Tuesday

Moroccan Arabic Lesson: Is this the End? (VIDEO)

This clip is from a Documentary that interviewed Moroccans in their 60s about their views on life, society and politics. The video below comes from the end of the film when the interviewees are reflecting on their advanced age and what it means to be approaching the end of their lifetimes.


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


هو هادشي ديال واحد و ستين دبا، النهاية ديال جميع الأعمال. يعني خصك توجّد رأسك بأنك غادي تمشي الآخرة

Speaker 1: howa hadshi diyal wa7id w sittin daba, lnihaya diyal jami3 l-a3mal. ya3ni, khassik twajjid ras'k bi2annaka ghadi timshi l-akhira. 

Being 61 years old (means) the end of working. It means you have to get yourself ready with the fact that you're going to the Hereafter.

و هو بداية يعني ديال l'age d'or. يقدر تكون هادي سنين الأخرة حسان من سنين للي ماضت، للي مشات في حالاتها.

w howa bidaya ya3ni diyal l'age d'or. yqdar tkoun hadi sinin l-akhra 7ssan mn sinin lli madat, lli mshat f 7alatha.

It's also the beginning of l'age d'or [the Golden Years]. These last years could be better than those that have passed, that have gone away.

ماكتعجبنيش كلمة نهاية، لأن ماكايناش نهاية.

Speaker 2: makat3jbnish kalimat nihaya. li2anna makainash nihaya. 

I don't like the word, "the end", because there is no end to anything. 

في حياة ديالنا الحمد لله، كاينة بداية و حتى هاديك النهاية للي تنقولو حنّا النهاية للي هي الموت، هي بداية ديال حياة واحدة أخرى

f hayat dialna hamdulillah, kaina l-bidaya w 7ta hadik lnihaya lli tangolo 7na lnihaya hiya lmout, hiya bidaya dial 7ayat wa7ida okhra. 

In our lives, alhamdulillah, there is a beginning. And even 'the end' that we speak of, this 'end' is death, which is the beginning of another life.

Vocabulary Review


  • diyal - ديال - indicates possession. Both of these speakers use diyal frequently instead of the idafa that we see in Standard Arabic. The idafa, however, is still used. Notice how both speakers go back and forth between the two. Read more about diyal here.
  • khassik - خصّك - "you need" or "you should". khass is a verb that means something or someone needs something. This need can be literal or figurative, and khass is used frequently to mean "should" or "ought", as we see here. It is always in the past tense. Read more about khass here.
  • twajjid ras'k - توجّد رأسك - "get yourself ready" or "prepare yourself". wajjid means to prepare or make ready. ras literally means "head" but is used figuratively in Moroccan Arabic to refer to people's selves: himself, herself, yourself, etc.. This phrase could be used literally, as in "to get yourself ready to go out", but here also has a figurative meaning.
  • ghadi - غادي - indicates the future tense. Read more about the Future Tense here.
  • ya3ni - يعني - filler word, literally "which means" or "it means". ya3ni is the universal filler word in Arabic and is used similarly to "like" in English.
  • yqdar tkoun - يقدر تكون - "it could be" or "can be". The verb qdr means "to be able to". It is also used like yemkin to mean "could be" or "can be" or "it's possible". In this case, yqdar is a fixed phrase that doesn't change. It is paired with another present tense verb which is conjugated to match its subject: yqdr tti7 al-shitta ghadan. "It could rain tomorrow."
  • mshat f 7alatha - مشات في حالتها - "have gone away (forever)". The use of the verb msha with f 7alat is an idiomatic expression that means "to leave" or "to go away" and is emphatic. A variation of the phrase is the command seer f 7alik which means "get away!" or "go away!" and is very intense and not very polite.
  • makat3jbnish  - ماكتعجبنيش - "I don't like". The reflexive verb 3jb is used in Moroccan Arabic to mean "to like something". Here it is negated by the ma prefix and sh suffix. Because 3jb is reflexive, its subject is always the 'thing' that is liked, and its object is the person who likes it. So, literally, the sentence above means: "the word doesn't please me". Here, makat3jbnish is conjugated in the 'she' form because its subject is kalima, which is a feminine noun.
  • makainash - ماكايناش - "there isn't" (f.). This is the negative form of kain(a), which means "there is" (kaina is used in the next sentence). This word means "there is" and is used identically to fi as found in other Arabic dialects. kain(a) is the active participle of the verb kana which means "to be", and must agree with the gender of the noun it's being used with. Read more about kain(a) here.
  • 7ta - حتى - "even" or "also", but many meanings. 7ta is a particle with many meanings and uses in Moroccan Arabic. Here it is a conjunction like "even" in English, conveying some surprise and emphasis.
  • wa7id - واحد - "a" or "an". wa7id literally means "one" but is also used in Moroccan Arabic as the indefinite article and to mean "some" or "certain". 
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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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