Dodo Says

Posts Tagged ‘language

بتعجب من يلي بغيرو لهجتن. يعني بيكون الواحد اصلو من الشمال او الجنوب او البقاع, ومش بس اصلو من هونيك, فينا نقول انو ربيان معظم حياتو بالضيعة. بس لمن نزل علمدينة صار بدو يغير لهجتو, وبدل ميقول “واحِد” صار بدو يقول “واحَد” بس فهموني ليش؟ انو وين الغلط اذا بقيت عطبيعتك وحكيت لهجتك؟ خايف اهل بيروت يتضحكو عليك؟ ويتضحكو، صدقني بيتضحكو مرة مرتين وبعدين بيسكتو. مش احسن من انو يتضحكو عليك لمن تغير لهجتك شي مليون مرة بنفس الحديث لانو عم تحكي مع اصحابك من بيروت وكمان في اهلك عم يشاركوا بالحديث؟ شو؟ وبعدين عفكرة، المظبوط هو “واحِد” اذا بدنا نحكي لغوياً وبالفصحة

كل انسان وعندو لهجتو، فكون عطبيعتك الله يرضى عليك وما تغير. لانو بس تغير مش رح تكون مرتاح بحديثك ولا رح تقنعنا بلهجتك المزيفة. وكمان كل ضيعة في عندا لهجتها الخاصة وما حدا عاجبوا حدا، فليش بدك تحكي بس متل اهل بيروت؟


I love that sentence!!! Yes, I do.

Why the whole debate about it, I really don’t know why. It is used in our daily speech with friends and family members.  I have never heard anyone say “Hi kifak? Ca va?” when hosting a political show, have you?This is informal speech, and there are absolutely NO RULES for informal speech.

Most of our daily speech is informal; but there’s no debate about it. For example, “shou kifak elyoum?” ; in formal Arabic it’s “كيف حالك اليوم؟”. It’s not a subject of debate. Why? Because it’s informal.

 To me “Hi, kifak? Ca va?” or “Maitre, please l7seib” is the power of the Lebanese. It’s what make us so special: being able to express ourselves in 3 languages. You never hear a French or American say that.

Lebanese are multilingual. And it not just about using 3 languages in a sentence. A Lebanese talks to a foreigner in his own language. How? When he meets an Egyptian, a Lebanese speaks the Egyptian dialect. When he meets a Chinese, well it doesn’t work in this case!!! But I think you got my point.

The Lebanese are unique and I love them!!!


“Habiby”/”Habibty” “Alby” “3youny” “Habib alby” “Hayete” (all can be used to mean “my dear”)

“Babe” “Dear” “My love”

“Ma Chere” “Mon amour”

Those words are wonderful. Each and every one of them carries a deep meaning to show the person how much he/she means to you.

We love to hear those words, and it’s normal. We all love to be loved. I myself feel so happy to know that I am very special to someone. And I know you feel the same way too.

But it seems these words carry the opposite meaning these days. Why do we say them to those who we don’t care about?


At work, he addresses all his colleages/clients/everyone with those special words. “eh ya habib alby, kifak elyoum?” “shou ya 3youny, kif bse3dik?” But when a real friend or family member calls him, he answers the phone “eh na3am, kifna el youm?”

She’s at the beauty saloon, she calls her envious nieghbor: “layki mon amour, ana 3end el coiffure, 3endi brushing w manicure w pedicure w….; bas ken baddy es2alik shou 3endik hala2?”

I once sent a business e-mail to someone I have never met. The reply e-mail started with “Yes my dear…” (I know we usually start with Dear Mr. , but this one said “my dear”; how could I be “your dear” and you never saw my face or heard my voice?)

Or what about this girls: you go shopping, you enter this shop for the first time, you like a dress, try it on, then the salesperson says “wow ya habibty shou leb2elik”.

My main concern is that those wonderful words are misused. We hardly express them to those we care about. We say them to those who we envy, who we never met before, who have a simple touch in our lives; but not to those who need to hear it.

If I ever told you “my dear” or … you should know that you mean a lot to me!!!



August 2019
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