Dialogue - Egyptian Arabic

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Vocabulary

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أعتقد (Egyptian) [أَعتَقِد] ʾaʿtaqid I think
مسئول (Egyptian) [مَسئول] masʾūl to be responsible for, responsible for
لازم (Egyptian) [لازِم] lāzim necessary
صح (Egyptian) [صَح] ṣaḥ that's true, you're right
طب (Egyptian) [طَب] ṭab ok
عشان (Egyptian) [عَشان] ʿašān because, in order to
أجازة (Egyptian) [أَجازَة] ʾaǧāzah vacation
بتاع (Egyptian) [بتاع] btāʿ possessive marker
المشروع (Egyptian) [المَشروع] el-mašrūʿ project
ماعرفش (Egyptian) [مَاعرَفش] maāʿrafš I don't know

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is the Future Tense

ماعرفش. أعتقد أنه ف أجازة و ماعرفش هيرجع إمتى.

māʿrafš. ʾaʿtaqid ʾinnuh fi ʾaǧāzah wa māʿrafš hayirǧaʿ ʾimtā
"I don't know. I think he went on vacation and I am not sure when he will be back."


When you want to turn a verb into its future tense, you put a ha at the beginning of the verb in the present tense form. Conjugating verbs in Arabic can be tough sometimes, but there is good news! In Egyptian Arabic, conjugating in the future tense is actually very easy. A future tense sentence is very similar to a present tense sentence. The only difference is the sound ha that is attached in front of the verb.

In the dialogue, Saleem said he would call Naseem right away. He used the same structure as the present tense, "I call" اتصل but just added the ha sound at the beginning of the verb to make it "I will call" هتصل. Notice that the alif just blends in with the ha sound in the pronunciation.

He also used the future tense in the second part of the sentence in regards to when Naseem will return from vacation. "He returns" is يرجع, while "he will return" is هيرجع

The structure is simple: ha + simple present tense verb.

Before we dive into future tense, let's quickly review the simple present tense forms in Egyptian Arabic. This chart uses the verb "to make"- عمل

Simple Present (imperfect)

"to make" عمل

Future



Subject

Conjugation

Subject

Conjugation

English

أنا

أعمل

أنا

هعمل

I will make

انت

تِعمل

انت

هَتِعمل

you will make (m)

انتي

تِعملي

انتي

هَتِعملي

you will make (f)

هو

يِعمل

هو

هَيِعمل

he will make

هي

تِعمل

هي

هَتِعمل

she will make

احنا

نِعمل

احنا

هَنِعمل

we will make

انتو

تِعملوا

انتو

هَتِعملوا

you all will make

هم

يِعملوا

هم

هَيِعملوا

they will make

Future tense is as simple as just adding ha to the beginning of these conjugations!

Here are a few examples of future tense verbs:

"she will write" هتكتب

"we will drive" هنسوق

Here's one last thing about conjugating verbs in Egyptian Arabic. You might be wondering why Saleem used the pronoun ana, meaning "I," before the verb in the phrase أنا هتصل بنسيم ("I will call Naseem") but he did not use the pronoun howa, meaning "he," when talking about Naseem in the phrase هيرجع ("he will return"). In Arabic, the conjugation of the verb is often enough for the listener to know who the subject is. In conversation, it is common to drop the pronoun unless it is necessary for clarity or emphasis.

Examples from the dialogue:

أنا هتصل بنسيم حالاً و أعرف هيرجع إمتى

ʾanā hattiṣil binsīm ḥal-an wa ʾaʿraf hayirǧaʿ ʾiimtā
"I'll call Naseem right away and find out when he will return."

Sample Sentences

هتيجي معانا للسينما؟

hatigi ma'ana lel sinima?
"Are you going to come with us to the movie theater?"

السنة اللي جاية هرجع مصر ان شاء الله.

el sana el gayya harga' masr in sha' Allah
"Next year, I will return to Egypt, God willing."

بكرة انا هتفرج عالتليفزيون.

bokra hatfarrag 'attelevizion
"Tomorrow I will watch television."

Cultural Insights

Commonly Used Business Terms in the Arab World

In Egypt and many parts of the Arab world, and especially in companies, many people have started using the English equivalents of Arabic words. Examples include the word "deadline," and many other words like "email," "project," "contact," and "HR." If said in Arabic, they will sound very stiff and awkward, and so the English equivalent is used.

Words like "senior/junior," "brand," "overtime," "log in," "location" and many others are often heard in Egypt (especially the bigger cities like Cairo and Alexandria) and using them will make you sound very natural and give you more vocabulary for your daily life and work!

Useful expression:

منير, السينيور مانيجر عايزك.

"Mounir, the senior manager wants you."

