All dialects: false friends

< Previous | Next >

tounsi51

Senior Member
French, Tunisian Arabic
In Tunisia

يستحق to need whereas elsewhere it is to deserve
برى means go at imperative form whereas elsewhere it means go away/get out
انزل means to press whereas elsewhere it is to go down
 
  • Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I am not sure if this is what you meant but anyway, in Syria, عيّط means the samething as in Iraqi.
    Really? I didn't know that. Thanks for the info :thumbsup:. In Palestinian they usually don't get that and just link it with the Egyptian meaning of 'cry'.

    Interesting. When I hear the word حوش I think of something similar to بستان. Courtyard is either أرض الدار or جنينة in Syrian.
    This is the first time I hear this meaning for حوش. Just to point out, by courtyard, I mean the courtyard found in traditional houses. I don't know if this is what you mean by جنينة, but when I hear that I understand 'garden' and while these courtyards usually do have a tree or two in them, they are usually paved and can't really be considered gardens; they're also usually quite small. This is what they call حوش in Iraq, it later extended to include the whole house although بيت is still equally common.

    برى means go at imperative form whereas elsewhere it means go away/get out
    I don't recognise this word, is that the fus7a form or the dialect?
     

    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    Just to point out, by courtyard, I mean the courtyard found in traditional houses. I don't know if this is what you mean by جنينة, but when I hear that I understand 'garden' and while these courtyards usually do have a tree or two in them, they are usually paved and can't really be considered gardens; they're also usually quite small.
    Usually, a traditional house as my parents' one has a backyard which is composed of two parts a paved one where you are surrounded with some flowerpots and the second part is an integrated "basin" ar. حوض where you find one or maybe two fruit/vegetable trees (my parents have a grape vine). So when people would go out to the backyard they say طالع عأرض الدار أو عالجنينة.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Usually, a traditional house as my parents' one has a backyard which is composed of two parts a paved one where you are surrounded with some flowerpots and the second part is an integrated "basin" ar. حوض where you find one or maybe two fruit/vegetable trees (my parents have a grape vine). So when people would go out to the backyard they say طالع عأرض الدار أو عالجنينة.
    No, that's an ordinary garden with a paved area. This is not what I mean by courtyard.

    The typical courtyard found inside the traditional Moroccan houses match your description, but is called riad.
    Yes, this is what I mean by courtyard. This is the حوش, in Classical Arabic it's called صحن. By the way, these courtyards exist in traditional Arab houses from Iraq to Morocco; the only Arab country that didn't have them historically is Yemen.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    as ex : (joking aside) ابرك على البوطونة عافاك, I thought this word_with to press meaning_has gone extinct?:)
    :D I can't speak for all Moroccan areas but in Fès, it is still frequent but we never use it to say "to seat down" like in the West :p, only "to press on something".

    In Hassaniya, we say سند على (sannad 3ala) but this also means "to lean on"
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    I find it interesting how some words seem to 'skip' regions!
    حوش means house as well as courtyard in Iraq, but while it's understood in the Levant it's not used in that way and it seems to have totally skipped Egypt!
    Actually, حوش does exist in Egypt but it means "courtyard" (in front of a home). I think in rural areas in Morocco it also bear this meaning yet in bedouin areas, it also means "home".
    رقد also means to sleep in most gulf dialects but not in Iraq or the Levant.
    I didn't know. My Palestinian mates laughed at me when I used it :D they told me it is only used for a chicken covering her eggs.
     
    Last edited:

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    حوش is used in Egypt with the meaning of فِناء, so it's also used for فناء المدرسة.
    As for بَرَك it's mostly used for camels. When it's used figuratively for people, it means that a person fell on the ground without force, and it's not commonly known by the young generation.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Another occurence of a misunderstanding with my Egyptian friend (but it happened a whiiiile ago, from me): the verb خشّ which means "to enter" in Egyptian (دخل in my dialect) but "to hide/to hide something" in my dialect.

    But in the North of Morocco if I'm not wrong, خشّ (as well as دخّل) means "to make something enter into something else".
     
