Moroccan Arabic Lesson: Is Marriage Necessary? (VIDEO)

This video clip is from a documentary that aired on Moroccan television which interviewed several Moroccans in their 60s about life, society and their hopes for the future. In this segment we hear a woman speak about marriage and the question of whether marriage is necessary.

This video gives us an interesting look at the Moroccan view of marriage as well as featuring several important words and phrases for beginning Moroccan Arabic students.

Click below for a word by word translation of this video and an explanation of key vocabulary words.

الزواج... واش ضروري... ضروري ماشي و لا بد ضروري

azzawwaj, wash daroori, daroori mashi wa la budda daroori

Marriage, Marriage is it necessary, or unnecessary…

  على حسب السيّدة 
  3la 7sab assida…

It depends on the woman.
إلا كانْت دَيجا، هاداك، دوّزْت حياتها و عندها وليداتها و فقدَت متلا هادا زوج ديالها 
ila kant deja, hadak, duwwuzt hayatha wa 3ndha wulidatha wa fqadat matalan hada zawj dialha
If she's already lived her life and has kids and, for example, lost her husband,

الزواج ماتيبقاش ضروري بزاف
 azzawwaj mataybqash daroori bzzaf    

Then marriage isn't really necessary for her. 

و لكن إلا كانْت هادا السيّدة هاداك، ماعمّرها ماتزوّجَت أو لا 

w lakin ila kant hada assida hadak, ma3emmerha matzuwwajet o la 

But if she's never married

حسّان جرّبَت هي الزواج في حياتها
7ssan tjarreb hiya zawwaj fi hayyatha.

 then it's better for her to experience marriage in her life.


Vocabulary Review
  • wash - واش - is the question word in Moroccan Arabic. Whenever you hear wash, you know someone is asking a question. (it is هل, and is all the question words in English "am, are, is, does, do...")
  • ila - إلا - means "if" and is always followed by a verb in the past tense. We see this in the phrase above: ila kant - إلا كانت - meaning "if she has", which appears in both the first and second sentences.
  • deja - دَيجا - means "already" and is a direct loan of the French déjà, as in déjà vu.
  • mataybqash - ماتيبقاش - means "no longer remains" or "is no more", and is the negative form of the present tense verb taybqa - تيبقى - which means to "still be" or to "remain". This phrase, either in the past or present tense, is very common, and is the opposite of ma zal - ما زال - which means "to still be" or "to remain". Click here for a review of negation in Moroccan Arabic.
  • bzzaf - بزاف - means "a lot" or "very" and is used identically to barsha, as in Tunisian Arabic, or kteer, as in Levantine Arabic.
  • ma3mmerha - ماعمّرها - means "she's never" and this is an idiom that can be changed to reflect different subjects. In this sentence, it's a double negative with matzuwwajet, which is why there is no sh at the end. 
  • 7ssan - حسّان - means "better", "best" or "it's better" and is a superlative adjective. All superlatives in Moroccan Arabic follow this form. Here, 7ssan is used with the verb tjarreb to mean, "It's better she experience...". 7ssan can also be used with the preposition min - من - to compare between two nouns.

Want more? Click here for a list of all of our Moroccan Arabic lessons.

Many thanks to Said Fertate for his input and edits to this post's transcription and translation.


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