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In the previous lesson, we covered how to ride the bus in Egyptian cities. In this lesson, we will continue teaching you how to say other phrases that will be helpful for long distance trips during your stay in Egypt.
Let’s imagine a situation that happens all the time in Egypt’s bus stations. For example, you chose to travel by bus from Cairo to Alexandria. First of all, you will go to the information desk and ask about the schedule. You can ask “When is the next bus to Alexandria?” In Egyptian Arabic, that is:
emta el bus el gaii lel eskendereyya?
(slow)emta el bus el gaii lel eskendereyya?
emta el bus el gaii lel eskendereyya?
إمتى الباص الجاي للإسكندرية؟
The first word emta is translated as “when”.
(slow) emta.
Next we have el bus, which means “the bus”.
(slow) el bus
el bus.
After that comes el gaii meaning “the next”. Note that the adjective comes after the noun in Arabic.
(slow) el gaii
el gaii
And “to Alexandria” is lel eskendereyya in Arabic. Lel is the contraction of le meaning “to” and el meaning “the”
(slow) lel eskendereyya
lel eskendereyya
The whole question is:
emta el bus el gaii lel eskendereyya?
The next question you will need to ask is
ashtery el tazkara mneen? That in English is translated as “Where can I buy tickets?”
(slow) ashtery el tazkara mneen?
ashtery el tazkara mneen?
ashtery is a present tense 1st person form of the verb that means “to buy”.
(slow) ashtery.
And last, we have el tazkara which means “the ticket”.
(slow)el tazkara.
el tazkara.
mneen is translated as “from where”
(slow) mneen.
Let’s hear the whole phrase one more time.
ashtery el tazkara mneen?
أشتري تذكرة منين؟
The person you asked will probably point at the place where you can buy tickets. You’ll know it when you see many people standing in a row. Stand in the row and observe the people in front of you and what they say – you might catch a couple of useful words!
When you get on the bus, make sure that the bus is the one you need to take. For this you will need to ask, “Is this bus going to Alexandria?” In Egyptian Arabic, that’s:
da bus eskendereyya?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) da bus eskendereyya?
da bus eskendereyya?
دا باص اسكندرية؟
da is the masculine form for “this”. We already covered the word in our previous lessons.
bus means “bus”.
And the last word eskendereyya is “Alexandria”.
The whole question once again is:
da bus eskendereyya?
It literally means something like “Is this Alexandria’s bus?”
Now let’s learn how to buy a ticket for a further destination.
tazkara lel eskendereyya, law samaht. In English is - “A ticket to Alexandria please.”
(slow) tazkara lel eskendereyya, law samaht.
tazkara lel eskendereyya, law samaht.
تذكرة للاسكندرية لو سمحت
You already know that tazkara means “a ticket.”
Next we have lel eskendereyya which means “to Alexandria”, as we explained earlier.
And at the end the words law samaht, as usual, meaning “please”.
The whole sentence is:
tazkara lel eskendereyya, law samaht.
When you get ready for a long trip, it is normal to be interested in how many hours it will take to reach your destination. All you have to do is to ask the driver the following question.
el taree’ kam saʿa? which is literally translated in English as “How many hours is the way?”
(slow) el taree’ kam saʿa?
el taree’ kam saʿa?
الطريق كام ساعة؟
el taree’ means “the way”
(slow) el taree’.
el taree’.
The second word kam means “how much”, “how many.”
(slow) kam
Next we have saʿa which means “hour”
(slow) saʿa
Altogether we have: el taree’ kam saʿa?