Moroccan Arabic Lesson: I've Got Nothing to Say About It (VIDEO)

This is a video clip 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 clip, our speaker is commenting on Morocco's development and her participation in society and politics.

This clip features a lot of good beginner vocabulary and expressions.

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

الحمد لله تطور المغرب ما زال ماشي... ما زال ماشي ل القدّام هادي... زعمة، ماعندي ما نقوله غير...
hamdulillah tatuwwar lmaghrib ma zal mashi… ma zal mashi li lqddam hadi… za3ma, ma 3ndi mangolo

Thankfully, Morocco's development is still going… still advancing. You know, I don't know what else to say except...

غير... غير كان بزاف ديال إصلاحات ما زالين خصّو مايديرو في بزاف ديال ميادين ديال النفسية ديال الناس.
Ghair… ghair kan bzzaf dial isla7at ma zalin khasso maydayro fi bzzaf dial mayadin dial lnafsiyya dial lnas. 

 It's just that… there are many reforms they still need to implement in a lot of fields related to people's well-being.

نقدر ندمج في واحد جهة من غير واحد جهة... متلا... أنا نقدر نكون مع هاداك، ندمح مع الناس و كل شي
nqdr ndamaj f wa7id jiha min ghair wa7id jiha… matalan… ana nqdr nkon ma3 hadak, ndmaj ma3 lnas w kull shi… 

I can participate in one aspect [of society] and not another… For example, I can be with so-and-so and participate with people and everything… 

ماعمّرني ... متلا الجهة ديال السياسة... ماعمّرني كنت كان نتاميل هد الحزب أو لا هادي... ما ماعنديش
ma3mmerni matalan jiha dial siyasa, ma3mmerni kunt kan ntamil had l7izb o la hadi… ma ma3ndish.

I've never, for example, [gotten involved] in politics. I've never leaned towards one party or another, I'm not interested in that.


Vocabulary Review
  • ma zal - ما زال - "still". In Moroccan Arabic, ma zal has the same meaning as in Standard Arabic: it describes an unfinished action. It's usage, however, is not the same. It is conjugated more as an adjective than a noun, as we see with ma zalin ما زالين in the next sentence. Here it means, "they still haven't..." and is conjugated like an adjective would be.
  • mashi li lqddam - ماشي ل القدّام - "going forward" or "progressing". mashi in this phrase is does not indicate negation, rather this is the active participle for the verb msha مشى which means "to go". The active participle is often using to convey a present progressive mood, which is why I translated the phrase as "progressing". 
  • za3ma - زعمة - "this means". za3ma is identical in meaning and usage to ya3ni, which is the filler word in other Arabic Dialects. It is used similar to "like"in English.
  • ma 3ndi ma ngolo - ما عندي ما نقولو - "I don't have anything to say [about something]". This is a typically Moroccan phrase that means that our speaker has no complaints or comments the given situation, i.e. Morocco's development. In this way it is used to express satisfaction. A variation of this phrase follows the same structure but replaces gal "to say" with dir "to do". This phrase expresses exasperation and frustration, or resignation to one's circumstances:
ماعندي ما ندير
ma 3ndi mandir... 

There's nothing I can do...
  • ghair - غير - "It's just that" or "Except that".
  • ndamaj - ندمج - "to participate in" or "to be a part of"
  • min ghair - من غير - "instead of" or "without". min ghair expresses the exception of one thing from another. Here, our speaker feels like she can participate in one aspect of society and not another, namely politics.
  • ntamil - نتاميل - "I lean [towards something]". This can be used either literally or figuratively as we see here
  • ma 3ndish - ماعنديش - "I'm not interested in" or "I don't like". This is an incomplete version of the phrase ma 3ndish ma3 ما عنديش مع. Literally, ma 3ndish means "I don't have", but this phrase can be used figuratively to express a lack of interest in or dislike of something or someone:
ما عنديش مع ديك الگوار
ma 3ndish ma3 dik lguwwar

I don't like those foreigners.

 ما عنديش مع القوالب ديال الدراري
ma 3ndish ma3 lqwalib diyal ldrari

I don't like the rude behavior of teen boys.


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