    Last edited:

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I've never heard it used verbally, however, I do remember reading a book for Najib Mahfouth about a rural family from upper Egypt, in it the hero was telling a maid to hide something, I remember clearly what was written: خُشيها هنا but the context clearly indicated that he was telling her to hide it. So I guess that it's not unheard of in Egypt, at least at the time the book was written.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I've never heard it used verbally, however, I do remember reading a book for Najib Mahfouth about a rural family from upper Egypt, in it the hero was telling a maid to hide something, I remember clearly what was written: خُشيها هنا but the context clearly indicated that he was telling her to hide it. So I guess that it's not unheard of in Egypt, at least at the time the book was written.
    This needs a bit more context, Maha. Are you sure you're remembering this correctly? Which novel was it?
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I remember the phrase because it was the first (probably the only) time I see it used in this way. However, I don't recall the name of the book. I only remember small parts of the story and not the whole one. I read it as a teenager, so it is possible that my memory is playing tricks on me.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    عقب pronounced 3ugub in Iraq means 'after' or 'following' (ex. عقب باكر = the day after tomorrow) and it seems to have skipped both the Levant and Egypt!
    عقب is used with this meaning in the Galilee, but it’s much less common than بعد or ورا.

    It always throws me off when Moroccans use حتى for “also,” because it means “even” in Palestinian. For example, if I say أنا جوعان and a Moroccan answers حتى أنا, it sounds like “Even I’m hungry!”, as though it were a huge deal for this person to be hungry. It sounds ridiculous. :D I think other dialects use حتى for “also” as well.

    Other false friends:

    لبن: “yogurt” in Palestinian, “milk” in Egyptian. The Egyptian usage will never grow on me. قهوة مع لبن sounds nasty. :p

    فراخ: “young birds” in Palestinian, “chicken” in Egyptian

    عيش: “bread” in Egyptian, not really used in Palestinian but it sounds like “living”

    عايز: “want” in Egyptian, “need” in Palestinian

    صباح: “forehead” in Palestinian, “morning” in other dialects

    حقي: “my” in some dialects, “my right” in Palestinian

    حلو: “sweet” or “beautiful” in Palestinian, “tasty” in other dialects

    Here’s one that I think @Mahaodeh would appreciate: هواي means “a lot” in Iraqi and ضربة in Palestinian. So أكلت هواي means “I ate a lot” in Iraqi and “I got a beating” in Palestinian!
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Here’s one that I think @Mahaodeh would appreciate: هواي means “a lot” in Iraqi and ضربة in Palestinian. So أكلت هواي means “I ate a lot” in Iraqi not “I got a beating” in Palestinian!
    :D This reminds me of another one that works the other way: بسط in Palestinian means to be happy/glad/comfortable whereas in Iraqi it means to hit/beat up someone. It's interesting that both come from Classical Arabic idiomatic expression: انبسطت اساريره and بسط عليه يده (ليضربه).
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    In Tunisia مبسوط means rich whereas in other dialects it means happy

    سيب pronounced sayeb means to drop, to let go of, to release; in Egypt it means to let
     
    Last edited:

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    It always throws me off when Moroccans use حتى for “also,” because it means “even” in Palestinian. For example, if I say أنا جوعان and a Moroccan answers حتى أنا, it sounds like “Even I’m hungry!”, as though it were a huge deal for this person to be hungry. It sounds ridiculous. :D I think other dialects use حتى for “also” as well.
    I never had any problem using حتى أنا to say "me too", even with my Palestinian mates hahah but I can understand the misunderstanding with the meaning it bears in Palestinian. On the other way, when I say أنا بعد (another way of saying "me too") no one understands me except the Iraqis.


    Other false friends:
    لبن: “yogurt” in Palestinian, “milk” in Egyptian. The Egyptian usage will never grow on me. قهوة مع لبن sounds nasty. :p
    I faced a similar situation with my Egyptian friend: لبن in Morocco is fermented milk while حليب is milk.

    فراخ: “young birds” in Palestinian, “chicken” in Egyptian
    In Morocco, those are young chicken (pronunced فريخ) but when you want to eat it, you say دجاج. Of course, the first time my friend told me فراخ I needed sometimes before I get he was talking about دجاج. We also use فروج for "rooster" and I think صعايدة also use this word.
    عيش: “bread” in Egyptian, not really used in Palestinian but it sounds like “living”
    The first time he told me عيش what came to my mind is كسكس. We call bread خبز.
    عايز: “want” in Egyptian, “need” in Palestinian
    العازة means "to be in need" but we don't use the verb as far as I know.

    حقي: “my” in some dialects, “my right” in Palestinian
    حق sounds "7agg" in my dialect ("right" or often a way of saying "yes") but it sounds like حج in Egyptian.

    حلو: “sweet” or “beautiful” in Palestinian, “tasty” in other dialects
    What threw me off with Palestinians is زاكي to which the closest word I know is ذكي. No need to say the first time I heard one of my Palestinian mates saying كتير زاكي about food, I thought she was joking, I thought she was saying it was smart :D.

    In Tunisia مبسوط means rich whereas in other dialects it means happy
    Being rich=being happy? :p
     
    Last edited:

    I.K.S.

