabr" صبر which means "patience." The Saad is like an English s but with more rounding of the lips to produce a deeper hiss.

ض - Daad, as in "Da3" ضاع which means "lost" or "wasted." Daad is like the English d in the same relationship as Saad is to s.

ط - Ta (6a), as in "Tayr" طير which means "bird." Ta is in the same relationship with the English T as Daad is with d

ظ - Da or Za, as in "Zalim" ظالم which means "unjust" or "oppressive." This sound is DHa in Standard Arabic, but either becomes a "Za" sound or a "Da" sound in Egyptian.

ع - Ayn (3ayn), as in "3ayni" عيني which means "my eye" (a very common term of endearment in Arabic). 3ayn has no equivalent in English and I don't know how to describe it. Just read and listen for it. For those who know linguistics, its the voiced version of ح

غ - ghayn, as in "Ghali" غالي which means "precious." It's like a ga sound only it's like you're gargling water.

ف - fa, as in "Farah" فرح which means "joy" or "happiness"

ق - qaff (9aff, 2aff), as in "Qalbi" قلبي which means "my heart." Originally this sound is like an English k only deeper in the throat, as if you were choking, but in Egypt it is usually pronounced as a glottal stop like the sound in between Uh and Oh in Uh-Oh. So "Qalbi" becomes "Albi."

ك - kaff (Chaff), as in "Keef" كيف which means "how" east of Egypt.

ل - laam, as in "Leel" ليل which means "night"

م - miim, as in "Majnun" مجنون which means "mad" or "crazy"

ن - nuun, as in "Nar" نار which means "fire"

ه - ha, as in "Hawa" هوى which is one of the many words for love "hawa"

و - waaw, as in "Waheshtini" وحشتيني which is how you tell a girl "I miss you"

ي - ya, as in "Ya habibi" يا حبيبي which means "oh my darling." To address someone like "oh" or "hey" in English, you say "ya" before the name or title you are calling them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lesson 7: وماله؟

New Vocabulary

wi-maa-luh (وماله) - so what?, it's fine
maali (مالي) - filling
maa-li (مالي) - I don't have
maa-li (مالي) - what's it to me?, what's wrong with me?
gheer (غير) - other than
hina (هنا) - here
leh? (ليه؟) - why?
iHsaas (إحساس) - a feeling
aHla (أحلى) - sweetest, prettiest, most wonderful

taah (تاه) - to get lost, to wander, to go astray
saab (ساب) - to leave, to quit, to let, to leave alone, to leave behind
'aabal (قابل) - to meet
Sadda' (صدّق) - to believe
yiswa (يِسوى) - to equal, to be worth as much as, to be worth

In Lesson 6, we talked about "di (دي)" and "dah (ده)" and in this song we'll see a little more in the song "wi-maa-lu (وماله)" by Amr Diab. Of course Amr Diab is among the most famous pop stars in the Arab world and has been for almost 20 years. He is the biggest name in Egyptian music after the classic singers like Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez and Mohamed Abdel Wahhab. The phrase "wi-maa-lu (وماله)" is idiomatic but very important. Those who has studied Standard Arabic know that "maa (ما)" means "what?" "maa l- (ما ل)" in Egyptian Arabic means "what's with" or "what's wrong with x." So "maa-lak (مالك)" means like "what's with you?" or "what's wrong with you?" Or "maa li-l-3arabiyya di (ما للعربية دي)" means "what's wrong with this car?" or "what's up with this car?" So you can see the meaning this phrase gives. The phrase "wi-maa-lu ()" by itself means "so what?" or "it's OK, it's fine," if you literally translate it as "and what's wrong with it," you can see how it has this meaning.

Listen to the song, read the lyrics and getting a feeling for what Amr Diab is saying:

وماله لو ليلة تهنا بعيد .. وسبنا كل الناس
أنا يا حبيبي حاسس بحب جديد .. ماليني ده الإحساس
وانا هنا جنبي أغلي الناس .. أنا جنبي أحلي الناس

حبيبي ليلة تعالي ننسى فيها اللي راح
تعالي جوه حضني و ارتاح
دي ليلة تسوي كل الحياة

مالي غيرك ولولا حبك هعيش لمين
حبيبي جاية أجمل سنين
وكل ما ده تحلى الحياة

حبيبي المس إيديا عشان أصدّق اللي أنا فيه
ياما كان نفسي أقابلك بقالي زمان خلاص وهحلم ليه؟
مانا هنا جنبي أغلي الناس .. هنا جنبي أحلي الناس

So did you understand the song. There's a few new words but most of it is the same old. Let's see the first line:

وماله لو ليلة تهنا بعيد وسبنا كل الناس

"tuhna (تهنا)" is from the Egyptian colloquial verb "taah (تاه)," "to get lost," "to go astray," or "to let one's mind wander." So he says "so what" or "what's the big deal if one night we get lost far away." "saab (ساب)" is also colloquial, meaning "to leave" and is used in many cases. Learn it.

أنا يا حبيبي حاسس بحب جديد
ماليني ده الإحساس

"I feel a new love darling." "maaali (مالي)" means "filling" from the verb "mala (ملى)" and should not be confused with "maa-li (مالي)" which means "what's with me?" or "what's it to me?!" They sound the same so you just have to differentiate from context. "iHsaas (احساس)" as you can probably guess is a feeling. So he is full of this feeling.

وانا هنا جنبي أغلي الناس .. أنا جنبي أحلي الناس

"hina (هِنا)" is the same as Standard Arabic "هنا" meaing "here," although the pronunciation is different. As you know "aHla (أحلى)" means "sweetest," but in colloquial is also "prettiest" or "most wonderful," this kind of sense. We know "gambi (جمبي)" already. What do you think "aghla (أغلى)" and "aHla al-naas (أحلى الناس)" means exactly?

Now for the chorus:

حبيبي ليلة تعالي ننسى فيها اللي راح

This is all words we know. Do you see how "fii-ha (فيها)" refers to "layla (ليلة)?" "illi raaH (اللي راح)" means "that which is gone" or in this case "that which was."

تعالي جوه حضني و ارتاح

You know this line too. Remember, if you've forgotten some vocabulary already to use the Egyptian Arabic Vocabulary on this site.

Next line:

دي ليلة تسوي كل الحياة

The verb "yiswa (يِسوى)" or "tiswa (تِسوى)" is usually only used in the present tense. It means "to equal" or "to be worth" or "to have the worth of." So "this is a night worth a whole life" or something along these lines.

Next stanza;

مالي غيرك ولولا حبك هعيش لمين

Haha now I know you will be confused or angry, but here "maa-li (مالي)" means "I don't have." This is the meaning you would have most likely thought of using Standard Arabic. "gheerak (غيرك)" means "other than you." You'll see more about "gheer (غير)" for sure. "lowla (لولا)" means "if not for" and "miin (مين)" means "who?" like Standard Arabic "مَن." So the line is "if not for your love, who would I live for?"

حبيبي جاية أجمل سنين


Next line:

وكل ما ده تحلى الحياة

"kullima-dah (كل ما ده)" means like "all the while." The verb "Hala (حَلى)" means "to make sweet" or "to sweeten," not to be confused with "Hili (حِلى)," which means "to be sweet, pleasing."

Final verse:

حبيبي المس إيديا عشان أصدّق اللي أنا فيه

Remember "iideeya (ايديا)?" It means "my hands." "3ashaan (عشان)" in this case means "so that" or "in order that." The verb "Sadda' (صدّق)" is the same as in Standard Arabic, "to believe." Can you get the meaning now?

ياما كان نفسي أقابلك

"Oh how I wish to meet you." All words we've learned. What's next?:

بقالي زمان خلاص وهحلم ليه؟

"ba'aa-li zamaan (بقالي)" means something like "time happened to me" or "I got time" but you can infer it means that he's been waiting a long time. "leh? (ليه؟)" means "why?" So "that's it, why should I dream?" He wants to stop dreaming and have what he's always wanted.

Final line:

مانا هنا جنبي أغلي الناس .. هنا جنبي أحلي الناس

See that "ma-ana (مانا)" for emphasis?

Go back and listen to the song again. It's an easy one, and a slow one, and I think you'll be happy with the level of comprehension you now have. Of course everything is clear when you've just done it, but it's important to retain info as well. Go back and listen to some of the earlier lesson with and without lyrics to see what you understand and review some of the words you may have forgotten.

Next, Lesson 8: انت ايه؟

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lesson 6: لمستك

New Vocabulary

dah (ده) - this, that (masculine)
di (دي) - this, that (feminine)
dah (دا) - exclamatory particle at the beginning of sentence
feen? (فين؟) - where?
li (ل) - to, for
low (لو) - if
kamaan (كمان) - also, as well, too, more, in addition
makaan (مكان) - place
al-layla (الليلة) - tonight
al-layla di (الليلة دي) - this night (aka tonight)
bidaaya (بداية) - beginning
ta3aali (تعالى) - come on!
yalla (يالله) - let's go!
yoomeen (يومين) - two days

lamas (لَمَس) - to touch
'arrab (قَرَّب) - to get close
ibtada (ابتدى) - to start, for something to begin

In this lesson, you will start to learn about expressing "this" and "that" in Egyptian Arabic. The masculine and feminine words meaning both "this" and "that" are "dah (ده)" and "di (دي)." To say this is a boy, you just have to say "dah waad (ده واد)," however, to say "this boy," you say "al-waad dah (الواد ده)." Do you see how it is affixed to noun? this is a specific feature of Egyptian Arabic, just like the questions coming at the end of the sentence.

The song in this lesson is entitled "lamastak ()," meaning "I Touched You." Notice how once again the singer, Amr Moustafa, is singing to a grammatical male but of course it is meant for a girl or a "generic" person. Watch the video, listen to the song and read the lyrics:

لمستك نسيت الحياة
وانت اللى بحلم اعيش يوم معاه
والليلة هى البداية وخليك معايا
ده عمرى الليلة دى ابتدى

ولازم نعيش يالله قرب كمان
تعالى حبيبى لأبعد مكان
ننسا اللى ضاع من ايدينا نعيش بس لنا
خلاص اللى جوانا بان

سرحت بعيونك لفين
ايوة انت جمبى وهعيشلك سنين
وحياتى قرب عليا يا عمري وعنييا
نعيش الحياة لو يومين

Did you understand anything? Let's find out:

لمستك نسيت الحياة
وانت اللى بحلم اعيش يوم معاه

"I touched you and forgot life. You are the one who I dream to live with one day." Notice that "yoom (يوم)" used in the indefinite sense in this case brings the meaning of "one day."

والليلة هى البداية

"al-layla (الليلة)" means tonight. So this means "tonight, it is the beginning" or "and tonight is the beginning."

