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Lesson Transcript

Simon: Hello, everyone. I’m Simon and welcome to ArabicPod101.
Hala: With us, you’ll learn to speak Arabic with fun and effective lessons.
Simon: We also provide you with cultural insights and tips you won’t find in any textbook. Welcome to Basic Boot Camp, this five pod series will help you ease your way into Arabic. We’ll go over all the basics that will really help you understand the language much quicker and easier, and we’ll have fun doing it.
Hala: In this lesson, you will learn several essential phrases to use Arabic, to learn Arabic. These phrases you can use to ask your Arabic speaking friends, your Arabic teacher or even our very own expert teachers. Using Arabic to learn Arabic can help you improve much faster.
Simon: Listen to the student in Arabic class asking the teacher a few question. Let’s listen to the conversation.
سايمون: أستاذة، ازاي أقول * I don´t understand this * بالعربي ؟
هالة: أنا مش فاهم "and to say "this , ده.
سايمون: مرة تانية ، بالراحة ، لو سمحتي .
هالة: أنا مش فاهم.
سايمون: لو سمحتى إكتبيها .
Simon: Let’s listen to the conversation one more time, slowly.
سايمون: أستاذة، ازاي أقول * I don´t understand this * بالعربي ؟
هالة: أنا مش فاهم "and to say "this , ده.
سايمون: مرة تانية ، بالراحة ، لو سمحتي .
هالة: أنا مش فاهم.
سايمون: لو سمحتى إكتبيها .
Hala: And now, let’s listen t the conversation one more time, with the translation.
سايمون: أستاذة، ازاي أقول * I don´t understand this * بالعربي ؟
Simon: Professor, how can I say "I don’t understand" in Arabic?
هالة: أنا مش فاهم "and to say "this , ده.
Hala: I don’t understand. And to say "this", this.
سايمون: مرة تانية ، بالراحة ، لو سمحتي .
Simon: Another time, slowly please.
هالة: أنا مش فاهم.

Hala: I don’t understand.
سايمون: لو سمحتى إكتبيها .
Simon: Please write it down.
Simon: Halla, is it polite to address the teachers with their first name at any level?
Hala: Never. We always use the word “professor”, which also goes as “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.
Simon: Do you have to follow it with the first or second name of the professor?
Hala: Not really. Just saying [أستاذ] [ʾustaḏ] or [أستاذة] [ʾustaḏah] is more than enough but if there is more than one, then using [أستاذ] [ʾustaḏ] followed by the first name is required. Using second names is not very common here.
Simon: Are there any exceptions?
Hala: Well, if you have two professors named Mohammed, then using the second name is better in this case just to make sure you addressed the one you meant. Other than that not really.
Simon: That makes things easier for me, I'm kind of bad with names I'm afraid. So let’s take a look at the vocab we’ve seen so far.
Hala: [أستاذ,أستاذة] [ [ʾustaḏ,ʾustaḏah]
Simon: That’s “teacher” or “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.
Hala: [إزاي أقول] I understand [بالعربي] [ʾizzāī ʾaquūl] I understand [bial-ʿarabī]..
Simon: How do I say “I understand” in Arabic?
Hala: [مرة تانية لو سمحت.] [marrah taāniyah laū samaḥt.].
Simon: Once again, please.
Hala: [بالراحة لو سمحت] [bial-raāḥah laū samaḥt]
Simon: Slowly, please.
Hala: [ممكن تكتبيها] [mumkin tiktibīhā]
Simon: Please write it down.
Simon: Great, so let’s take a look at the vocab and usage but I’d like to start.
Hala: Please, go ahead.
Simon: You know when I'm on the street I always hear people using so many words and phrases to get each other’s attention. Is it all polite forms?
Hala: Yes, but some of it might be informal, closer to a slang. Like when you say “Hey, dude” or “Excuse me”. Both are acceptable depending on the situation and whom you are talking to.
Simon: So what would be a polite phrase to get someone’s attention?
Hala: That would be [لو سمحت] [laū samaḥt] for a man and [لو سمحتي] [laū samaḥtiī] if you’re talking to a woman. It means “excuse me” or “pardon”.
Simon: I’ve used it as “if you don’t mind” when I'm walking in the street or trying to pay someone.
Hala: And that is another useful use for it. It’s very helpful and friendly.
Simon: So that’s [لو سمحت] [laū samaḥt] if I'm talking to a man and [لو سمحتي] [laū samaḥtiī] if I'm talking to a woman.
Hala: That’s correct, Simon. And you know what is a very good word as well, that really impresses me both in its meaning and the way it’s used, and who uses it?
Simon: I can think of many but it’s a long list.
Hala: Well, to make your list shorter I will say it’s [يا أستاذ] [yaā ʾustaāḏ] or [يا أستاذة] [yaā ʾustaāḏah].
Simon: Yes, it’s “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.
Hala: It also means “professor”, but as a polite form. “Excuse me Mr.” or “Excuse me Miss”.
Simon: And what was the [يا] [yaā] which we heard before both of them.
Hala: Oh, that’s the famous [يا] [yaā]. This is simply some form of a calling article that we use before someone’s name or title to get their attention. Even more, it can even be use alone just [يا] and it will mean something like “excuse me”.
Simon: So I can’t say [أستاذ] [ʾustaāḏ] or someone’s name directly?
Hala: If you’re saying it to get their attention, no. it will be very strange to our ears. [يا] [yaā] is very important.
Simon: So it’s either [لو سمحت] [laū samaḥt] or [يا أستاذ] [yaā ʾustaāḏ].
Hala: And that is the best way.
Simon: Great. What’s a useful word we’ve also seen in this lesson?
Hala: That would be [إزاي أقول] [ʾizzāī ʾaquūl] something [بِالعَرَبي] [bial-ʿarabī].

