Friday, March 30, 2007


Laban and 7aleeb

There are so many words that mean one thing in one country and something else in another. I have so many stories since I have friends from all over the Arab world in Canada.

When we first met our Egyptian neighbours so many years ago it was my turn to make tea for guests; my sister and I used to take turns haha..

So I was asking how much sugar they like in their tea and the hajja said three sugars and some Laban.

I go back to the kitchen, and I’m thinking what? Laban, araf, araf, araf! Who the heck puts Laban in their tea?? So I go back to the living room, to make sure:

Me: hajja, inti olti 3ayza laban beshai beta3ek? (Me talking with my Egyptian accent)
Hajja: aywa, shwaia , mosh keteer wmatenseesh thalatha sokar, ana a7eb elshai 7elw.
Me: laban? ya3ni laban? inti 3ayza laban belshai??
Hajja thinking eh dah, elbente deh hablah wala eh?
Me thinking araf araf araf

Then finally my mom, and the hajja’s daughter in law realize my dilemma. And they tell me that the hajja wants milk in her tea, not yogurt!!

Well dah, I’ll never make that mistake again.

And then again once after hubby and I got married, his nephew stayed with us after the wedding for few week. One day after I finished cooking dinner, hubby was sitting on the balcony smoking.

Me: T, momken troo7 t3ayet la Rami 3shan yegi yakol?
T: eesh? A3yetlo 3shan yegi yakol?
Me: aah, 3ayetlo , howi 3ala elbaranda a3ed bedakhen.
T: taib leesh badi a3yetlo?
Me: 3shan yegi yakol (ya latkha)
T: tayeb mashi (he is thinking eesh hadi mart khali, sho habla, , leesh badi a3ayetlo?)

So T goes to hubby, telling him that he is supposed 3ayetlo to come eat, and of course hubby knows my Palestinian/Lebanese talk by then, so he laughs and laughs.

So I was basically saying:
Go call him to come eat

And he was hearing
Go cry to him to come eat
So now I know not to use the word 3ayet in Jordan, and say Nadi !


nido said...

This is so funny, because last wed. I was giving Arabic class to this egyption lil boy, It was about eating and I realized that they really call it laban! I thought they stopped doing that, I mean, I thought it's an old fashion word, that just appeard in black and white egyption movies...When I asked: hal tashrabo al 7aleeeb? he was like: WHAT?!?! hehehe

nido said...

Oh, and by the way, I was watching Lord of the flies yesterday, and the kids were marching in the movies singing some songs from army I think...and they said sth like: WE FOUND A HOME AWAY FROM HOME! and I thought of your blog! I like it's title:)

Sam said...

Nido, according to my husband the word laban is the right arabic word...i have to find an arabic word that talks about 7aleeb so i can see if he is right or not..but i do not have any arabic books:(
thank you, a looong time ago i used to have a website with this only seemed natural to use it not a very creative person:)

7aki Fadi said...

Sam: you remind me of a story my mom told me.

My family used to live in Libya for ten years, so my grandmother comes to visit from Amman and she wanted to go out " itshim hawa" so my mom took her and they went in a cab, so my mom asks him to take them somewhere , so the guy smiles and says, you are out of town I am going to "adahwerkum".

So my Grandma got upset, she said: nitdahwar, tuf min bo2ak ya zalameh, lesh bidna nitdahwar.

He was all confused; he said I thought you wanted to titdahwarooh?

My mom started laughing because in Libya titdahwar meens itshim il hawah and go sight seeing.

Sam said...

7aki fadi that is funny...i have never heard of titdahwar and i have few libyan freinds

Mariam Ayyash said...

wahahha, that was cracking funny! the a3ayyetlo part!

but u know what we hear that on Future TV and we laughed first time we heard it, inno leish el 3yat!!! :D
my mother comes from a syrian family, and one time one of my aunts was shouting at me and saying: lek 3ideeeeee!! my sister and i freaked out! then realized it was "walek og3odee" :D

Sam said...

Mariam..haha @3idee...i have some funny stuff about things my lebanese freinds say...even though i was born in lebanon there are still things are new to me...:)

Omar said...

hehe, that's funny. A long time ago I posted about how family friend called us crying saying "in2ata3 osba3 jozi bishoghlo"

so we went to her house, and my dad went to the hospital. It turns out someone from work called the lady's house and said that "your husband cut his finger at work, and he's at the hospital getting it treated"

so she translated "cut" to "in2ata3" but in reality he only needed a few stitches for his "cut"

Who's-sane! said...

lol sam, nice one!

I remember it took me ages to understand what the word "d3anon" means and more time to pronounce it or put it in the right context.

It became so embarassing trying to talk with different dialects that I finally decides to give up and just go with my hot Jordanian accent :P

Sam said...

who's sane what is "d3anon"...
yup stick to your old dialect it is best..i've seen palestinian try to speak in lebense dailect and it is does not sound nice..and us talking in egyptian just sounds funny..and when my egyptian freinds say "marhaba, keef halek" it sounds funny :)

Who's-sane! said...

d3anon or d3ano or d3ana means ya khsara in Lebanese, i guess

Sam said...

who's sane...aha I see what you mean...I didnt even know this word is not used in jordan!! :)