Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lesson 9: إمتى حتعرف؟

New Vocabulary

imta (امتى) - when?
yalli (يللي) - you are the one who...
saami3 (سامع) - hearing, hear, listening
ghaltaan (غلطان) - mistaken, wrong
kalaam (كلام) - words, talk, speech
xaali (خالي) - empty
Haal (حال) - condition, situation, self
xayaal (خيال) - imagination
hamm (همّ) pl. humuum (هموم) - worry, anxiety, sorrow
damm (دمّ) - blood

fiDil (فِضِل) - to remain, to stay, to continue, to be left, to keep on
xalla (خلّى) - to make (something/someone) do/be, to let
sa'al (سأل) - to ask
sa'al fi (سأل في) - to have concern for, to give a damn about
sharaH (شرح) - to explain, to elucidate
shaaf (شاف) - to see
xaaf (خاف) - to fear, to be afraid, to be scared
3aTaf 3ala (عطف على) - to sympathize with
xabba (خبّى) - to hide, to conceal

In Lesson 8, we found Nancy Ajram, a Lebanese pop star, singing in perfect Egyptian Arabic. In this lesson we find another non-Egyptian star, albeit a much older one, singing in the Egyptian dialect once again. Asmahan was one of the most prominent singers in Cairo during the 1930 and 1940s and was a contemporary of Oum Kalthoum. She was actually a Druze "princess;" her father had been a governor in the late Ottoman Empire. While her family was from the Druze regions of Lebanon and Syria, Asmahan moved to Cairo with her mother when she was young and eventually became a one of the most famous singers. Her real name was Amal al-Atrash and she was the sister of famous musician Farid al-Atrash. Her story is especially famous because she died very young in a mysterious car crash in 1944, similar to Princess Diana. Conspiracy theories swirl about this event because it is alleged she may have been assassinated because of ties with the Allied forces as a member of a prestigious Druze family.

Anyway, this song is from her last movie entitled "gharaam wa intiqaam (غرام وانتقام)" meaning "Passion and Revenge." She died before the taping finished. The song is called, "imta hat3arif (امتى حتعرف)," "When will you know?" Listen and read along before we dive in. Don't pay attention to the French subtitles. They aren't wrong per se, but they are not very literal and won't help you learn.



إمتى حتعرف إمتى إنّي بحبّك إنت
إمتى حتعرف إني بحبك إنت إنت إنت
إمتى حتعرف

(سامع؟.. الكلام إلك يا جارة)
(إنتّ بتكلمني؟)
(نعم؟.. لأ!.. غلطان يا بيي.. عمقروِش.. بحكي على حالي)

بناجي طيفك واتمنى أشوفك
لا يوم عطفت عليّ ولا انت سائل فيَّ
ولإمتى حتحيّر بالي وتزوّد همّي
يللي غرامك في خيالي وبروحي ودمي

(دكلاراسيون غرام هيدي إلك..)
(مالي فاهم عليك..)
(إنت مالك فهمان شي..انا فهمان)
(فهمان؟)
(انا فهمان)

فضلت اخبّي حبك، حبك بقلبي حبّك
فضلت أخبّي
وصبّره وواسيه والنار بترعى فيه
وخفت أقللك على حالي واشرح لك حبي
ليكون فؤادك مش خالي وتعذّب قلبي
يللي غرامك في خيالي وبروحي ودمي

خلتني أحبك واتمنى قربك
اسعدني يوم بلقاك ترحمني فيه برضاك
وتدوق غرامي اللي شرحته
أنا لك بعينيّ
ليكون فؤادك مش خالي وتعذّب قلبي
يللي غرامك في خيالي وبروحي ودمي

There's a lot of words here but it's not too difficult. Take a look:

إمتى حتعرف إمتى إنّي بحبّك إنت
إمتى حتعرف إني بحبك إنت إنت إنت
إمتى حتعرف

This chorus is easy enough. "imta (امتى)" is the interrogative word for "when" in Egyptian Arabic. It might seem different but is only a slight vowel shift from Standard Arabic "متى." "imta hata3rif inni bahibbak (امتى حتعرف إني بحبك)" means "when will you know that I love you." Notice the word "inn (إنّ)" means "that" just like in Standard Arabic, with the "ni (ني)" suffixed to indicate the pronoun "I."

Before the verses we get a nice little exchange from the two gentleman watching. The man in the tarboush or fez is not speaking in Egyptian dialect, more like Lebanese, but just look what he says it's not very different.

(سامع؟.. الكلام إلك يا جارة)

"saami3 (سامع)" means "hearing," so here it means "you hear?" The next line is a very nice idiom. "al-kalaam ilik ya gaara (الكلام إلك يا جارة)" literally means "those words are for you, neighbor." You may notice "gaara (جارة)" is feminine. This is just because it is part of this set idiom. What the idiom is used for exactly is when speech is addressed to one person or an audience but is actually intended to be overheard by someone else, such is in this case where Asmahan is singing for an audience but according to the man in the fez, is actually intending the words for that other man. It's like he says, "You hear that? She's talking to you man." That's a lot of explanation but it's worth it!

what does he respond?:

إنتّ بتكلمني؟

"Are you talking to me?"

And the likewise response:

نعم؟.. لأ!.. غلطان يا بيي.. عمقروِش.. بحكي على حالي

Obviously he is confused that the young man could be so dense. "ghalTaan (غلطان)" means mistaken. Don't worry about "3amqarwish (عمقروش)" it means "I'm muttering." But learn "baHki 3ala Haali (بحكي على حالي)" which means "I'm talking to myself."