وخليك معايا

remember? Next line:

ده عمرى الليلة دى ابتدى

This line is tricky because of the use of "dah (ده)" here for emphasis. When you see this, it is usually easiest to skip over "dah (ده)" to see the rest of the sentnece. "3umri (عمري)" is of course "my lifetime." The verb "ibtada (ابتدى)" means "to begin." "al-layla di (الليلة دي)" literally means "this night," but here you can say tonight. So the sentence means "my lifetime began tonight." The "dah (ده)" just adds the sense of "really!" or "truly!"

Moving to the chorus:

ولازم نعيش يالله قرب كمان

Here we see the familiar "laazim na3ish (لازم نعيش)," "we gotta live." "yalla (يالله)" means basically "let's go!" or "c'mon!" "'arrab (قرّب)" is the command form of the same verb, "to get close." "kamaan (كمان)" means "too, as well, also" and here has the sense of "more." So he says "c'mon, get a little closer."

Next line:

تعالى حبيبى لأبعد مكان

"ta3aala (تعالى)" means "come on," very similar to "yalla (يالله)." "Come on, my darling, to the farthest away place."

ننسا اللى ضاع من ايدينا

"Daa3 (ضاع)" is the verb "to be lost." "iydee (ايدي)" is the plural of "yad (يد)," meaning "hand." So it means "we'll forget that which we have lost," kind of like "we'll forget our past."

نعيش بس لنا

Before we talked about the word "bass ()" meaning "but." However, here is means "just" like "only," so he says, "we'll live just for us" meaning away from everyone else.

خلاص اللى جوانا بان

"baan (بان)" means "to come clear" or "to show" or "to manifest." Understood?

Next verse:

سرحت بعيونك لفين

"saraH (سرح)" is a verb that means "to wander" or "to go astray." "feen (فين)" means "where?" See how it is at the end of the sentence? So he says "where did you wander off to with your eyes." He wants to see them!

ايوة انت جمبى وهعيشلك سنين
وحياتى قرب عليا يا عمري وعنييا

Everything clear there? "'arrab 3alaya (قرب عليا)" means "get close to me."

نعيش الحياة لو يومين

"low (لو)" means "if." "yoomeen (يومين)" means "2 days." As you can see, this is the familiar dual form from Standard Arabic, however, don't worry, it is only used for nouns. So "we'll live life if just two days" is an expression that even if it's a short time, he wants to be with her.

That song was a breeze. Soon we will be able to move onto more complex songs and you will be able to understand with relatively little explanation.

Next lesson, Lesson 7: وماله؟

Lesson 8: انت ايه؟

New Vocabulary

anta eh? (انت ايه؟) - what are you? what's your problem?
Haraam 3aleek (حرام عليك) - shame on you!
mish Haraam (مش حرام) - isn't it a shame?
yaa weeli! (يا ويلي) - woe is me!
raaDi (راضي) - satisfied, content, accepting
Tab (طب) - fine then, alright then, ok then, then
'awaam (قوام) - right away, at once, quickly, completely
dam3a (دمعة) pl. dumuu3 (دموع) - tears
3azaab (عذاب) - torment, torture, pain
zemb (ذنب) - guilt, fault, crime
Hanaan (حنان) - tenderness

haan 3ala (هان على) - to be nothing to someone, to be unimportant
taab 3an (تاب عن) - to regret, to have remorse for
xada3 (خدع) - to deceive
raDa (رضى) - to be satisfied, content, pleased

In Lesson 7, we analyzed the persuasive sweet-talk of Egyptian biggest pop star Amr Diab. In this lesson, we move to Lebanon's biggest pop star Nancy Ajram. Although Lebanon is a country of just a few million people, they are responsible for a significant percentage of Arabic pop music releases. However, Lebanese singers sometimes sing in Egyptian or Gulf dialects instead of their own, in order to reach a wider audience. Nancy Ajram rose to fame with her album "Ah we Nuss," which was sung in the Egyptian dialect. This song, "anta eh? (انت ايه؟)" is off that album. "enta eh? (انت ايه؟)" of course means literally "what are you?" but the sense intended in this phrase is like "why are you so cruel?" Like "what are you, what's your problem?"

Listen to this sad song and read along, then we'll discuss:

انت ايه مش كفايه عليك تجرحني حرام عليك
انت ايه انت ليه دموعي حبيبي تهون عليك
طب وليه انا راضية انك تجرحني وروحي فيك
طب وليه يعني ايه راضية بعذابي بين ايديك

لو كان ده حب ياويلي منه
لو كان ده ذنبي مااتوب عنه
لو كان نصيبي اعيش في جراح هعيش في جراح

مش حرام
مش حرام انك تخدعني في حبي ليك
مش حرام الغرام وسنين حياتي وعشقي ليك
ضاع قوام ولا كان لعبة في حياتك بتداويك
ضاع قوام الحنان وحضن قلبي واملي فيك

Let's see what we got here. First verse:

انت ايه؟
مش كفاية عليك تجرحني؟
حرام عليك

Isn't it easier when I put in the question marks? In colloquial Arabic you will see that questions are often just implied by context. For example, almost every line of this song is a question. "mish kifaaya 3aleek tigraHni (مش كفاية عليك تجرحني)," meaning "isn't enough for you to hurt me?" "Haraam (حرام)" means "shame" or "a shame" as we will see. So she says "Haraam 3aleek (حرام عليك)," not a question, but "shame on you!"

Next line:

انت ايه؟
انت ليه دموعي حبيبي تهون عليك؟

The word order of this sentence is a little messed up so let me put it in order for you. "Habiibi, dumuu3i tihuun 3aleek leh? (حبيبي, دموعي تهون عليك)." Ok, so "dumuu3i (دموعي)" is "my tears," which is the subject of the sentence. The verb "haan 3ala (هان على)" means "to be unimportant or nothing to someone" or "to be unnoticed/unvalued by someone." So she says "dumuu3i tihuun 3aleek (دموعي تهون عليك)" meaning "my tears are nothing to you." She's asking why he doesn't care that he makes her cry.

Next line:

طب وليه انا راضية انك تجرحني وروحي فيك؟

"Tab (طب)" is just a little word that has the generally meaning of "then" like "very well, then" or "ok then" or "alright then." It is a contraction of the word "Tayyib (طيب)" meaning "fine." The word "raaDi (راضي)," or in Nancy's case "raaDiya (راضيا)" means "to be content" or "to be satisfied" or "to accept." "annak (أنك)" is just like Standard Arabic, "that you." Put it all together. "Then why am do I accept that you hurt me when my soul is inside you?"

Last line of the verse:

طب وليه يعني ايه راضية بعذابي بين ايديك؟

3azaab (عذاب)" means "torment" or "torture" or "pain." So do you get it?

Here's the chorus:

لو كان ده حب يا ويلي منه

"low kaan dah Hubb (لو كان ده حب)" means "if this is love." "weel (ويل)" is "agony." The phrase "yaa weeli (يا ويلي)" means "woe is me." So the line means something like "woe is me from it (love)" or "my agony is from it" but basically she's saying "if this is love, it sucks!"

Next line, another hypothetical:

لو كان ده ذنبي مااتوب عنه

"zamb (ذنب)" means "crime" or "fault." See how the "dhaal (ذ)" is pronounce as a "z" sound? "taab 3an (تاب عن)" means "to regret something" or "to have remorse." So she says, "if this is my crime, I have no remorse for it."

Last line of the chorus:

لو كان نصيبي اعيش في جراح, هعيش في جراح

"naSiib (نصيب)" means destiny and "garaaH (جراح)" means like "hurting" or "injury." Got it all?

Other verse:

مش حرام؟
مش حرام انك تخدعني في حبي ليك؟

"mish Haraam (مش حرام)" means "isn't it a shame?" The verb "xada3 (خدع)" means "to trick" or "to deceive." So he's doing something behind her back I guess right?

مش حرام الغرام وسنين حياتي وعشقي ليك؟

Are you starting to feel bad for her? Next line:

ضاع قوام؟
ولا كان لعبة في حياتك بتداويك؟

Remember the meaning of "Daa3 (ضاع)," "to be lost" or "to be wasted." "'awaam (قوام)" is an adverb meaning "quickly" or "right away" or "completely." "la3ba (لعبة)" is a toy or a game! So she's asking, "was it all a waste, or was it all a game?"

ضاع قوام الحنان وحضن قلبي واملي فيك

"Hanaan (حنان)" means tenderness and "amal (أمل)" means "faith." Has it all gone to waste?

Listen to the song again now that you know she is asking a series of questions and it makes a lot of sense. Don't forget to learn the important vocabulary above, because we build on this vocabulary each lesson, if not حرام عليكم!

تعالى لأغنية تانية قوام! لازم نروح

Click here for the next lesson, Lesson 9: امتى حتعرف؟

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lesson 5: منايا

New Vocabulary

munya (منية) pl: munaa (منا) - wish
ya reet (يا ريت) - if only
faayit (فايت) - passing
Hasis (حاسس) - feeling
guwwa (جوه) - inside, within
guwwa minni (جوه مني) - within me
naar (نار) - fire, hell
aHlaam (أحلام) - dreams
li-waHdi (لوحدي) - by myself
kifaaya (كفاية) - enough, enough!

Hilim (حِلِم) - to dream
ti3ib (تِعِب) - to get tired
ta3ab (تَعَب) - to tire someone
gara (جرى) - to run, to happened
garaali (جرالي) - it happened to me
illi garaali (اللي جرالي) - that which happened to me

In Lesson 4, we saw that "itmanna al-xeer (اتمنى الخير)" means "to wish well." This lesson also deals with wishes, using the song "munaaya (منايا)" by Moustafa Amar. "munaa (منا)" is the plural of "munya (منية)," meaning wish or desire. Although the song is called "munaaya (منايا)," my wishes, we should translate this as "My Wish."

Understanding this song may be significantly easier with the knowledge you've been gaining. Listen to the song and enjoy the backwards video while reading along with the lyrics:

منايا حبيبي تحس هوايا
ويا ريتك تعرف ايه جوايا
منايا حبيبي تحس هوايا
ويا ريتك تعرف ايه جوايا

ايام وسنين بتفوت
عمري يجري مني
وتعيش احلام وتموت
وانت جوه مني

حبيبي انا بحلم تبقى معايا
من نار البعد تعبت كفاية
حبيبي انا بحلم تبقى معايا
من نار البعد تعبت كفاية

ليالي فايتني لوحدي ليالي
ولا قلبك حاسس باللي جرالي
ليالي فايتني لوحدي ليالي
ولا قلبك حاسس باللي جرالي

Check it out:

منايا حبيبي تحس هوايا

"my desire my darling is for you to feel my love." Got it right

و يا ريتك تعرف ايه جوايا

The phrase "ya reet (يا ريت)" means "if only" and you can attach a pronoun to the effect of "if only I" or "if only you" etc. So "ya reetak ta3rif (يا ريتك تعرف)" means "If only you knew." Knew what? "eh guwaaya (ايه جوايا)" which means "what's inside me." "guwwa (جوه)" takes the place of Standard Arabic "داخل."