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Becky: Hi everyone, and welcome to ArabicPod101.com This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1 Lesson 1 - Preparing for a Deadline in Egypt. I’m Becky.
Nora: هاي I'm Nora.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the future tense. The conversation takes place during a meeting about an upcoming deadline.
Nora: It's between Saleem and Fadia, who are employees, and their Boss, Mr. Abboud.
Becky: The speakers are in a meeting with their boss, so they will be using formal Egyptian Arabic. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
سليم: الديدلاين بتاع المشروع قرب! لازم نوزع المهام علينا عشان نلحق الديدلاين.
عبود: صح. سليم, إنت هتتولى العلاقات مع العملاء خلال العملية. فادية ,إنت هتبقي مسئولة عن الجرد. نسيم هيتولى الجانب التقني من العملية عشان هو ده تخصصة. نسيم فين؟
فادية: ماعرفش. أعتقد أنه ف أجازة و ماعرفش هيرجع إمتى.
سليم: أنا هتصل بنسيم حالاً و أعرف هيرجع إمتى.
عبود: طب مبدئياً قولله يشوف الإيميل كل شوية. حلاوة التكنولوجيا إننا ممكن نشتغل من أي حته!
Becky: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
سليم: الديدلاين بتاع المشروع قرب! لازم نوزع المهام علينا عشان نلحق الديدلاين.
عبود: صح. سليم, إنت هتتولى العلاقات مع العملاء خلال العملية. فادية ,إنت هتبقي مسئولة عن الجرد. نسيم هيتولى الجانب التقني من العملية عشان هو ده تخصصة. نسيم فين؟
فادية: ماعرفش. أعتقد أنه ف أجازة و ماعرفش هيرجع إمتى.
سليم: أنا هتصل بنسيم حالاً و أعرف هيرجع إمتى.
عبود: طب مبدئياً قولله يشوف الإيميل كل شوية. حلاوة التكنولوجيا إننا ممكن نشتغل من أي حته!
Becky: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Saleem: The deadline is rapidly approaching on this project. We should start delegating the tasks at hand.
Mr. Abboud: Yes, indeed. Saleem, you should manage client relations at every step of the process. Fadia, you are responsible for inventory. Naseem will manage the technical aspects of the project because that is his specialty. Where is Naseem?
Fadia: I don't know. I think he went on vacation and I am not sure when he will be back.
Saleem: I'll call Naseem right away and find out when he will return.
Mr. Abboud: Yes, and in the meantime, tell him to be checking his email. The beauty of technology is that we can work from anywhere!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Becky: Nora, have you ever worked in an Egyptian company?
Nora: Yes, I have.
Becky: What kind of language is used in Egyptian offices?
Nora: Well, in Egypt and many parts of the Arab world, and especially in companies, people have started using the English equivalents of Arabic words.
Becky: What do you mean?
Nora: For example, people use the word "deadline," and many other words like "email," "project," "contact," and "HR." If you said them in Arabic, they would sound very stiff and awkward.
Becky: Oh, so that’s why the English equivalent is used.
Nora: Exactly. Words like "senior/junior," "brand," "overtime," "log in," "location", “client”, and many others are often used in Egypt – especially in the bigger cities like Cairo and Alexandria.
Becky: So listeners, if you use these words, you will sound very natural. And this is useful vocabulary for your daily life and work! Nora, can you give us an example sentence?
Nora: Sure!
منير, السينيور مانيجر عايزك.
Becky: "Mounir, the senior manager wants you."
VOCAB LIST
Becky: Now, let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Nora: بتاع [natural native speed]
Becky: possessive marker
Nora: بتاع [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: بتاع [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: المشروع [natural native speed]
Becky: project
Nora: المشروع [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: المشروع [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: لازم [natural native speed]
Becky: necessary
Nora: لازم [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: لازم [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: عشان [natural native speed]
Becky: because, in order to
Nora: عشان [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: عشان [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: صح [natural native speed]
Becky: that's true, you're right
Nora: صح [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: صح [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: مسئول [natural native speed]
Becky: to be responsible for
Nora: مسئول [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: مسئول [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: ماعرفش [natural native speed]
Becky: I don't know
Nora: ماعرفش [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: ماعرفش [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: أعتقد [natural native speed]
Becky: I think
Nora: أعتقد [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: أعتقد [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have..
Nora: أجازة [natural native speed]
Becky: vacation
Nora: أجازة [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: أجازة [natural native speed]
Becky: And last..
Nora: طب [natural native speed]
Becky: ok
Nora: طب [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nora: طب [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is..
Nora: بتاع
Becky: This is a "possessive marker" used to indicate ownership.
Nora: You insert this word between an item and its possessor, and if the item is a feminine noun, you should use بتاعت instead.
Becky: Is it used to show possession in the case of both animate and inanimate objects?
