Moroccan Arabic Video Lesson: You didn't tell me... (VIDEO)

For this lesson, we have a scene from the Moroccan romantic comedy Shlu7 bghaha Fassiyya, or "A Berber Guy who Loves a Fessi Girl." A cute movie, it uses a love story to explore some of the social tensions that arise between ethnically Berber and ethnically Arab Moroccans. The scene we'll study is when both characters start to reveal their affections for one another.

In the clip, Rashid, the Berber guy, and Kenza, the Fessi girl, start to investigate the possibility of them getting married by asking about each other's family. They then continue with some small talk about visiting Rashid's family, when, at the end of the clip, Rashid makes his desire to marry Kenza clear.

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

ما قلتِ ليش، كتسكن مع والديك؟
Kenza: Maqolti lish, katskn ma3 walidik?

You didn't tell me, do you live with your parents?

 لا ساكن بوحدي. والديّ عايّشين في تافراوت
Rashid: La, sakin bwo7di. Walidiya 3ayyishin fi Tafraout

No, I live by myself. My parents lives in Tafraout.

تافراوت؟ كنسمع بها، كيعوّدو لي أنّ بلادكم مزوّنة
Kenza: Tafraout? Kansma3 biha, kay3awwudo li anna bladkom mziwina

Tafraout? I've heard of it. People say that where your from is great.

قلي ليّ، أنتِ بوحدك عند والديك؟
Rashid: Goli liyya, nti bwo7dek 3nd walidik?

Tell me, are you an only child?

Kenza: (nods her head), nta?

(Yes), are you?

أنا عندي واحد خويا صغار مني، كيقرى في كازا
Rashid: Ana 3andi wa7ed khoya sghar mnni, kayqra f Casa.

I've got a younger brother who studies in Casablanca.

و علاش والديك مايجيوش يسكنو معك في اگادير؟
Kenza: W 3lash walidik mayjiyawsh ysaknou m3ak fi Agadir?

So why don't your parents come to live with you in Agadir?

باين عليّ ماتعرفيش العادات ديال شلوح. الوالد عندي مايتفرّقش عن البلاد
Rashid: (laughing) Bain 3lya mat3rifish l3adat diyal Shlu7. lWalid 3ndi, maytfarraqsh 3n lblad.

It seems to me that you don't know how Shlu7 are. My father will never leave the countryside!

شوّقتِني نشوف بلادكم، و نشوف والديك.
Kenza: Showwaqtini nshouf bladkom, w nshouf walidik. 

You've made me want to see where you're from and meet your parents.

دبا نديك نضربو شي دويرة تمة
Rashid: Deba ndik ndrbo shi dwira tmma.

Now, I'll take you there for a visit.

إن شاء الله
Kenza: Insha'allah

(I hope so)

كنتمنى من عند الله تولّي من عند مواليها

Rashid: Kantmnna mn 3nd Allah, twalli mn 3nd mwaliha

I hope, by God, that you become part of our family.


Vocabulary Review

  • maqolti lish - ما قلت ليش - "you didn't tell me." Two things to notice are how Kenza pronounces qolti and how the negation is formed around the preposition li. Kenza pronounces qolti with the proper, Classical, q sound, which is one of three possible pronunciations of qaf in Moroccan Arabic. Another is a g sound, as we here a few lines later when Rashid says to Kenza, "goli liyya" - "tell me". A third possibility, is for q to be pronounced like hamza, similar to Egyptian and Levantine Arabic. This is a characteristic of Old Fessi Dialect.
  • bwo7di - بوحدي - "by myself".
  • 3ayyishin - عايشين - "they are living". This is the active particle of the verb 3asha - عاش - which means "to live". In Moroccan Arabic, the active participle is often used to convey a continual present action or state.
  • kay3awwado li - كيعوّدو لي - "they tell me". The verb 3awwada means various things like, "to return", "to do again", "to get used to". In this context, it's referring to what information people 'have returned with' to Kenza, or, simply, what people have told her about Tafraout. We see this also in the popular phrase shnu kat3wwed - شنو كتعوّد - which means, "what's up?", or "what's going on?"
  • mziwina - مزوّنة - "great". This is the diminutive of mzian - مزيان - which means "good". The diminutive is often used in Moroccan Arabic either literally, to express smallness, or figuratively, usually to express something's excellence or for terms of endearment. 
  • kayqra - كيقرى - "he studies". The Moroccan qra is derived from the Classical qara'a - قرأ - and means to study. The masdar is qraya.
  • 3lash - علاش - "why". 3lash is a contraction between the preposition 3la - على - and the pronoun ash - آش - which means "thing". 
  • bain 3lya - باين عليّ - "It seems to me". This is a popular phrase. Bain can also be used by itself as a response to a statement or comment on a given situation with a meaning of, "Yes, it seems so". 
  • diyal - ديال - signals possession. Diyal is an article that indicates possession and frequently takes the place of the construct or idafa. Click here to read more about diyal.
  • showwaqtini - شوّقتني - "you've made me miss" or "you've made me nostalgic for". The verb showwaqa means to make someone feel showq or longing for something or someone. 
  • nshouf - نشوف - "I see". The verb shouf means "to see", as is found in other Arabic dialects.
  • ndrbo shi dwira - نضربو شي دويرة - "we go for a visit". This is a popular phrase. The verb drb means "to hit" is also used frequently as a helping verb like and emphatic "to do". dwira literally means "a little circle", and is used here to mean some kind of short trip or circuit. This is another example of the diminutive.
  • twalli - تولّي - "you (f) become". The verb walla means "to become".
  • mwali - موالي - "family". mwali literally means "lords" or "owners" or "servants", but can be used figuratively to mean "family", as we see here.

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

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