The chorus already?

ايام وسنين بتفوت
عمري يجري مني

"days and years pass." Notice "bitfuut (بتفوت)" the present tense conjugation for "faat (فات)." Therefore "3umri yigri minni (عمري يجري مني)" means "my lifetime is running away from me." the verb "gara (جرى)" means "to run" but already means to happen, as we will soon see.

What's the rest?:

وتعيش احلام وتموت

"aHlaam (أحلام)" are dreams. If you didn't know, "maat (مات)" means "to die."

وانت جوه مني

"guwwa min (جوه من)" is just a variation of "guwwa (جوه)" basically, meaning "within."

Next verse:

حبيبي انا بحلم تبقى معايا

The verb "Hilim (حلم)" means to dream. If you remember "ba'a (بقى)," it means like "to be" or "to become" and these various meanings that you can get from context. so the line means "my darling, I'm dreaming of you being with me."

من نار البعد تعبت كفاية

"naar (نار)" is "fire" or "hell," and usually carries this double meaning in song. Fire hurts. "al-bu3d (البعد)" is an important concept in Arabic. It means "distance," and distance also hurts when you are in love. So "from the fire of distance" "ti3ibt (تِعِبت)" means "I got tired" and "kifaaya (كفاية)" means "enough!" Notice that "ti3ib (تِعِب)," "to get tired," is different from "ta3ab (تَعَب)," "to tire someone." There are a few verbs like this in Egyptian dialect keep your eye out for them.

One final verse:

ليالي فايتني لوحدي ليالي

"layaali (ليالي)" is the plural of "leel (ليل)," meaning night. "faayit (فايت)" as you can see if the progressive participle of "faat (فات)," meaning passing. "li-waHdi (لوحدي)" means "by myself."

And the last new line:

ولا قلبك حاسس باللي جرالي

"wala (ولا)" has a lot of meanings. Here is means "never" or "don't." you can see that it contains the word "la (لا)." But "wala (ولا)" can also mean "or" or "nor." As I said above, the verb "gara (جرى)," "to run," also has the idiomatic meaning of "to happen." Thus, "garaali (جرالي)" means "it happened to me" and "illi garaali (اللي جرالي)" meanings "that which happened to me" or "what happened to me," not as a question. So "he heart doesn't feel what's happened to me."

If you listen again, you should be able to understand most everything. Take advantage of the repetition in this song to memorize the lines. I will continue to reduce the amount of explanation over the next couple lessons so that you can take advantage of your new skills of comprehension.

Time to move on to Lesson 6

Lesson 4: هتمناله الخير

New Vocabulary

al-xeer (الخير) - goodness, good, wellness
al-farHa (الفرحة) - joy, happiness
ya3ni (يعني) - it means, I mean, you know, like (filler)
eh ya3ni? (ايه يعني؟) - so what?
3ashaan (عشان) - because, because of, in order to, for the sake of
3alashaan (علشان) - variant of
yaama (ياما) - so often!, so much!
maa been (ما بين) - between, in between
hawa (هوا) - love

itmanna (اتمنّى) - to wish, to hope for
faat (فات) - to pass
iftikir (افتكر) - to remember, to think
it'aabil (اتقابل) - to meet, to run into each other, to make acquaintance

In the last lesson using the song "lissah baHibbak (لسه بحبك)" by Tamer Hosni, we learned, among many things, to say that one is holding a grudge "shaayil min (شايل من)" someone. In this lesson featuring the song "hatmanna lu al-xeer (هتمنّاله الخير)" by Angham, you will certainly find a different sentiment." You guys are really accumulating some knowledge now, so I will be providing less and less explanation, allowing you to do your own reflection on and comprehension of the lyrics.

The title, "hatmanna lu al-xeer (هتمناله الخير)" can be translated as "I will wish him well," using the verb "itmanna (اتمنى)." "al-xeer (الخير)" is "goodness" or "good" or "wellness."

Listen to the song and follow along with the lyrics:

المتصفح الذي لديك لايدعم مشغل الأغاني. دبر حالك و روح نزل البرنامج أو .<A HREF="">اضغط هنا</A> لسماع الأغنية.

هاتمناله الخير .. إيه يعنى يفوتنى و ينسانى
مهو ياما إتحمل علشانى .. مهو ياما كان قلبه عليا

هاتمناله الخير .. مهو قبل ما يجرحنى داوانى
كان عمرى و كان هو زمانى .. كان قلبى و روحى و عنيا

هفتكرله حجات كتير كانت ما بينا
هافتكر .. أيام هوانا .. والخطاوى اللى فى طريقنا
لما كنا .. بنقسم الفرحه فى عيونا
هافتكرله حجات كتير .. حتمناله الخير

هاتمناله الخير من قلبى .. علشان يستاهل
دنا هتمنى تلف الدنيا تانى .. تانى و نتقابل

Get anything? Alright, let's get right to it:

هاتمناله الخير .. إيه يعنى يفوتنى و ينسانى

The phrase "eh ya3ni (ايه يعني)" is incredibly useful. "ya3ni (يعني)" is a common Arabic filler word that means literally "it means." The phrase "eh ya3ni (ايه يعني)" means "so what?" in English. "yafuutni (يفوتني)" uses the verb "faat (فات)," "to pass," but in this case to pass by or leave. So the whole sentence is "I will wish him well, so what if he's leaving me and forgetting me?"

ماهو ياما إتحمل علشانى

"maahu (ماهو)" is a tough but important aspect of Egyptian Arabic. "ma (ما)" is often used to add emphasis in various ways. For "maahu (ماهو)," it's something along the lines of "the fact is," or "but he's!" or something along those lines. It does not change the meaning of the sentence much, but adds a certain feeling in the way that our tone often adds feeling in Egnlish. "yaama (ياما)" also is used for adding emphasis. It is usually used with verbs and means like "oh how much!," "oh how often!," or "oh how great!" the verb "ittHammal (اتحمّل)" means "to bear" or "to endure." "3alashaan ()" is an essential Egyptian Arabic word that means "because," "in order to" or "for" in some contexts. "3alashaani (علشاني)" of course means "because of me" or "for me." How do we translate the sentence? Something like "but you know he's endured so much for my sake!"

Next line:

ماهو ياما كان قلبه عليا

Try to get the meaning from this best you can.

And the next one:

هاتمناله الخير .. ماهو قبل ما يجرحنى داوانى

You might be starting to understand. "'abl ma (قبل ما)" means before and is used before a verb. the verb "daawa (داوى)" means "to cure." So "before hurting me, he healed me." Get it? He made her life better before he made it worse, so why would she wish ill upon him?

Next line doesn't have much:

كان عمرى و كان هو زمانى .. كان قلبى و روحى و عينيا

"kaan (كان)" we know means "he was." These are pretty much just terms of endearments used to expressed how important someone is to you. Most of them should be known

And what's next?:

هفتكرله حجات كتير كانت ما بينا

The verb "iftikir (افتكر)" means "to remember" or "to think." "lu (له)" of course means for him, just like in Standard Arabic. "ma been (ما بين)" means "between or "in between" like the word "been (بين)." Put it together: "I'll remember for him there were many things between us."

Next line:

هافتكر .. أيام هوانا .. والخطاوى اللى فى طريقنا

"hawa (هوانا)" is another word for love. "xaTaawi (خطاوي)" is the plural of the word "xatwa (خطوة)," meaning "footstep." So she will remember "the days of our love and the steps in our path." See how "illi (اللي)" is being used here?

Some new vocab in the next line:

لما كنا بنقسم الفرحه فى عيونا

Remember "lamma (لما)" which means "when" in a non-interrogative sense. "inqasam (انقسم)" means "to share" and "al-farHa (الفرحة)" is a word for "joy" or "happiness." Sooo, "when we were sharing joy in our eyes."

Nothing new here:

هافتكرله حجات كتير .. هتمناله الخير


Let's keep going:

هاتمناله الخير من قلبى

Remember what "'albi (قلبي)" means?" If not, click to the dictionary in the right hand column.

And why does she?:

علشان يستاهل

Here's the word "3alashaan (علشان)" again. So it means, "because he deserves it."

Following that:

دنا هتمنى تلف الدنيا تانى

"dana (دنا)" is tricky. For now just know it means the same thing as "ana (انا)." This time "hatmanna (هتمنى)" must be translated as "I would hope" rather than "I will" because it is hypothetical as we will see. There is no real word to distinguish "will from "would" in all cases so just use judgment. "laff (لفّ)" means "to turn" or "to turn around." However "al-dunya bitliff (الدنيا بتلفّ)" is a proverbial sentence "things are always changing" and "it's a small world." So what she means here is that she hopes things will change or come around again (تاني).

So what will happen when that happens?:


The verb "it'aabil (اتقابل)" means "to meet together" or "to run into one another" or "to make each other's acquaintance." Point is, she would give it all a second try.

By now we are finding less and less familiar words. Go back and listen again to see if you can really hear all the words she's saying and feel what she means when she says "maahu"

ما فهمت كل حاجة؟ ايه يعني!؟ معلهش

You will continue to improve. Remember the important new words "ya3ni (يعني)" and "3ashaan (عشان)" and "iftikir (افتكر)."

The next lesson continues on the theme of wishes. Lesson 5: Moustafa Amar - Munaaya

Monday, March 17, 2008

Egyptian Arabic Vocabulary

Egyptian Arabic Vocabulary. Organized alphabetically in Arabic. Use browser "search in this page" function to search the list in English or Arabic.

