Levantine Arabic Corner

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby Meera » 2017-07-02, 15:44

vijayjohn wrote:Ahleen! Hi everyone! I've finally decided to start posting on the Arabic forum and try to begin the process of reviving what little I know of Arabic (especially Levantine Arabic and more specifically Shami/Damascus dialect - those are the same thing, aren't they?). I haven't had the luck of running into any Arabic-speakers lately, but who cares? It's a useful language (far more in demand than a lot of the other languages I've been learning, if not necessarily for the right reasons...), there are tons of Lebanese people here anyway (if not also people from other parts of the Levant), and it even makes sense in a way since I know some Turkish and a tiny bit of Egyptian Arabic (and have been studying a few African languages). Besides, it's (sort of) my first foray into the Semitic family, and Semitic languages are somewhat interesting to me in terms of their typology since they're spoken in both Africa and the Middle East.


ahleen ya vijay, shou fi maa fi?!
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-03, 13:11

Let's get this going again, guys! I miss this good old days of this site like crazy!

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby Meera » 2017-07-05, 18:38

n8an wrote:Let's get this going again, guys! I miss this good old days of this site like crazy!


ana kaman ya na8n. shu fi ma fi?? kil shay tamam?
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-05, 18:52

Meera wrote:shu fi ma fi?

Hi Meera, you know there is a book with this name, do you happen to own it?
https://www.amazon.com/Shou-Intermediat ... 0300153910

If you do, what's your opinion about it?

Btw I'd like very much to get this thread going too. Songs, texts - we can do anything, from posting links to translations to discussing grammar points.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby Meera » 2017-07-05, 19:22

voron wrote:
Meera wrote:shu fi ma fi?

Hi Meera, you know there is a book with this name, do you happen to own it?
https://www.amazon.com/Shou-Intermediat ... 0300153910

If you do, what's your opinion about it?

Btw I'd like very much to get this thread going too. Songs, texts - we can do anything, from posting links to translations to discussing grammar points.


no but i was thinking of buying it. For levantine I have mostly been using haik bi lebnani
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-06, 2:47

Meera wrote:
n8an wrote:Let's get this going again, guys! I miss this good old days of this site like crazy!


ana kaman ya na8n. shu fi ma fi?? kil shay tamam?


Ehhh ya Meera! Shta2tellik kteer wallah! Shu el akhbar? Shu 3am byseer b7ayetik? Saroo 102235534353 sene ma ba7ke bil3arabe :rotfl: seret ma b3rif eza 3am ba7ke sa7 aw la2 :roll:

Weyn kente? Shu elle sar hon - ma 7ada by7eb unilang ba2a? :doggy:

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-06, 15:51

Ana mabsuT 3ashan bafham kil shi fi had al-thread! Bas ba2darsh a7ki mnee7 bi shaami u ba7ki aktar mnee7 bil maSri u bil fuS7a. Hala2 kul il-3alam hon 3am byet3allam shaami u biddi at3allam shwaya kamaan!

Meera, bit7ibbi il kitaab "haik bil libnani" wala la2? Yemkin ra7 ashtarih.
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-06, 15:54

eskandar wrote:Ana mabsuT 3ashan bafham kil shi fi had al-thread! Bas ba2darsh a7ki mnee7 bi shaami u ba7ki aktar mnee7 bil maSri u bil fuS7a. Hala2 kul il-3alam hon 3am byet3allam shaami u biddi at3allam shwaya kamaan!

Meera, bit7ibbi il kitaab "haik bil libnani" wala la2? Yemkin ra7 ashtarih.


Wow, this is soooooooo Palestinian :mrgreen: at least to me it is haha

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-06, 16:26

n8an wrote:Wow, this is soooooooo Palestinian :mrgreen: at least to me it is haha

Haha, most of my friends from the Levant have been Palestinian, and I listen to a lot of Palestinian music. But I also listen to tons of Lebanese music so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Actually I think it's just because I'm more comfortable in Egyptian, and Palestinian is the most Egyptian-like Levantine dialect in my opinion 8-)
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-06, 16:47

eskandar wrote:Haha, most of my friends from the Levant have been Palestinian, and I listen to a lot of Palestinian music. But I also listen to tons of Lebanese music so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Actually I think it's just because I'm more comfortable in Egyptian, and Palestinian is the most Egyptian-like Levantine dialect in my opinion 8-)


Yup, all true! I always think of Palestinian as a transitional dialect between Egyptian and Syrian...although it's quite similar to Jordanian too. Then again, Palestinian differs a lot from village to village and in the north it almost sounds quite close to Lebanese :D

But yeah, overall what you wrote was like "OMG SOOO PALESTINIAN" to my ear :rotfl: especially the "ba2darsh"! Haha, nice! Thanks for bringing this dialect here :D

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-06, 17:16

n8an wrote:ba2darsh

Does it mean "I can't"? Why is "ma" missing? I thought the negation in Palestinian is "ma ... -sh", مو هيك?

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-06, 17:32

n8an wrote:especially the "ba2darsh"!

I knew that was gonna be the reason it felt so Palestinian to you! What would you say in Lebanese? "Ma fiyye a7ki"? Or "ma bi2der a7ki"?
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-06, 17:41

voron wrote:
n8an wrote:ba2darsh

Does it mean "I can't"? Why is "ma" missing? I thought the negation in Palestinian is "ma ... -sh", مو هيك?


Palestinian is the only dialect in the world (as far as I know) that doesn't use "ma-" for negation of verbs; it's JUST -sh.