Alright now let's see the verse:

بناجي طيفك واتمنى أشوفك

The verb "naaga (ناجى)" means "to speak to someone affectionately and softly," like you would to a lover or an intimately close friend. The word "Teef (طيف)" means a "specter" or "apparition" or "image," in this case probably in her head since her lover we should assume is not dead. You got the other half right?

Next line:

لا يوم عطفت عليّ ولا انت سائل فيَّ

"la yawm (لا يوم)" literally means "not a day" but we can take it to mean "never." The verb "3aTaf 3ala (عطف على)" means "to show sympathy for." "saa'il (سائل)" of course is the verbal noun of the verb "sa'al (سأل)" meaning "to ask." Coupled with the preposition "fi (في)," it takes on the meaning "to be concerned about" or in the negative sense we might say "to give a damn about." So she says, "you've never shown any sympathy for me, nor do you give a damn about me about me." Notice how the "la... wala (لا...ولا)" combo means "neither...nor."

Next line:

ولإمتى حَتحيّر بالي وتزوّد همّي

"li-imta (لإمتى)" means "until when?" or "how long?" The verb "Hayyar (حيّر)" means "to confuse." "baal (بال)" are "thoughts" or "the mind" etc. "zawwad (زوّد)" means "to increase," and finally "hamm (هم)" means "concern" or "worry" or "sorrow" or "anxiety." With the vocab do you get the sentence?

The big line:

يللي غرامك في خيالي وبروحي ودمي

We can see "yalli (يللي)" is comprised of "ya (يا)" and "illi (اللي)." literally it means "you are the one who..." or "oh, you who..." Who is he the one that what? "gharaamak fi xayaali wa bi-ruuHi wa dammi (غرامك في خيالي وبروحي ودمي)" means "your passion is in my imagination, my soul and my blood." Notice how "damm (دمّ)" meaning "blood" rhymes nicely with "hamm (همّ)."

Now more dialogue:

دكلاراسيون غرام هيدي إلك..
مالي فاهم عليك..
إنت مالك فهمان شي..انا فهمان
فهمان؟
انا فهمان

If you don't get it all don't worry. Just know "fahmaan (فهمان)" means the same thing as "faahim (فاهم)," "understanding" like "I'm understanding" or "I understand." This "-aan (ان)" suffix is often an alternative to the "3aamil (عامل)" form we see in words like "3aayiz (عايز)" commonly.

Next verse:

فضلت اخبّي حبك، حبك بقلبي حبّك

The verb "fiDil (فضل)" means "to remain" or "to stay" or "to be left" and is extremely important in Egyptian Arabic. With another verb it carries the meaning of "to continue" or "to go on" or "to keep doing." The verb "xabba (خبى)" means "to hide." Notice how she is saying "fiDilt axabbi Hubbak (فضلت أخبّي حبك)" which means "I kept hiding your love." By "Hubbak (حبك)," "your love," it actually means "my love for you" or "the loving of you" if you want to look at it that way. This won't always be the case, but context should dissolve the ambiguity in most cases. Now it makes more sense right?

Next line:

واصبّره واواسيه والنار بترعى فيه

"Sabbar (صبّر)" means "to give patience to" or "to help to be patient" and "waasa (واسى)" means "to console." So she says "I helped it be patient and consoled it," it referring to aforementioned heart. Don't worry about that second half. It means "but fire grew in it" or something along these lines.

Next line:

وخفت أقللك على حالي واشرح لك حبي

The verb "xaaf (خاف)" means "to fear" or "to be afraid" just like in Standard Arabic. The verb "sharaH (شرح)" means "to explain" or "to elucidate" in Egyptian dialect. Do you get the sentence? "I was afraid to tell you about my condition and explain my love to you."

ليكون فؤادك مش خالي وتعذّب قلبي

This is hard. It just means something like "lest your heart not be empty and my heart suffer." Notice the two different words "fu'aad (فؤاد)" and "'alb (قلب)" for heart. By saying she is afraid his heart is not empty, that means she's afraid he might be in love with someone else.

Now I think it's become apparent who she's singing to as she moves across the room. Looks like our mustached guy was right. Final verse shall we?:

خلّتني أحبك واتمنى قربك

The verb "xalla (خلى)" means "to make someone or something" or "to let someone or something something." So she says "you made me love you." Here understand "'urb (قرب)" which means "closeness." "atmanna 'urbak (اتمنى قربك)" means "I wish to be close to you."

اسعدني يوم بلقاك

"is3adni (اسعدني)" is a good word, meaning "give me the pleasure." The verb "sa3ad (سعد)" means "to make happy" or "to bestow with the fortune of something" etc. "bi-luqaak (بلقاك)" means "in your presence." So "give me the pleasure of a day in your presence."

ترحمني فيه برضاك

Don't worry about it. She's saying 'have pity on me' more or less.

Next line:

وتدوق غرامي اللي شرحته

The verb "daa' (داق)" means "to taste." So she says, "taste my passion which I have explained."

Final new line:

أنا لك بعينيّ

Understood? "I'm yours with my eyes." I guess this means like "I'm all yours" or something along these lines.

That song has a lot of vocabulary, but now you should be pretty comfortable with most of the new words. Go back and listen again. I guarantee you'll never forget "imta" again!

And if you want to learn how to say you'll never do other things again, click here for Lesson 10: توبة.

3 comments:

Rain_Drops said...

Bayyi isn't the Turkish title "bay" it's the Lebanese pronunciation of "my dad" Abouya in Egyptian, It's common that Arabs use this term while talking, not only between friends, a father may even call his son "my dad"!

Rain_Drops said...

To understand how meta became emta, u may need to know that inLebanese Northern dialect they say it "Ay-mata" it's understood now that Emta is originally "eh-mta" أي متى؟

Chris said...

This a great point about بيي thanks for catching it!