This vocabulary is comprised of words from the lessons on this site as well as other important vocabulary drawn from Badawi's Dictionary of Egyptian Colloquial Arabic and AUC's Let's Chat in Arabic colloquial Arabic textbook.


to begin - ابتدى
never - أبداً
April - أبريل
son of a dog (son of a bitch) - ابن كلب
white - أبيض
to be happy, enjoy oneself - اتبسط
to graduate - اتخرج
to amuse onself - اتسلى
to imagine - اتصوّر
to be reassured - اتطعن
to have dinner - اتعشى
to learn - اتعلم
to have lunch - اتغدى
to watch - اتفرج على
come in, go ahead - اتفضل
to run into each other, meet - اتقابل
to talk, to speak - اتكلّم
two - اتنين
bus - اتوبيس
to be born - اتولد
to answer - اجابة
vacation - أجازة
better - أحسن
red - أحمر
we - احنا
brother - أخ (ج) اخوات
sister - أخت (ج) اخوات
news - أخبار
green - أخضر
as much as - أد
in front of - اُدام
here is, that's - أدي
to give - ادّي
how much? - أدّيش
four, Wednesday - أربعة
ground, earth, land - أرض (ج) أراضي
close, near - أريّب
how? - ازّاي
how are you? - ازيّك
blue - أزرق
disturbance - ازعاج
week - اسبوع (ج) أسابيع
sir, professor - أستاذ (ج) أساتذة
to exchange - استبدل
to rest, relax - استريّح
to consider charming, cute - استظرف
to borrow (except money) - استعار
to prepare oneself - استعدّ
to borrow (money) - استلف
to continue - استمرّ
to wait, to await - استنى
sorry - آسف
sorry for - آسف على
name - اسم (ج) اسامي
diarrhea - اسهال
black - اِسوِد
to miss, long for someone - اشتاق ل
before, in front of - أصاد
because, origin - أصل
to add - أضاف
upset stomach - اضطراب في مِعْدة
yellow - أصفر
August - اُغسطس
song - أغية (ج) أغاني
to remember, to think - افتكر
form of address, yes - افندِم
economics, the economy - اقتصاد
less - أقلّ
October - أكتوبر
food - أكل
be serious - اكلّم جد
certainly, for sure - أكيد
except, less - إلّا
both - الاتنين
next week - الاسبوع الجاي
last week - الاسبوع اللي فات
heart - ألب
to join - التحق ب
thank God! - الحمد لله
what time is it? - الساعة كام
next year - السنة الجاية
in the morning - الصُبح
you're welcome - العفو
one thousand - الف (ج) آلاف
thank you very much (a thousand thanks) - ألف شكر
which, that which - اللي
whatever you like - اللي يعجِبك
tonight - الليلة
this time - المرة دي
today - النهارده
mother - أم
yesterday - امبارِح
but? then? - اُمّال
test, examination - امتحان
when? - امتى
matter, affair - أمر (ج) أمور
I leave it to god - أمري لله
America - أمريكاني (ج) أمريكان
constipation - امساك
if - اِن
God willing, hopefully - ان شاء الله
me - انا
to enjoy oneself - انبسط
you (masculine) - انت
you (feminine) - انتي
you (plural) - انتو
English - انجليزي
Miss - آنسة
to subtract, deduct - انقص
people, relatives - أهل (ج) أهالي
greetings - أهلاً وسهلاً
here are (plural) - أهم
here is (masculine) - أهو
here is (feminine) - أهي
Europe - أوروبا
a master, skilled worker - أوسطى
room - اوضة
god forbid, don't you dare, don't (something) - أوعى
first - أوّل
very, a lot - أوي
don't (command) - اياك
what? - ايه
so what? - ايه يعني؟
yes, yeah - أيوه
how - إزّاي
to be at ease, to be comfortable, to be content, to relax - ارتاح


present tense marker - ب
with, in - ب
door, gate - باب (ج) أبواب
sir, pasha, form of address - باشا
form of address, engineer - باشمهندس
to sell - باع
remainder - باقي
exactly - بالظبط
on the contrary - بالعكس
at night - باليل
unpleasant, sucky - بايخ
he/it seems - باين علىه
of, belonging to, marker of possession - بتاع
woman hunter, womanizer - بتاع نسوان
of, belonging to (feminine) - بتاعة
of, belonging to (plural) - بتوع
seriously - بجد
I love you - بحبك
for something to begin - بدا
beginning - بداية
early - بدري
suit (like for a man) - بدلة (ج) بِدل
I want (lebanese) - بدّي
oranges - برتقان
an orange - برتقانة
orange (the color) - برتقاني
a cold (like the disease) - بَرْد
program - برنامج (ج) برامج
outside - بره
ten piasters - بريزة
but, only just - بس
quickly!, fastly - بسرعة
slowly - بِشويش
to look at - بصّ على
to look at - بصّ ل
potatoes, fried potatoes, french fries, fried potato sandwich - بطاطس
slow - بطئ
to send - بعت
after - بعد
afternoon - بعد الضهر
to get away from - بعد عن
and after that - بعد كده
after that - بعدين
far - بعيد
to be, to become, to get, to remain - بقى
grocer - بقال
tip (monetary), bribe - بقشيش
how much? (money) - بكام
tomorrow - بكره
forget it, forget about it, don't bother - بَلاش
town, country - بلد (ج) بلاد
just fine (health), bomb - بمب, زي بمب
pink - بمبي
pants - بنطلون
purple - بنفسجي
by yourself - بنفسك
bank - بنك (ج) بنوك
brown - بنّي
doorman - بوّاب
a kiss - بوسة
steak - بوفتيك
information (written) - بيانات
beer - بيرة
white (plural) - بِيض
eggs - بَيض
white (fem) - بيضاء
an agg - بَيضة
between - بين
form of address, sir - بيه


revenge - تار
history, date - تاريخ
taxicab - تاكسي
third (ordinal) - تالت
second, another, again - تاني
to get lost, to be lost - تاه
under, downstairs - تحت
at your service - تحت أمرك
fat, overweight (literally thick) - تخين (ج) تخان
ticket (for an event) - تَذكرة (ج) تذاكر
ticket (for an event) - تزكرة
Good night! (literally wake up well) - تصبح على خير
come (to a male) - تعالى
come (to a female) - تعالي
come (to a group) - تعالوا
to get tired - تِعِب
to tire someone - تَعَب
tired, fatigued - تعبان
details - تفاصيل
approximately - تقريباً
ice, snow - تلج
to ruin one's health - تلف صحته
television - تلفزيون
telephone - تليفون
always - تملي
tennis - تنس
never again! - توبة
figs - تين


to bring - جاب
to get hunger - جاع
university - جامعة
to answer - جاوب
coming - جاي
maybe - جايز
cheese - جبنة
Greek cheese, Feta cheese - جبنة رومي
cheese - جديد
wound - جرح (ج) جروح
bell, doorbell - جرس
waiter, garcon - جرسون
to run, to happen - جرى
to happen to - جرى ل
pair of shoes - جزمة (ج) جِزَم
newspaper, journal - جرنال
hungry - جَعان
geography - جغرافي
everyone (form of address) - جَماعة
camel - جمل (ج) جِمال
beautiful - جميل
wing - جناح (ج) أجنحة
funeral - جنازة
paradise, heaven - جنّ
next to, beside, at the side of - جنب
madness, craziness - جنون
fetus - جنين
garden - جنينة
Egyptian pound (currency) - جنيه (ج) جنيهات
to come - جه
to occur (to, like to dawn upon) - جه على البال
mood, weather, atmosphere - جو
letter, answer - جواب
husband - جوز
skirt - جونِلّة
within, inside - جوه
army - جيش (ج) جيوش


future tense marker - ح
form of address to someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca - حاج
thing - حاجة
yes sir! sure, right away - حاضر
currently - حالياً
to try - حاول
piece, place - حتة (ج) حتت
one, someone - حد
I, you, he is feeling, feel - حاسس
putting - حاطط
to love - حبّ
love - حبّ (ج) أحباب
darling, beloved - حبيب (ج) حبايب
until, even - حتى
someone, anyone - حد
one, someone, anyone - حدى
hot (for weather) - حر
free, independent - حرّ (ج) أحران
hotness, dial tone - حرارة
shame - حرام
shame on you - حرام عليك
feeling hot - حران
freedom - حرية
to feel - حسّ
bill, check, tally - حساب
to happen - حصل
to obtain - حصل على
you (polite, like spanish usted) - حضرتك
to embrace, to hold in ones arms - حضن
embrace, arms - حضن (ج) أحضان
to put - حطّ
good luck - حظ سعيد
to memorize - حفظ
party - حفلة
truth - حقيقة
to tell, to say - حكى
story - حكاية
government - حكومة
to dream - حِلِم
dream - حِلم (ج) أحلام
sweet, pretty - حلو
ass, donkey, asshole - حمار
bathroom, turkish bath - حمام
swimming pool - حمام سباحة
red (female) - حمراء
around, about - حوالي
life - حياة
wall - حيطة (ج) حيطان


to be afraid, to fear - خاف
to be scared of - خاف من
uncle - خال (ج) أخوال
completely, very (in negative sense), at all - خالص
to betray, to cheat on someone - خان
scared - خايف
to take - خد
to deceive, to go behind someone's back - خدع
service, anything (like need anything?) - خدمة
to go out, to exit - خرج
autumn, fall - خريف
to lose - خِسِر
green (plural) - خضر
green (feminine) - خضراء
to be finished - خِلِص
to finish - خلّص
to let, may (someone) - خلى
that's it, it's over - خلاص
imagination, fantasy - خيال


to melt, to fall in love - داب
to fall in love with - داب في
to taste - داق
dizzy - دايخ
always - دايماً
to enter - دخل
study, studying - دراسة
to chat, discuss - دردش
chat - دردشة
to teach - درّس
to pay - دفع
doctor - دكتور (ج) دكاترة
now - دلوقتي
blood - دم
world, everyone - دنيا
this, that (masculine) - ده
gold - دهب
gold (color), golden - دهبي
to make something melt - دوّب
floor (in a building) - دور (ج) أدوار
to look for, to search for - دوّر على
noise - دوشة
invitation - دوعة
these, those - دول
dollar - دولار (ج) دولارات
medicine, treatment, cure - دوى
antacid, digestive medicine - دوا مهضّم
this, that (feminine) - دي
December - ديسمبر
religion - دين (ج) أديان


coming back, returning - راجع
man - راجل (ج) رجالة
to go, to leave - راح
going to - راح
opinion - راي (ج) آراء
going to, going, gonna - رايح
Lord - ربّ
one-fourth, a forth, quarter - ربع
possibly, m aybe - ربمّا
Our Lord, God (especially for Christians) - ربّنا
God bless this marriage - ربّنا تمّم بخير
Spring - ربيع
to come back, to return - رِجِع
a trip - رحلة
cheap, inexpensive - رخيص
rice - رز
thesis, essay - رسالة
thin, skinny - رُفيّع
to dance - رقص
to ride - ركب
to throw, to throw away - رمى
gray - رمادي
soul - روح
to go home - روّح
to send home - روّح
prescription - روشِتّة
Greek - رومي
20 piasters - ريال
a smell, odor - ريحة (ج) روايح
boss - ريّس