Lesson focus

Simon: Using Arabic to learn Arabic is a great way to learn. It speeds up the process and it gets your mind thinking in Arabic.
Hala: So to do that you can use the phrase [أزاي أقول] [ʾizzāī ʾaquūl] something [بالعربي] [bial-ʿarabī]. This literally means “How can I say something or this in Arabic?” but you can use it as “How do you say this in Arabic?” and you can point at what you’re talking about.
Simon: Once again, please. Often times when you’re learning Arabic, your ears need to adjust to the language. So you can ask someone to repeat something if you didn’t catch it.
Hala: For that you can use the phrase [مرة تانية, لو سمحت.] [marrah taāniyah, laū samaḥt.]. Literally means “another time, please” or “if you don’t mind”. You can use it to mean “once again, please”.
Simon: And using “slowly, please”, this can used when someone is speaking too fast. Learning Arabic can be tough because native Arabic speakers can speak quite fast sometimes.
Hala: Yes, but with that phrase, [بالراحة لو سمحت] [bial-rraāḥah laū samaḥt], you will be able to pick up on what people are saying to you. Literally it means “slowly, please” but you can use it to mean “once again, please”.
Simon: And saying “please write it down”? Asking someone to write it down will really help you memorize a word. Having a record can be very helpful for you to refer to in the future.
Hala: That is correct, Simon. And you can always look back at it and learn. So to say “Please write it down” you will say [ممكن تكتبها.] [mumkin tiktibhā.]. Literally it means “Can you write it, please” but you can use it to mean “Please write it down”. Noted that the word “please” is not mentioned directly, but the polite form [ممكن] [mumkin] implies it so it’s ok if you didn’t say [لو سمحت] [laū samaḥt].
Simon: Actually, I think using it might sound too polite for such a situation.
Hala: Yes, I agree with you. So just [ممكن تكتبها] [mumkin tiktibhā] or [ممكن تكتبيها] [mumkin tiktibīhā] if you’re addressing a woman will be perfect. And as an extra addition to all our listeners, we will also say the same sentence but in Standard Arabic. So to say “please” or “if you don’t mind”, it’s actually the same. [لو سمحت] [laū samaḥt] and [لو سمحتي] [laū samaḥtī] for a woman. To say “professor” or “Mr.”, it doesn’t change [يا أستاذ] [yaā ʾustaāḏ] or [يا أستاذة] [yaā ʾustaāḏah] if you’re addressing a woman. Saying “How can I say this in Arabic?” [كيف أقول هذا بالعربي؟] [kaīfa ʾaqwulu haḏā bial-ʿarabī?]. And to ask someone to repeat the sentence another time, [مرة أخرى لو سمحت] [marrah ʾuḫraā laū samaḥt]. To ask someone to repeat it slowly, [ببطئ لو سمحت.]. And finally, to ask someone to write it down, [إكتبها لو سمحت] [ʾiktibhā laū samaḥt] and [إكتبيها لو سمحتي] [ʾiktibīhā laū samaḥtī].


Simon: Now, don’t forget to stop by ArabicPod101.com and pick up the lesson notes.
Hala: It has the conversation transcript.
Simon: Vocab, sample sentences, a grammar explanation.
Hala: And a cultural insight section.
Simon: Seeing the Arabic...
Hala: Really helps you remember faster.
Simon: But don’t take our word for it, please come look for yourself!
Hala: And let us know what you think!
Simon: Thanks for listening, everyone!
Hala: See you next time!