I’m passing on this sample of Meccan dialect, which I encountered over the weekend in Versteegh’s The Arabic Language (a little “beach reading”). It’s both interesting (because it’s a sample of a fairly obscure Arabic dialect) and amusing (although it does reinforce some cross-cultural gender stereotypes).
1. hāda kān wāḥid riĝĝāl wu-hāda r-riĝĝāl nassāy marra
1. There was once a man, and this man was very forgetful.
2. wu-maratu tibġa mušš; gālatlu ẖud hādi z-zubdīya w-hāda l-fulūs rūh ĝibli mušš
2. His wife wanted mušš [cottage cheese]. She said to him, “Take this bowl and this money, and go buy me mušš.”
3. gallaha ‘iza nsīt; gālatlu lā ‘inšaḷḷa mā tinsa ‘inta ṭūl mā timši gūl mušš ‘ašan lā tinsa
3. He said to her: “[What] if I forget?” She said to him: “No, God willing, you won’t forget; say all the way mušš , so that you don’t forget.”
4. gallaha ṭayyib; ‘aẖad az-zubdīya w-al-fulūs wu-nadar yigūl mušš mušš mušš
4. He said to her, “OK!” He took the bowl and the money and kept saying mušš, mušš, mušš.
5. laga ‘itnēn biyiḍḍārabu; wigif yitfarriǧ ‘alēhum ‘ilēn ġallagu l-miḍāraba; yifakkir ‘ēš maratu gālatlu yištari
5. He came across two men who were fighting. He stood there looking at them until they ended their fight; then he thought, What did my wife tell me to buy?
(Note: š = “sh” in “ship”; mušš pronounced kind of like French mouche.)
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