to visit - زار
to study - ذاكر
yoghurt - زبادي
butter - زبدة
crowding - زحمة
blue (plural) - زرق
blue (female) - زرقاء
to get angry - زِعِل
to anger - زعل
angry, irritated, aggravated - زعلان
intelligent - زكي
time, past - زمان
he'll be here soon - زمانه جاي
colleague, classmate - زميل
female colleague, way to refer to girl indicating she's not your girlfriend - زميلة
to become bored - زِهِق
like - زي
oil (not gasoline) - زيت
olive oil - زيت زيتون
olives - زيتون


to leave behind, to abandon, to let - ساب
plain (said of coffee) - سادة
to travel - سافر
to drive - ساق
to help, to assist - ساعد
cold (like a soup or drink) - شاعقة
hour, watch, clock - ساعة
residing in, living in, resident - ساكن (ج) سكان
to ask - سأل
hearing, listening to - سامع
second (time) - سانية (ج) سواني
September - سبتمبر
blackboard - سبورة
woman - ست
housewife - ست بيت
to wander, to go astray - سرح
speed, quickness - سرعة
to steal - سرق
pleasure - سرور
quick, fast - سريع
to make happy - سَعَد
cigarette - سجارة
(ج) سجاير
embassy - سفارة
culture - سقافة
sugar - سُكر
secretary - سكرتيرة
to reside - سِكِن
silence - سكوت
peace, a greating - سلام
stairs - سِلّم
to greet - سلّم على
offensive, lame, jerky, douchey - سمج
to pardon, to forgive - سمح
to hear, to listen to - سمع
broker (like for finding an apartment), middleman, agent - سمسار
(ج) سماسرة
fish - سمك
sandwich - سندويش
year - سنة سنين
easy - سهل
easiness - سهولة
question - سؤال
(ج) أسئلة
market - سوق (ج) أسواق
together - سوى
wanderer - سواح
driver - سواق
sir, mr. - سي
politics - سياسة
sir, mr. - سيد
cinema, movie theatre - سينما


street - شارع (ج) شوارع
clever, smart, good boy! - شاطر
to see - شاف
to carry, to remove - شال
tea - شاي
seeing - شايف
carrying, holding, bearing - شايل
holding something against someone - شايل من
window - شبّاك (ج) شبابيك
winter - شتاء
sever, violent, awesome (like a good thing) - شديد
(ج) شداد
Good morning! - صباح الخير
Good morning (response to صباح الخير meaning good morning) - صباح النور
to drink, to smoke - شِرِب
company - شركة
chess - شطرنج
work - شُغل
apartment, flat - شقة (ج) شقق
thank you - شكراً
to suffer, to complain - شكى
5 piasters - شِلِن
clique, group, gang - شلة (ج) شلل
left, north - شمال
sun - شمس
bag - شنطة (ج) شُنَط
month - شهر (ج) شهور
what (lebanese) - شو
look! - شوف
desire, love - شوق
a little, somewhat, slowly - شويّة


soap - صابون
bar of soap - صابونة
friend, patron, owner - صاحب (ج) أصحاب
waking up - صاحي
piaster - صاغ
to make good, to reconcile - صالح
hall - صالة
to become, to start to - صار
morning - صباح
good morning - صباح الخير
good morning - صباح الفل
good morning - صباح الورد
response to good morning - صباح النور
patience - صبر
correct, right? - صحيح
to wake up, awaken - صحى
to wake someone up - صحّى
headache - صُداع
to spend (money) - صرف
hard, difficult - صعب
difficulty - صعوبة
small, young - صُغيّر
yellow (plural) - صفر
yellow (feminine) - صفراء
salad - صلاطة
sandal - صندل (ج) صنادل
sound, voice, vote - صوت
(ج) أصوات
picture - صورة
(ج) صُوَر


officer - ضابط
to laugh, to smile - ضحك
to hit, to rink - ضرب
necessary - ضروري
to hold, to hug, to grab - ضمّ
to reassure - ضمّن
noon - ضهر
guest - ضيف (ج) ضيوف


to fly - طار
fresh - طازة
to be long, to last, to go on - طال
student - طالب (ج) طلبة
fine then, alright then, ok then, then - طب
chalk - طباشير
to cook - طبخ
of course, naturally - طبعاً
table - طرابيزة
way - طريق (ج) طرق
falafel - طعمية
ashtray - طفاية
to request, to dial - طلب
to go up, to ascend, to rise - طِلِع
tomatoes - طماطم
throughout - طول
as long as - طول ما
airplane - طيارة
fine, ok, alright - طيب
bird - طير (ج) طيور


officer - ظابط
oppressive, unjust - ظالم
pleasant, charming - ظريف
to oppress, to wrong - ظلم


on, upon - ع
on, upon - عا
usually - عادةً
knowing - عارف
knowing - عالم
to want, to need - عاز
in love, lover - عاشق
what's up? - عامل ايه؟
high - عالي
to swim, to float - عام
colloquial - عامية
wanting, want - عايز
wanting, want - عاوز
to please, to be pleasing to - عجب
old, elderly - عجوز
to count - عدّ
number - عدد (ج) اعداد
Arabic, Arab - عربي
car - عربية
to know - عرف
bride, doll - عروسة (ج) عرايس
groom - عريس
broad - عريض
honey - عسل
soldier - عسكري
dinner - عشاء
because, for - عشان
love - عشق
to love, to adore - عِشِق
juice - عصير
broken, out of order - عطلان
great - عظيم
furniture - عفش
you're welcome, pardon - عفواً
mind - عقل
opposite - عكس
can, box - علبة (ج) عِلَب
science - علم
(ج) علوم
on upon - على
on the mind - على البال
at the expense of - على حساب
straight on, right away, from now on - على طول
at once, all of a sudden - على غفلة
as you wish - على كيفك
I have to (do something) - عليّ
uncle, form of address - عم (ج) أعمام
building - عمارة
age, lifetime, life - عمر
I've never - عمري ما
to do, make - عمل
generally - عموماً
about - عن
grapes - عنب
when necessary - عند اللزوم
address - عنوان
bread - عيش
family - عيلة
eye - عين (ج) عيون


to be away, to be absent, to be missing - غاب
dark (colors) - غامق
mostly - غالباً
precious, valuable - غالي
lunch - غداء
betrayal - غدر
passion, love - غرام
strange, weird, stranger - غريب (ج) غرباء
to wash - غسل
wrong (inanimate) - غلط
mistaken - غلطان
a mistake - غلطة
to sing - غنّى
rich - غني (ج) أغنياء
other than - غير


so - ف
in - ف
to pass, to go by - فات
to pass by - فات على
open, light (colors) - فاتح
mouse - فأر (ج) فيران
left, remaining - فاضل
free (as in having time for) - فاضي
remembring - فاكر
fruit - فاكهة
passing - فايت
February - فبراير
to open - فتح
emptiness, void - فراغ
happy, joyous - فرحان
to get happy - فِرِح
joy, happiness - فرحة
French - فرنساوي
dress - فستان (ج) فساتين
class, classroom, season - فصل (ج) فصول
semester - فصل دراسي
literary Arabic, modern standard Arabic, "the most eloquent, highest" Arabic - فصحى
to remain, to be left - فضل
to prefer - فضّل
silver, coin - فضة
breakfast - فطار
to have breakfast - فطر
really, actually, truly - فِعلاً
poor unfortunate guy - فقري
poor - فقير (ج) فقراء
to thinkg about - فكّر في
idea, thought - فكرة
(ج) أفكار
change (money) - فكة
money - فلس
(ج) فلوس
hotel - فندق
(ج) فنادق
to understand - فهم
above, upstairs - فوق
beans, fava beans, fava bean sandwich - فول
in - في
at the beginning - في الأوّل
really, actually - في الحقيقة
film, movie - فيلم (ج) أفلام
where? - فين
there is - فيه


to meet - قابل
can, able to - قادر
sitting - قاعد
to say - قال
to get up - قام
to cash, to collect (money) - قبض
before - قبل
as much as - قد
old (not people), ancient - قديم
how much? - قدّ أيش
in front of - قُدام
to be able to - قدر
to read - قرا
pills - قراص
to get close - قرّب
piaster (unit of currency) - قرش (ج) قروش
shark - قرش
(ج) قروش
close, near - قريّب
before, in front of - قصاد
train - قطر
to sit - قعد
heart - قلب (ج) قلوب
to undress, to take off (clothing) - قلع
pen - قلم (ج) القلام
moon - قمر
coffee - قهوة
Turkish coffee - قهوة تركي
strong, powerful - قوي
very, very much - قوي


writer, author - كاتب
cafeteria, low-scale restaurant/hangout - كافتيريا
everyone, all the people - كافة الناس
how much? - كام
to be - كان
kebab - كباب
big, large - كبير
book - كتاب (ج) كتب
to write - كتب
cute (little kid) - كتكوت
a lot, many - كتير
like this, like that, this, so - كده
notebook - كراسة
to repeat - كرّر
chair, seat - كرسي (ج) كراسي
to earn, to gain - كِسِب
to break - كسر
lazy - كسلان
doctor examination - كشف
enough - كفاية
to eat - كل
all, each, every - كلّ
dog - كلب (ج) كلاب
to call (on the phone) - كلّم
word - كلمة
college - كلية
also, as well, too, more, in addition - كمان
to finish, to complete, to go on - كمّل
church - كنيسة
good - كويس
very nice - كويس خالص
bag - كيس
kilogram - كيلو
chemistry - كيمياء


no - لأ
wearing - لابس
must, gotta - لازم
suitable for - لايق ل, لايق على
to wear - لبس
milk - لبن
until - لحد
to lick - لَحَس
moment - لحظة
meat - لحمة
delicious, tasty, sweet - لذيذ
must, gotta - لازم
to find, to meet - لاقى
still, yet - لسه
necessity - لزوم
pleasant, nice - لطيف
to play - لعب
language - لغة
good bargain - لُقطة (ج) لُقَط
to find - لقى
but - لكن
when (non-interrogative) - لمّا
lamp - لمبة
to touch - لمس
lemons - لمون
if - لو
pardon, if you please, if you permit - لو سمحت
if not for - لولا
night - ليلة
why? - ليه