    Senior Member
    Moroccan Arabic
    I faced a similar situation with my Egyptian friend: لبن in Morocco is fermented milk while حليب is milk.
    I'm not really exposed to Eastern dialects, but when I knew Egyptians use لبن for what we call حليب (both usages are correct according to standard Arabic btw) I decided to compare other dairy products in both dialects, and found out this Interlock.
    Moroccan _____ Egyptian
    حليب ____ Milk ____ لبن
    لبن ___
    Buttermilk ___ رايب
    رايب ____
    Yogurt ___ زبادي
    زبدة ____ Butter ____ سمن
    سمن ___
    salted butter ?
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    I'm not really exposed to Eastern dialects, but when I knew Egyptians use لبن for what we call حليب (both usages are correct according to standard Arabic btw) I decided to compare other dairy products in both dialects, and found out this Interlock.
    Oh I have plenty of this kind, where we talk about food but no one understand the other because the same word is used for two different things :rolleyes:

    About that, another one:

    خشم means "nose" in my dialect (beside نيف/منخار) but the first time I used it, my Egyptian friend understood it as mouth (of an animal) :D.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    زبدة ____ Butter ____ سمن
    I thought Egyptians also use زبدة for butter?!

    I think dairy products are worth a look in more than one dialect:

    English ___ Moroccan ____Egyptian ___Palestinian ____ Iraqi
    Milk ________حليب ________حليب ________ لبن ________ حليب
    Buttermilk ___ ؟؟؟ _________؟؟؟ _________رايب ________ لبن
    Yogurt ______ لبن أو روبة ________لبن ________ زبادي ________لبن
    Butter ______ زبد _________ زبدة _________ ؟؟ ________زبدة
    Salted butter _ زبد _________ زبدة _________ ؟؟ _______سمنة
    fat or lard ___ دهن ________ سمنة _________ ؟؟؟ _________؟؟؟
    P.S. I have no idea what buttermilk is and the Wikipedia article didn't really help - since I don't know what it is I guess I can't translate it but just a guess, it might be مخيض in P.A. and I have no idea at all in I.A.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    خشم means "nose" in my dialect (beside نيف/منخار) but the first time I used it, my Egyptian friend understood it as mouth (of an animal) :D.
    I hear it means a 'human mouth' in Sudanese. If so, it might be quite awkward if you went to a Sudanese dentist who would say to you: افتح خشمك عشان اشوف! :eek:
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    In TA the verb كشخ means to sulk but in Emirati Arabic it means to be well-groomed (I am not wrong) and كشخة beautiful

    Edit: Found new meanings in Em. Arabic:
    Literally means: Cool, Great

    eg. I loved the dancing fountains! The show was kashkha! Also used to mean dressed up, fashionable, posh, luxurious

    It's funny when I read صباح الخشخة​
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    Something I always find funny

    In Morocco and Algeria, paint is صبيغة whereas paint in Tunisia is دهن and صبيغة is dye

    الجو in Morocco and Algeria is the weather, in Tunisia the weather is الطقس and جو is the ambience/atmosphere
     
    Last edited:

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Actually it is "صباغة", no Tunisian إمالة here haha. I think the word دهن which basically means "fat/grease" is used for paint because a lot of paints are made with different kind of oils, hence the use of دهن. We don't make the distinction between paint and dye.
    جو can mean weather and ambience, طقس is also used but only for weather. It doesn't differ from Tunisian. I talk for Morocco but I guess Algeria is similar on these aspects
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    دهن (dohn) is the Tunisian pronunciation of دهان which means paint in MSA. We pronounce it that way to differentiate from دهان (dehen) which is painter (we also use بياض)

    دهن is MSA for fat

    I never heard Moroccan saying طقس unless you mean MSA for météo? Do you say الجو بارد don't you? In TA we would say el ta9s bered or denya berda
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    دهن (dohn) is the Tunisian pronunciation of دهان which means paint in MSA. We pronounce it that way to differentiate from دهان (dehen) which is painter (we also use بياض)
    صباغ (Sabbaagh) is painter in Morocco.

    I never heard Moroccan saying طقس unless you mean MSA for météo? Do you say الجو بارد don't you? In TA we would say el ta9s bered or denya berda
    الطقس بارد isn't spread yet we may use "طقس" alone but for your examples, we would say الدنيا باردة or الجو بارد.
     
    Last edited:

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    طقس in Palestinian means weather, جوّ means climate. In Iraqi it's commonly the opposite. I almost always get corrected by someone whichever I use!
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Here are a couple false friends I've become aware of:

    " نطر " 'naTar' means 'to wait' in Lebanese but 'to flick' in Egyptian.