So while the Egyptian says "ma ba7ebish", the Lebanese says "ma b7eb", the Khaleeji says "ma a7eb" and the Moroccan says **who knows? :rotfl: **, the Palestinian says "ba7ebsh".

So yeah, "ba2darsh" means "I can't" - same as "ma2darshi" in Egyptian.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-06, 17:44

eskandar wrote:I knew that was gonna be the reason it felt so Palestinian to you! What would you say in Lebanese? "Ma fiyye a7ki"? Or "ma bi2der a7ki"?


Haha, yep! It wasn't the only clue to it being Palestinian (the overall flavour felt Jordanian or Palestinian, or maybe like a smaller Syrian dialect) but that reeeeally gives it away :D

"Ma fiyye" would probably be more common, but I've heard "ma bi2der" too. Lebanese also doesn't tend to put the first person "a-" prefix on the second verb unless it "sounds" right - so yeah, "ma fiyye a7ke" *sounds* right, but it would probably be "ma fiyye shoof" rather than "ma fiyye *a*shoof".

Idk why I'm speaking with authority when I never speak Arabic anymore :rotfl: but in my mind this all sounds right

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-06, 17:57

n8an wrote:So yeah, "ba2darsh" means "I can't" - same as "ma2darshi" in Egyptian.

I think the latter is used in Palestinian too - mu2darshi - like in this song.

n8an wrote:Lebanese also doesn't tend to put the first person "a-" prefix on the second verb unless it "sounds" right - so yeah, "ma fiyye a7ke" *sounds* right, but it would probably be "ma fiyye shoof" rather than "ma fiyye *a*shoof".

Lebanese seems so confusing to me because of things like this. Or when some words have the ta marbuTa as 'eh' and some as 'a'. But I guess every language and every dialect has inconsistencies like that.
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-06, 18:09

eskandar wrote:I think the latter is used in Palestinian too - mu2darshi - like in this song.


That's interesting! It's weird that I never really paid any attention to how they speak at all when I was there. What a shame :cry: I think I just took it for granted that I could communicate in English and Hebrew. How stupid was that? (Answer to rhetorical question: VERY STUPID!).

I will definitely endeavour to understand more next time.

Lebanese seems so confusing to me because of things like this. Or when some words have the ta marbuTa as 'eh' and some as 'a'. But I guess every language and every dialect has inconsistencies like that.


Yup, you're not wrong. I can't quite figure out why it's like this - it's not the French influence, and it's probably not the Aramaic substratum either (because Palestinian, Syrian and Jordanian all have it to varying degrees too). I definitely feel like the other Levantine dialects are a bit more...consistent (?). Then again, I learned almost 100% around Lebanese speakers and nearly all the media I watch is from Lebanon so it kind of just sounds right in my head for whatever illogical reason :rotfl: but learning Iraqi did feel nice in that it doesn't have those inconsistencies...though as you say, everything has its own inconsistencies (like 3 different ways of pronouncing ق and 2 ways of pronouncing ك, amongst other things lol).

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-06, 21:05

eskandar wrote:"Ma fiyye a7ki"? Or "ma bi2der a7ki"?

As for Syrian: Pimsleur Syrian gives "ma bi2der" only (at least up to lesson 15 of the 3rd part), Syrian Colloquial gives both, and I encountered both in natives' speech.

Or when some words have the ta marbuTa as 'eh' and some as 'a'.

Isn't it 'a' in just the same positions where in MSA you would have [a] realized as [ɑ]? That is, after /r/, /q/, /x/, /ɣ/ and the emphatics. I kind of assumed it for granted, but I guess I will now check it in Cowell's Syrian Grammar when I am at PC.

Lebanese also doesn't tend to put the first person "a-" prefix on the second verb unless it "sounds" right - so yeah, "ma fiyye a7ke" *sounds* right, but it would probably be "ma fiyye shoof" rather than "ma fiyye *a*shoof".

Yes it is shoof. This has been bothering me too that I need to memorize if there is 'a' or not. Perhaps there is a simple phonological rule for it; I'll check this in Cowell, too.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-06, 21:28

Btw what do you guys think about the prepositions ل and ع with the meaning 'to' in the Levantine dialects? Is it that a given speaker only uses one, or both? If both, what's the rule of choosing between the two? Is it phonological or semantic?

From Pimsleur I got this impression that ل is used with words without the article, and ع otherwise:
لسوريا
لتركيا
but:
عالبيت
عالشام

Does it sound at all like truth, or am I making things up?

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-07, 3:14

voron wrote:Yes it is shoof. This has been bothering me too that I need to memorize if there is 'a' or not. Perhaps there is a simple phonological rule for it; I'll check this in Cowell, too.


It's more or less phonological in my experience. As far as I can actually think, it's mostly without the "a-" (badde shoof, badde 2oul, badde roo7, badde ghanne). Then again...badde *A*ktoob (or even ekteb). Seems to be related to consonant clusters in the verb?

It's similar to how "3am" works in first person singular - sometimes you leave out the "b-" on the verb, and sometimes you include it (3am 2ellak, 3am fakker vs. 3am b3mol, 3am bedros).

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-07, 3:15

voron wrote:Isn't it 'a' in just the same positions where in MSA you would have [a] realized as [ɑ]? That is, after /r/, /q/, /x/, /ɣ/ and the emphatics.

Do you have a reference for that for MSA? I've never noticed that, but I haven't read much on MSA phonology.
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