to die - مات
March - مارس
ok, fine, it works, ca va - ماشي
there is not - مافيش
what's up with you, what's wrong with you? - مالك
mango - مانجة
objection - مانع (ج) موانع
I'm not - مانيش
he/it's not - ماهواش
May - مايو
congratulations - مبروك
happy, content - مبسوط
late - متأخّر
museum - متحف
thanks, thankful - متشكر
example - مثال (ج) أمثلة
for example - مثلاً
conversation - محادثة
lecture - محاضرة
conservative - محافظ
respectable - محترم
probable - محتمل
magazine - مجلة
needing, in need of - محتاج
tripping over oneself, stupefied - محتاس
local - محلّي
madam - مدام
trainer, instructor - مدرّب
school - مدرسة (ج) مدارس
director - مدير
time, once - مرّة
my wife - مراتي
jam - مربّى
illness - مرض (ج) أمراض
exhausted - مرهق
sick, patient (at a hospital) - مريض (ج) مرضى
Good evening! - مسا الخير
traveling, gone on a trip - مسافر
example - مسال (ج) أمسلة
matter, question - مسألة (ج) مسائل
ready, prepared - مستعدّ
for example - مسلاً
drunk, stoned, intoxicated - مسطول (ج) مساطيل
unfortunate, poor, wretched - مسكين (ج) مساكين
responsible, an official - مسؤول
not - مش
longing - مشتاق
busy, preoccupied - مشغول
not bad - مش بطال
incredible, unreasonable - مش معقول
to leave, to go, to walk - مشى
Egypt - مصر
Egyptian - مصري
airport - مطار
rain - مطر
restaurant - مطعم (ج) مطاعم
right, just right - مظبوط
with - مع
stomach - معدة
guest at a party - معزوم (ج) معازيم
reasonable - معقول
nevermind - معلش
spoon, spoonful - معلقة (ج) معالق
information - معلومات
supposed to - مفروض
useful, beneficial, fruitful - مفيد
there is not - مفيش
in advance - مقدّم
place - مكان
desk, office - مكتب (ج) مكاتب
library, books store - مكتبة
iron (for ironing clothes) - مكوة
ironing shop - مكوجي
to fill - ملى
million - مليون (ج) ملايين
excellent - ممتاز
nurse - ممرضة
maybe - ممكن
forbidden - ممنوع
pleasure - ممنونية
from, because of, part of, since - مِن
for quite some time - من بدري
about ...(time)... ago - من حوالي
for a long time, a long time ago - من زمان
without - من غير
please - من فضلك
from where? - منين
important - مهمّ
no matter how much/long - مهما
engineer - مهندس
present, available - موجود
bananas - موز
topic, subject - موضوع (ج) موضوعات
wish, desire - مُنية (ج) منا
who? - مين
water - ميّة


club - نادي (ج) نوادي
fire, hell - نار
people - ناس
to sleep - نام
intending to - ناوي إلى
sleeping - نايم
red wine - نبيتي
to succeed - نجح
to forget - نسى
to descened, to leave the house - نزل
half - نُصّ
clean - نضيف
to bounce - نطّ
self - نَفس
I wanna - نِفسي
to negate - نفى
to subtract - نقّص
number - نِمرة (ج) نِمَر
day - نهار
time, instance - نوبة
light - نور (ج) أنوار
light of the eye - نور العين
kind, type - نوع (ج) أنواع
November - نوفمبر
sleep, sleeping - نوم


future tense marker - ه
give!, hand it over!, bring it here! - هات
lady, form of address - هانم
wonderful - هايل
to beat up - هبد علقة
clothes - هدوم
pyramid - هرم (ج) أهرام
to joke - هزّر
they - هم
here - هِنا
there - هِناك
cheers! - هنيّا
he, it (masculine) - هو
to love - هوى
air - هوا
love - هوى
she, it (feminine) - هي

and - و
one - واحد
wide - واسع
low (derogatory towards people) - واطي
standing - واقف
eating - واكل
reply to تصباح على خير meaning goodnight - وانت من اهله
boy - واد
by myself - وَحدي
by himself - وحده
bad, ugly - وحش
late - وخري
to bring, to convey - ودى
behind - ورا
to show - ورى
flower - وردة (ج) ورود
paper - ورق (ج) أوراق
dirty - وسخ
among - وسط
downtown - وسط البلد
face - وشّ
to arrive - وصل
to bring someone, to drop someone off - وصّل
time - وقت (ج) أوقات
to stand, to stop - وقف
or, neither, nor, not, don't, never - ولا
never - ولا يوم
lighter - ولاعة
I swear, I swear to God, swear to God? - ولله
free time - وقت فراغ
with - ويّا


hey everyone - يا جماعة
if only, I hope - يا ريت
wow - يا سلام
hey man! - يا عم
Japanese - ياباني
let's, let's go - يالله
so much, so many times!, how often! - ياما
oh my! - يانا
oh! - ياه
hand, arm - يد (يد) ايدي
it means, you know, I mean, like (filler) - يعني
what does it mean? - يعني ايه؟
possibly, could - يِمكن
right (directional) - يمين
January - يناير
tangerines - يوسفندي
July - يوليو
June - يونيو
Tuesday - يوم الاتنين
Sunday - يوم الأحد
Friday - يوم الجمعة
Thursday - يوم الخميس
Saturday - يوم السبت

Lesson Three: لسه

New Vocabulary

lissah (لسه) - still, yet
nifsi (نفسي) - I wanna
maHtaag (محتاج) - needing
'aadir (قادر) - can, able to
shaayil (شايل) - carrying, holding, bearing
shaayil min (شايل من) - holding something against someone
bas (بس) - but, just, only
'uSaad (قصاد) - before, in front of

Hass (حسّ) - to feel
samaH (سمح) - to pardon, to forgive
laa'a (لاقى) - to find, to meet
Haka (حكى) - to tell, to speak
irtaaH (ارتاح) - to be at ease, to be comfortable, to be content, to relax
ta3ab (تَعَب) - to tire someone

In the last lesson, we examined the song "laazim a3iish (لازم أعيش)" by Sherine and learned the useful verb "3aayiz (عايز)," meaning "want" and the modal "laazim (لازم)," meaning "gotta" or "must." In this lesson we will learn a useful adverb, "lissa (لسه)," meaning "still," along with another modal "nifsi (نفسي)," meaning "I wanna." The singer of this song is Tamer Hosni, a very popular Egyptian singer who became famous from his duet album with Sherine. The title of the song, "lissa baHibbak (لسه بحبك)," means "I still love you" or "I'm still loving you." The word "lissa (لسه)" means "still," replacing the verb from Standard Arabic "ما زال" in this function. "lissa (لسه)" is not conjugated for person, gender or number, so "ana lissa, anti lissa, huwwa lissa" etc.

Listen to the song and follow along with the lyrics below:

تامر حسني - لسه بحبك

لسه بحبك لسه بحسك
أنا محتجلك نفسى أضمك

بس أنا قلبى شايل منك مش قادر يسمحك
كل ما أجى أصلحك ألاقى قصادى جرحك


نفسى أحكيلك نفسى أشكيلك على اللى تعبنى منك ليك
قلت أنا حبعد مش قادر أبعد نفسى أرتاح فى حضن عينيك
The first verse:

لسه بحبك لسه بحسك

Based on what we learned in the last lesson, you should be able to understand this sentence: "lissa baHibbak, lissa baHissak (لسه بحبك لسه بحسك)" means "I still love you, I still feel you." Listen carefully and notice that he is grammatically addressing a male. This is not uncommon in Arabic music for a male to sing to another grammatical male, and should be taken as a gender neutral object rather than thinking the song as any homosexual overtones.

The next line:

أنا محتاجلك نفسى أضمك

"ana maHtaag lak (انا محتاج لك)" means "I need you." "maHtaag (محتاج)" means "needing" or "in need of." "nifsi (نفسي)" of course is the aforementioned modal meaning "I wanna" or "I wish to" do something that you currently aren't or can't. In this case, he says "nifsi aDammak (نفسي أضمك)," "I wanna hold you."

Next line:

بس أنا قلبى شايل منك

The word "bas (بس)" is extremely important in Egyptian Arabic. It means "but" replacing standard Arabic "" and also means in some case "only" or "just." But what? He says "ana 'albi shaayil minnak (انا قلبي شايل منك)." "shaayil (شايل)" takes the same form as "3aayiz (عايز)," and means "carrying" or "holding" or "bearing." However, "shaayil min (شايل من)" someone means to "have a grudge," much like "to hold against" someone in English. So he is saying, "but my heart holds a grudge against you."

This is why:

مش قادر يسمحك

The verb "'aadir (قادر)" is another useful verb. It also takes the same form as "3aayiz (عايز)" and "shaayil (شايل)" as you can see, and means "can." If we know the verb "samaH (سمح)" means "to pardon" or "to forgive," we can see this line means "I can't forgive you."

Why can't he forgive?:

كل ما أجى أصلحك ألاقى قصادى جرحك

"kullima (كلما)" is the same as in Standard Arabic, and means "whenever." If we know the verb "SalaH (صلح)" means "to make good" or "to reconcile," then we understand the sentence as "whenever I come to make good with you." What happens? The verb "laa'a (لاقى)" means "to find" or "to meet." "'uSaad (قصاد)" means "before" or "in front of" so "'uSaadi (قصادي)" means "before me." He finds before him the all-familiar "garH (جرح)," wound, and thus the sentence means "whenever I come to make good with you I find before me you wound," ie "the wound you left."


"Habiibi (حبيبي)" means "my darling" or "my beloved." Learn it.


نفسى أحكيلك نفسى أشكيلك على اللى تعبنى منك ليك

"nifsi iHkii lak (نفسي احكي لك)" means "I wanna tell you." The verb "Haka (حكى)" means to tell. "nifsi ishkii lak (نفسي اشكي لك)" means "I wanna complain to you." "shaka 3ala (شكى على)" means "to complain about" something. So "3ala illi ta3ibni minnak (على اللي تعبني منك)" means "about that which made me tired of you." All in all he says, "I wanna tell you, I wanna complain to you about that which tired me of you."

And then:

قلت أنا هبعد مش قادر أبعد

Understand? And finally:

نفسى أرتاح فى حضن عينيك

This should be easily understood based on the vocab accumulated thus far. It means "I want to be at ease in the embrace of your eyes." XalaaS! Now you understand everything in this song. Go back and read along as you listen and understand the dilemma that Tamer faces.

From this song you should have learned many important words such as "nifsi (نفسي)," "'aadir (قادر)," and "lissah (لسه)." Review this song and listen to it order to ingrain the structures and pronunciations into your head.

قادر تفهم اكتر؟

Move onto Lesson 4

Lesson Two: لازم

New Vocabulary

laazim (لازم) - must, gotta, it is necessary that
3ayza (عايزا) - I, you, she wants (female)
baHibb (بحب) - I love, I'd like to
'awiy (أوي) - very, a lot
Haaga (حاجة) - thing
'albi (قلبي) - my heart
garH (جرح) - wound
akiid (أكيد) - for sure, certainly
al-dunya (الدنيا) - the world, everyone
aywah (أيوه) - yes, yeah
ha (ه or ح) - future tense marker, will
b- (ب) - present tense marker

masha (مشى) - to leave, to go, to walk
3aash (عاش) - to live
istana (استنى) - to wait for, to await

In the last lesson we examined the song "ma xalaaS (ما خلاص)" by Samira Said, and we learned many new basics of Egyptian Arabic. So now that we know a few things about Egyptian Arabic, the different prefixes for verbs, the differences in pronunciation and some different vocabulary, let's see how easy it is to understand another song. The following song is by Sherine Ahmed and is entitled "laazim a3iish (لازم أعيش)" which means "I gotta live." We know that in Standard Arabic to say that something is necessary we may use the phrase "من اللازم" and this is the same in principle. However, it is much simpler; to communicate the meaning of something being necessary one must just say "laazim (لازم) ..."