    " تروّق " 'trawwa2' means 'to have breakfast' in Lebanese but " روّق " or " تروّق " 'rawwa2/trawwa2' means something like 'to tidy up' in Egyptian.

    Quite often. When I first left Lebanon, and haven't had much contact with Arabs of different nationalites, this used to be a major concern for me. I got myself into countless embarrassing situations, and sometimes misunderstandings that led to hard feelings or even slight problems. I remember saying a very common Lebanese expression once, which didn't have an equivalent in the Egyptian dialect, but held a very embarrassing meaning when translated literally. Those who were present kept laughing and laughing while I fought hard to hold my tears back. They still tease me about it till now.:)
    If I might ask, what Lebanese phrase did you employ that caused this situation? Since I'm learning that dialect, I'd like to avoid possible difficulties...
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    " تروّق " 'trawwa2' means 'to have breakfast' in Lebanese but " روّق " or " تروّق " 'rawwa2/trawwa2' means something like 'to tidy up' in Egyptian.
    In Palestinian روّق means “calm down.” Is this a three-way false friend?!
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    " تروّق " 'trawwa2' means 'to have breakfast' in Lebanese but " روّق " or " تروّق " 'rawwa2/trawwa2' means something like 'to tidy up' in Egyptian.
    رَوَّق = to calm down
    رَوَّق البيت / المكان = to tidy up
    رَوَّق حد = to give him a tough talk, make him know his mistakes and blame him hard for them; to give someone a hard time.
    There are two maSdars:
    رَوَقان = calming down, putting all troubles behind you and enjoying yourself/your time. It also mean no caring about anything.
    تَرْوِيق = tidying up; giving someone hard time.

    The adjective رايق raaye2 means:
    to be forgetful of anthing, to be disregarding troubles.
    دا واحد رايق مفيش في دماغه حاجة/مش شاغل باله بحاجة
    And: to be in a good mood, to be free/not busy
    لو عايز تطلب من المدير حاجة، استنى لما يبقى رايق
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    صبوح in Hassaniya means "breakfast" (beside فطور) but some may confuse it with صبح (although it is linked).
    فيسع in Maghrebi dialects means "right now/quickly" but Tunisians (@tounsi51 :p ) seem to pronounce it فيسا and it sounds like an Egyptian word...:rolleyes: I leave Egyptians commenting about that :D :p
    فتر (and the adjective فترا) means "tired" but every single person with who I used this word misunderstood it as فطر so I avoid it and use عيان.

    The adjective رايق raaye2 means:
    to be forgetful of anything, to be disregarding troubles.
    You just shed light on this mysterious word my friend uses and I've never until now, understood its meaning (he sometimes says دماغي رايقة or something like this).
     
    Last edited:

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    عيان means “sick” in Palestinian. ;)
    Oh true, in Egyptian too hence at the beginning, I always had to add that it means "tired" in Morocco (مريض is used for ill) because I use to get as a reply الف سلامة عليك hahaha
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    عافية which means "peace" in Hassaniya dialect but in the rest of Morocco (according to the context) it can mean "fire" :D. I heard it is was also the case in the rest of the Maghreb but this meaning only remained in Morocco today. Oddly, the expression عافاك is wiiidely used across Morocco to mean "please".

    زفت. In Hassaniya, it means plastic while in the rest of Morocco, it is asphalt.

    عقب pronounced 3ugub in Iraq means 'after' or 'following' (ex. عقب باكر = the day after tomorrow) and it seems to have skipped both the Levant and Egypt!
    I completely forgot, we do use عاقب (3aageb) to say "after" but as I'm much more used to من بعد, that's why I forgot it :D because I avoid using it since few people get it on the first instance.
     
    Last edited:

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    English ___ Moroccan ____Egyptian ___Palestinian ____ Iraqi
    Milk ________حليب ________حليب ________ لبن ________ حليب
    Buttermilk ___ ؟؟؟ _________؟؟؟ _________رايب ________ لبن
    Yogurt ______ لبن أو روبة ________لبن ________ زبادي ________لبن
    Butter ______ زبد _________ زبدة _________ ؟؟ ________زبدة
    Salted butter _ زبد _________ زبدة _________ ؟؟ _______سمنة
    fat or lard ___ دهن ________ سمنة _________ ؟؟؟ _________؟؟؟
    I think "buttermilk" is لبن مخيض in Palestinian. (There's also لبن رايب, but I'm not totally sure what that is.) سمنة is specifically "ghee," isn't it?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top