Nora: It is! It can be used for basic possessive phrases, such as "the boy's book," and also phrases like "the project's deadline."
Becky: In English, that might normally be expressed using "project" as an adjective, "project deadline," rather than as part of a possessive phrase. Is this a common construction in the Egyptian dialect?
Nora: Yes, using a possessive structure to express adjectives is very common in the Egyptian dialect.
Becky: Can you give us an example using this word?
Nora: Sure. For example, you can say..
القطة بتاعت صحبتي
Becky: ..which means "My friend’s cat"
Becky: Okay, what's the next word?
Nora: عشان
Becky: meaning "because, in order to"
Nora: This word is inserted in a sentence to connect two ideas.
Becky: Can this word be used to express both reason and purpose?
Nora: Yes, you can also use ashan, when you want to express reason, by saying عشانك, عشانه, عشانها
Becky: Which means, "I'm doing this for you" or "for your/his/her sake" . Can you give us another example using this word?
Nora: Sure. For example, you can say.. إنت ماشي ليه؟ - عشان إتأخرت
Becky: .. which means "Why are you leaving? - Because I'm late." Okay, what's the next word?
Nora: صح
Becky: meaning "true, yes". Is this a common word in the Egyptian dialect?
Nora: It is. In Egypt, it’s used to show agreement while someone else is speaking, and also at the beginning of a response to someone.
Becky: Is it similar to the English "right" or "true"?
Nora: Yes! And it can be used in any level of formality in Egyptian conversation.
Becky: Can you give us an example using this word?
Nora: Sure. For example, you can say.. الجو حر أوي صح؟ - صح
Becky: .. which means "The weather is really hot, right? - ." Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Becky: In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the future tense to participate in a meeting and discuss an upcoming deadline. Nora, are there any useful rules for using the future tense in Arabic?
Nora: When you want to turn a verb into its future tense, you put a ha at the beginning of the verb in the present tense form.
Becky: Conjugating verbs in Arabic can be tough sometimes...
Nora: Yes, but there is some good news! In Egyptian Arabic, conjugating to the future tense is actually very easy.
Becky: A future tense sentence is very similar to a present tense sentence.
Nora: The only difference is the sound ha that is attached to the front of the verb.
Becky: In the dialogue, Saleem said he would call Naseem right away. Did he use the future there?
Nora: Yes, He used the same structure as the present tense, "I call" اتصل but just added the ha sound at the beginning of the verb to make it "I will call" هتصل. Notice that the alif just blends in with the ha sound in the pronunciation.
Becky: Are there other examples in the dialogue?
Nora: yes, He also used the future tense in the second part of the sentence in regards to when Naseem will return from vacation. “He returns” is يرجع, while “he will return” is هيرجع
Becky: So the structure is simple...
Nora: ...ha + simple present tense verb.
Becky: Before we dive into future tense, let's quickly review the simple present tense forms in Egyptian Arabic.
Nora: Sure, let’s use "to make"- عمل
Becky: Nora will say the Arabic, and I’ll say the English.
Nora: أنا أعمل
Becky: I make
Nora: انت تِعمل
Becky: You make (masculine)
Nora: انتي تِعملي
Becky: You make (feminine)
Nora: هو يِعمل
Becky: He makes
Nora: هي تِعمل
Becky: She makes
Nora: احنا نِعمل
Becky: We make
Nora: انتو تِعملوا
Becky: You make
Nora: هم يِعملوا
Becky: They make. Okay, next we will discuss the future tense. As we've said, it is as easy as adding ha to the beginning of these conjugations! Once again, Nora will say the Arabic, and I’ll give you the English meaning.
Nora: أنا هعمل
Becky: I will make
Nora: انت هَتِعمل
Becky: You will make (masculine)
Nora: انتي هَتِعملي
Becky: You will make (feminine)
Nora: هو هَيِعمل
Becky: He will make
Nora: هي هَتِعمل
Becky: She will make
Nora: احنا هَنِعمل
Becky: We will make
Nora: انتو هَتِعملوا
Becky: You will make
Nora: هم هَيِعملوا
Becky: They will make. Nora, can you give some examples with different verbs?
Nora: Sure! هتكتب
Becky: “she will write”
Nora: هنسوق
Becky: “we will drive”. Is there any other useful information we should know?
Nora: Here’s one last thing about conjugating verbs in Egyptian Arabic. You might be wondering why Saleem used the pronoun ana, meaning “I”, before the verb in the phrase أنا هتصل بنسيم meaning “I will call Naseem”, but did not use the pronoun howa, meaning “he,” when talking about Naseem in the phrase هيرجع (“he will return”). In Arabic, the conjugation of the verb occurs often enough for the listener to know who the subject is.
Becky: So in conversation, it is common to drop the pronoun unless it is necessary for clarity or emphasis, right?
Nora: That’s right!
Becky: Lastly, can you give us some sample sentences?
Nora: هتيجي معانا للسينما؟
Becky: "Are you going to come with us to the movie theater?"
Nora:السنة اللي جاية هرجع مصر ان شاء الله.
Becky: "Next year, I will return to Egypt, God willing."
Nora: بكرة انا هتفرج عالتليفزيون
Becky: "Tomorrow I will watch television."

Outro

Becky: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Be sure to check the lesson notes for more examples and explanations of this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Nora: شكرا مع السلامة