Listen to and watch the video and read the lyrics below it:

شيرين أحمد - لازم أعيش

عايزة ألملم قلبي وأحضن نفسي وأمشي بعيد
عايزة أطيب جرحي أيوة هطيب جرحي أكيد

عايزة حبك يبعد عني عايزة جرحك يخرج مني
عايزة حبك يبعد عني عايزة جرحك يخرج مني

لازم أعلم قلبي أنا يقسا ولازم ينسا ولازم أعيييش

كنت بعيشلك كل سنيني قلت زماني هعيشه معاك
كنت بحبك أوي ياحبيبي لما بتبعد بستناك

كنت بحس معاك حجات تانية كنت ف عيني كل الدنيا
كنت بحس معاك حجات تانية كنت ف عيني كل الدنيا

لازم أعلم قلبي انا يقسا ولازم ينسا ولازم أعيييش

The first verse:

عايزة ألملم قلبي وأحضن نفسي وأمشي بعيد

Once again, we can see this song begins with the familiar word "3ayza (عايزة)," meaning to want. What does she want to do? The verb "lamlam (لملم)" means to "pack up" or "gather up". Don't worry about learning this, just know that she says "alamlim 'albi (الملم قلبي)." "'albi (قلبي)" is the familiar Standard Arabic word "qalbi (قلبي)," which means my heart, only the "qaff (ق)" is pronounced as a "hamza (ء)." So she says she wants to "pack up her heart" and what else? The verb "HaDan (حضن)" mean to embrace. Again don't worry about this for now, just see that she says "aHDan nafsi (نفسي)," which means "embrace myself" or embrace "my soul." "nafs (نفس)" has both of these connotations. Finally she says "wa amshi ba3iid (وامشي بعيد)." We know from standard Arabic that the verb "masha (مشى)" means to walk. This is true in colloquial Arabic as well, but actually it also means "to go" or "to leave." So here she is saying she wants to "go far away." All in all, she says "I wanna gather up my heart, embrace my soul, and go far away" giving us a pretty clear image of what she wants to do.

What's next?:

عايزة أطيب جرحي أيوة هطيب جرحي أكيد

"aTayyab garHi (أطيب جرحي)" means "I heal my wound," which makes sense since "Tayyib (طيب)" means "good" or "fine." Next she says "aywah (أيوه)," which in Egyptian Arabic means "yes" or "yeah," taking the place of Standard Arabic "(نعم)." "haTayyib garHi akiid (هطيب جرحي أكيد)" is the future tense of course: "I will heal my wound for sure." "akiid (أكيد)" means "for sure" or certainly and is a useful piece of vocabulary. So the whole line means, "I want to heal my wound, yes, I will heal my wound for sure."

Already it's getting easier. Here's the next line:

عايزة حبك يبعد عني عايزة جرحك يخرج مني

This line is pretty easy to understand. See if you can figure it out. Remember that the verb "ba3ad 3an (بعد عن)" means "to get far from."

Here comes the chorus:

لازم أعلم قلبي أنا يقسا ولازم ينسا ولازم أعيش

We've already established that "laazim (لازم)" means "must" or "gotta," so we know that "laazim a3allam 'albi (لازم أعلم قلبي)" means "gotta teach my heart." Here she says "teach my heart to be tough." The verb "'asa (قسى)" means "to be cruel" or "to be hard" or "to be tough." So "a3allam 'albi yi'sa (أعلم قلبي يقسى)" means "teach my heart to be tough." Next we see "laazim yansa (لازم ينسى)," meaing "it must forget," we assume referring to her heart as an extension of herself. And finally, "laazim a3iish (لازم أعيش)," "I gotta live." So the chorus is "Gotta teach my heart to be tough, and it's gotta forget, and I gotta live!"

One more verse to go:

كنت بعيشلك كل سنيني

Here we have the past progressive used again. "kunt ba3iish lak (كنت بعيش لك)," "I was living for you." "kull siniini (كل سنيني)," means "all my years." "siniin (سنين)" is the equivalent of Standard Arabic "سنوات". So the sentence means "I was living all my years for you."


قلت زماني هعيشه معاك

"'ult (قلت)" is of course the Egyptian pronunciation of "," "I said." "zamaani ha3iishuh ma3aak (زماني هعيشه معاك)" shouldn't be hard to understand, if but a little idiomatic. Sherine "topicalizes" "zamaani (زماني)," "my time," when it is actually the object of the sentence. So "zamaani ha3iishuh (زماني هعيشه)" means "my time, I will live it." Thus, the whole sentence is "I said that my time, I will live it with you."

Almost there:

كنت بحبك أوي ياحبيبي لما بتبعد بستناك

"kunt baHibbak (كنت بحبك)" of course means "I was loving you." If you haven't yet memorized "baHibb (بحب)," it is helpful to do so, because it means not just "I love" but "I'd like" as in "I'd like to have something to drink." The word "awiy (أوي)" is certainly Egyptian colloquial although it has roots in Standard Arabic. "awiy (أوي)" is the Egyptian pronunciation of Standard Arabic "qawiyy (قوي)," meaning "strong," but in colloquial it simply means "a lot" or "very," like the Standard Arabic "جداً." So she says "I loved you a lot, my darling." The second half of the sentence should still be seen as in the past because of "kunt (كنت)." She says "lama bitab3ad (لما بتبعد)" it means "when you were going far away." "lama (لما)" means when, but not as a question, and takes the place of Standard Arabic "عندما." After that she says "bastanaak (بستناك)." The verb "istana (استنى)" exists in Standard Arabic as well, meaning "to wait for," however, in Standard Arabic the verb "انتظر" and is absent in colloquial. The whole line, "when you were going away, I was waiting for you."

What else was she doing?:

كنت بحس معاك حجات تانية

The verb "Hass (حسّ)" in Egyptian Arabic means "to feel." There is no verb "شعر" like in Standard Arabic. "Haaga (حاجة)" in Egyptian Arabic does not mean "a need," but rather "a thing." The Standard Arabic word "شيء" has been replaced by "Haaga (حاجة)" completely. "Haagaat taaniyya (حاجات تانية)" then of course means "second things" or in this case "other things." So if the sentence means "I was feeling with you other things," we can say it is about equivalent to the English expression "I felt with you things I never felt before."

The last line:

كنت ف عيني كل الدنيا

Here there is a slight problem of context, but nothing that cannot be resolved. "kunt (كنت)" could mean "I was" or "you were," so we must look at the rest of the sentence to come to a conclusion. We see "fi 3ayni (في عيني)," which of course just means "in my eye" and "kull al-dunya (كل الدنيا)," which means "the whole world." The word "عالم" for "world" is not nearly as common as "dunya (دنيا)" in Egyptian Arabic. From this information, we can infer that "kunt fi 3ayni kull al-dunya (كنت في عيني كل الدنيا)" means "you were the whole world in my eyes."

Listen to the song again and read along to see how much you understand. You may be surprised at how much easier it is to understand now that you are equipped with some basic information. By now, you should be familiar with the essential pronunciation differences of Egyptian Arabic, as well as the way verbs are conjugated. Make sure to keep a list of all the important vocabulary differences. And remember:

لو عايزين تتعلموا لازم تسمعوا المسيقى كتير! هتفهموا كل حاجة في يوم اكيد! يالله تعالوا لأغنية تانية

Next lesson: Tamer Hosni - lissah baHibbak

Lesson One: خلاص

New Vocabulary

xalaaS (خلاص) - that's it
3aayiz (عايز) - want
faakir (فاكر) - remembering
taani (تاني) - again, another
bit'uul (بتقول) - you say
bititkallim (بتتكلّم) - to talk
eh (ايه) - what?
mish (مش) - not
illi (اللي) - which, that, that which

gah (جه) - to come
gaab (جاب) - to bring
ba3ad (بعد) - to get far away, to go away
nasa (نسى) - to forget
ba'a (بقى) - to be, to become, to get
3amal (عمل) - to do

For those who are familiar with Standard Arabic or a dialect of Arabic other than Egyptian, this song is ideal for illustrating many of the basic aspects of Egyptian Arabic that can be challenging if you have no experience with the dialect. However, if you learn a few basic points about Egyptian colloquial you will find that is it not so different from the version of Arabic that you know.

Pop music is one of the portals to the world of spoken Arabic. Music of the Arabic-speaking world is typically sung in dialects as opposed to Standard Arabic, and many singers regardless of origin sing in Egyptian dialect of Cairo due to the size of the Egyptian market and the relative familiarity that people have with this dialect. The song "ma xalaaS (ما خلاص)" by Samira Said is a case in point. Samira Said was born in Morocco but has since moved to Egypt to become one of the more successful pop artists in the Arab world today. The song's title, "ma xalaaS (ما خلاص)," contains the very common word "xalaaS (خلاص)," which means "that's it," or "it's over." It has both the connotations as "that's all" and "it's done" just like the phrase "that's it" in English. This word is not explicitly Egyptian but can be found much more in colloquial speech because saying "that's it" is a very idiomatic aspect of speech not found in written Arabic. The "ما" adds emphasis to the phrase to the effect of "it's soooo over" or something along those lines.

Listen to the song and enjoy this video. The complete lyrics are listed below the video:

سميرة سعيد - ما خلاص

ما خلاص عايز ايه منى ايه
ابعد بقى عنى ايه
حاول تفهمنى الماضى خلاص انساه

ما خلاص ايه جابك تانى ايه
ارتاح وانسانى ايه
واللى هييجى منك والله مانيش عايزاه

بتقول انا كنت زمان بهواك
بصراحه انا مش فاكراك
وبتتكلم عن ايه

ماخلاص راحت يا حبيبى عليك
عايز تحلم خليك
وعايزنى اعملك ايه

يا سلام بتحايل في ايه
وبتحلم بي ليه
لا اهدى شويه
ده خيالك راح لبعيد

وبلاش يخطر على بالك لا
ان انا راجعالك لا
ما تشوف بقى حالك
ده كلامك مش هيفيد

انت اللى بالبعد بادى
ودلوقتى عادى انى اقسى عليك
كل اللى هاين علي تشوفك عيني ولا تحن ليك

Even if you have lots of Arabic knowledge, you may not have understood much if you are unfamiliar with the Egyptian dialect. Don't worry, there are only some minor differences that interfere with your understanding of the song. Here I will explain line by line the first verse of the song and the chorus. The first line is as follows:

ما خلاص عايز ايه منى

The word "3aayiz (عايز)" follows the familiar pattern of (فاعل) from Standard Arabic, thus making it a kind of active participle carrying the meaning of a present tense verb in this case. So "3aayiz (عايز)" means "wanting," which depending on the context could be "I want," "you want," or "he wants." It takes the place of the standard Arabic verb "أراد," which does not exist as such in Egyptian Arabic. The word "eh (ايه)" is Egyptian for "what," taking the place of both "ما" and "ماذا" from Standard Arabic. As you can see the question word "eh" follows the verb "3aayiz" instead of preceding it. This is a particular characteristic of Egyptian Arabic; the question word almost always is found after the verb and usually at the end of the sentence. From context we infer that the phrase "3aayiz eh? (عايز ايه؟)" means "what do you want?" The last word of the sentence "minni (منى)" is the same as Standard Arabic "from me," but the reader may be confused to see a "ى" in place of the "ي." This is usually the case at the end of the word in Egyptian Arabic so you just have to get used to it. In all, the first sentence means "it's over, what do you want from me?" This may seem to be a lot of explaining for just one line of a song, but it's already illustrated several essential basics of Egyptian Arabic.

If we move to the next line:

ابعد بقى عنى

We find the word "ib3ad (ابعد)" meaning "get away!" or literally "go farther away." The next word "ba'a (بقى)" may sound strange, but actually it is the same word as the Standard Arabic verb "بقي" which means "to remain" or "to stay." The pronunciation is different because in Egyptian Arabic the "qaaf (ق)" is usually pronounced as a glottal stop, the equivalent of "hamza (ء)" in Standard Arabic. While the verb retains some aspect of its meaning "to remain," it is much more versatile and idiomatic in colloquial, taking on the connotations sometimes of the verb "to get" like "get away!" or also the verb "to be." Here it comes as a command, coupled with the verb "ib3ad 3anni (ابعد عني)" with the general meaning of "get away from me." "ba'a" is not easy to translate in Egyptian Arabic but know that it has the general connotations of "to be" but not always in the same sense.

The next line:

حاول تفهمنى الماضى خلاص انساه

Should not be terribly difficult for the Standard Arabic knower. "Haawal (حاول)" is the command "try" and "tifhamni (تفهمني)" means "you understand me," altogether meaning "try to understand me." Notice that the verbs are not bridged by the connector word "an (أنْ)" as in Standard Arabic. This word does not exist in colloquial and is not necessary. "al-maaDi xalaaS insaah (الماضي خلاص انساه) of course means "the past is over, forget it." Pay attention to the pronunciation of "insaah" and note the the direct object particle for "it" has no vowel after it. In colloquial all case markings have been dropped from words so they are not pronounced.

The following line:

ما خلاص ايه جابك تانى

May appear strange but is actually not very different from the basic standard Arabic that any beginner would know. The verb "gaabak (جابك)" is comprised of the verb "gaab (جاب)" and the direct object marker for you (masculine) "ak (ك)." For you (feminine) the marker would be "ik." Notice that in Egyptian dialect the "jiim (ج)" is pronounced as an English "g" sound. This is always the case, except for in a select few verbs imported from other languages containing a "j" sound. So the verb "gaab (جاب)" actually comes from the Standard Arabic "جاء ب" meaning to "come with" but really "to bring." When she says "eh gaabak? (ايه جابك؟)," we can now say that this means "what brought you?" "taani (تاني)" is the same as Standard Arabic "ثاني" meaning "second." The "thaa (ث)" is not pronounced in Egyptian Arabic. It usually becomes a "ta" in common words or older words, but newer words re-imported from standard or the outside usually us the "sa" pronunciation in place of "tha." "taani (تاني)" has many meanings in colloquial including "second," but in this case it means again. Hence, the line means "what brought you (to me or here) again?"

The next line is fairly straighforward:

ارتاح وانسانى

"irtaaH (ارتاح)" is a very common verb in Egyptian colloquial meaning "to be comfortable" or "to be at ease" or "to relax" or "to be content," maybe even "to take it easy" in the sense of "to calm down." Here she commands her ex-lover "irtaaH wa insaani (ارتاح وانساني)" to the effect of "relax and forget me," or something along these lines.

By contrast, the following line may not appear to even be Arabic, but when dissected you will see that it is in principle the same:

واللى هييجى منك والله مانيش عايزاه

"illi (اللى)" is actually the same word as the standard "الذي," except it is not conjugated for gender or number. It means "which" or "that which." "hayiigi (هييجي)" is comprised of "ha (ه sometimes ح)" which is the future marker similar to "sa (س)" in Standard Arabic and the verb "yiigi (ييجي)" which of course means "he/it comes." Notice that the "hamza (ء)" has once again been dropped and a long vowel "ي" has been inserted before the "giim" for ease of pronunciation. Put it all together and "illi hayiigi minnak (اللي هييجي منك)" means "that which will come/is coming from you." This could be what he is going to say or what he is going to bring or do. The second part of the line contains the very familiar phrase "wallahi (ولله)" meaning "I swear" or "I swear to God." "maaniish (مانيش)" sounds crazy, but actually is the equivalent of Standard Arabic "lastu (لست)" meaning "I'm not" or "I don't." It is comprised of "ma (ما)" meaning not, "ana (انا)" meaning "I," and the "sh (ش)" at the end. This "maa -x- sh" combination is used often for negation in Egyptian Arabic, and especially with verbs. This way of expressing "I'm not" can be used for all other pronouns as well. Finally, "3ayzaah" can be seen to be comprised of the now familiar "3aayiz (عايز)," only this time conjugated for feminine, and the direct object "ah (ه)" referring to the aforementioned "اللى هييجي منك." In total the sentence is revealed thusly to mean "and that which will come from you, I swear to God, I don't want it."

That's a lot of work for one little verse of a song. Now let's move on to the chorus:

بتقول انا كنت زمان بهواك

"bit'uul (بتقول)" is the equivalent of Standard Arabic "تقول" meaning "you say." Once again we see the the "q" becoming a glottal stop sound like "hamza." The "b- (ب)" is added to the beginning of verbs in the present tense verbs in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. But what does he say you ask? "ana kunt zamaan bahwaak (انا كنت زمان بهواك)" means "I used to love you at one time" or "I used to love you in the past." "zamaan (زمان)" means time but here means "a time" that is now past. "bahwaak (بهواك)" is of course the combination of present tense marker "b- (ب)" and the verb "ahwaak (اهواك)" meaning "I love you." "ana kunt (انا كنت)" means "I was," just like in Standard Arabic, giving the meaning here of "I used to." What we notice here, however, is we do not know exactly what this means. After "bit'uul" there is no "inn (إنّ)" like in standard Arabic. We don't know if she is saying that he said the quote "I used to love you" or she says that he says that she used to love him. Here we infer the latter because it is he who wants her back, but still the grammatical ambiguity remains.

The next line:

بصراحه انا مش فاكراك

Here we find one of the most important words in colloquial Egyptian, "mish." She says "ana mish fakraak (انا مش فاكراك)," meaning "I don't remember you." We already saw "maaniish (مش)" meaning "I'm not" and here is another variation. "mish (مش)" means "not" and is the equivalent of standard Arabic "ليس," but actually, is not conjugated for person or number. Thus "ana mish," "anta mish" and so forth. "fakraak (فاكراك)" is comprised of "faakir (فاكر)" the participle form once again meaning "to remember," and the direct object marker for "you." This literally means "remembering you" but in the discourse of love it has the connations of "thinking of you" or "still being in love," juxtaposed with "naasi (ناسي)" which means "forgetting" or "no longer loving." Altogether the line "bi-SaraaHa ana mish fakraak (بصراحة انا مش فاكراك)" means "quite frankly, I'm not remembering you," and while not easily translated the meaning is clear, she's done with him!

The next line may be easily understood now:

وبتتكلم عن ايه

We see "b- (ب)" + "titkallam (تتكلّم)" meaning "you are talking." This verb is the same as in Standard Arabic, but make note of the stress difference in the word "titkallam" vs. "tatakallam." Also we can see she says "bititkallam 3an eh? (بتتكلم عن ايه؟)," meaning "what are you talking about?"

The next line contains a useful colloquial idiom:

ماخلاص راحت يا حبيبى عليك

"raaHat (راحت)" is from the verb "raaH (راح)," which means "to go" or "to leave." This verb is sometimes found in standard Arabic but is more common in colloquial Arabic, completely replacing the verb Standard Arabic verb "ذهب," which for all intents and purposes does not exist in Egyptian Arabic. Samira says "raaHat ya Habiibi 3aleek (راحت يا حبيبى عليك)," meaning "you've lost it and you will never get it back" or "you missed your chance." Of course "raaHat 3aleek (راحت عليك)" literally means something like "it left on you" but just know the idiomatic meaning of this phrase. So the whole line means something like "it's over, you missed your chance."

The next line:

عايز تحلم خليك

Here "3aayiz taHlam (عايز تحلم)" meanings "you want to dream," however, we can see from context that it is a question, something like "you wanna dream?" "xalliik (خليك)" is a very important colloquial word, meaning "let you," or "may you." "xalla (خلى)" can be attached to any noun to mean "let (someone/something) be/do (something)." For example "xalliini a3iish (خليني اعيش)" means "let me live." In this case "xalliik" means "may you" like "go ahead." So, the whole line altogether means "you wanna dream? may you" or "you wanna dream? go ahead."

The last line of the chorus:

وعايزني أعمل لك ايه؟

Contains the familiar standard Arabic verb "عمل." However, this verb does not mean "to work" in colloquial, but rather, "to do" replacing standard Arabic "فعل." Thus when Samira says "3aayizni a3mal lak eh? (عايزني أعمل لك ايه؟)" it means "what do you want me to do for you?"

So, we can see that in Egyptian colloquial some letters have a different pronunciation and some words have different but related meanings. Other words have been completely replaced by new words specific to the dialect. Also, we can see that question words tend to be found at the end of the sentence as opposed to the beginning. Negation has been changed and simplified, and verbs have different tense markers. However, despite these myriad differences, the core vocabulary and structure of the language remains the same. Listen again and try to understand the second half of the song as well, see how much you've learned. Probably close to nothing, right! That's because there's still lots to learn about Egyptian Arabic. For a complete translation click here. But after a couple more songs, you'll see how fast you can begin to learn.

For more, go onto the next lesson, Lesson Two: "laazim a3iish (لازم أعيش)" by Sherine