حبه جنة أنا عشت فيها
His love is a heaven I lived in
قربه فرحة حلمت بيها
Being closed to him is an elation I always dreamt of.
ده اللي بيه إحلو عمري
This is the one because of whom my life became sweet
ده اللي أنا هديله عمري
This is the one to whom I will give my life
ياما ليالي بستنى لقاه
So many nights I take my time to meet him
حُبُه جَنَّة أَنَا عِشْتُ فِيْهَا
قُرْبُه فَرْحَة حَلَمْت بِهَا
هَذَا الَّذِي اِحْلَوَلى بِه ِ عُمْرِي
هَذَا الَّذِي أَدِّي لَهُ عُمْرِي
كَمْ مِنْ لِيَالِي أَتْأنَّى لِقَائَهُ
(1) Egyptians always pronounce جَ as َق, as in the words: جَنه, جَماله, أجمل, and حاجَات.
(2) Egyptians always pronounce قَ as أ, as in the words: قربه, لقاه, قلتله, رقه, قلبي, ألقى, سرقني, اتعلقت, هلقى, لقيته, and قبليه.
(3) For words that start with fatHah in MSA, Egyptians opt for kasrah instead as they find it easier as in the words: حِلِمْت, اِيْدِيه, يعمل, اِتْعَلقت. With اِيْدِيه and اِتْعَلقت, the alif wasl is added as holder for the kasrah because it is hard to add a kasrah to يـ or to a letter that is followed by another with fatHah, as in اِتْعَلقت.
(4) Egyptian often end prepositions that have attached pronouns with an extended kasrah pronounced as ـيـ, as in:
- بِها becomes بِيْهَا
- بِه becomes بِيْه
- لَه becomes لِيه (see below)
- قَبْلُه becomes قَبْلِيه (see below)
- more examples are: تَحْتِيْهم for تحَتَهُم;
فَوْقِيْه for فَوْقُه;
مِنَّيْه for مِنْهُ;
عَنِّيْهَا for عَنْهَاand so forth. (5) ث is always pronounced as ت in Egyptian, so ثَانِي is pronounced as تاني.
(6) يَوْم, يـ with fatHah in MSA, is pronounced as يُوْم, يُـ with DHammah in Egyptian.
(7) The ئـ in ضَائِع in MSA is pronounce as يـ in Egyptian, as in ضَايع, شَايفه. In most Arabic dialects the ئـ is pronounced as يـ, hence قَائل, بَائِع, نَائِم in MSA are قَايل, بايع, and نايم in dialects.
(8) alif al-qaT‘ (i.e. the alif with hamzah—أ or إ) is always treated as alif wasl (alif without hamzah) in Egyptian, as in هَديله (i.e. هَأدِيْ له),
بستنى (i.e. بأستنى),
هَخَبِي (i.e. هأخَبِّي),
هلقى (i.e. هألقى),
ودَادي (i.e. وأدَاري),
وياه (i.e. وإياه).
Note that alif al-wasl is written but not pronounced in both MSA and dialects.
(9) مَعَاه is for مَعَه in MSA. The fatHah on the عَ is extended that it becomes a long vowel. (10) Egyptian tend to shorten the alif in the middle of words that it becomes more like a fatHah, as in نَداني for نَادَاني.
(1) In هخبي , هلقى , هديله , Egyptian use هـ at the beginning of verbs to indicate the future action. The equivalent of it in MSA is سـ.
(2) Egyptian use بـ at the start of verbs to indicate that the action is continuous as in بتنده.
(3) Egyptian use اتِـ at the beginning of verbs to indicate that the verb is passive, as in اِتْحكاله for حُكِيَ in MSA.
In both MSA and dialects, blending short words with other longer words preceding them is common, as in:
(1) هَديله is هَدِّي له
(2) قلتله is قلت له
(3) اتحكاله is اتحكى له
(4) حصلتلي is حصلت لي
(1) The equivalent of the MSA هَذَا / ذا and هَذِهِ / ذي are دَه and دِي in Egyptian. The ذ is pronounced as د. The alif of ذَا is dropped and is replaced by هـ, which is also common in MSA known as هـ of devoicing (of sukuun).
(2) الَّلِي ‘who’ is common in most Arabic dialects. It replaces all other relative pronouns (i.e. الَّذِي، الَّتِي، الَّلذَان، الَّلتَان، الَّذِيْن، الَّاتِي).
(3) اِحْلُو is for اِحْلَوْلَى in MSA. Due to its twister pronunciation, the MSA word has been replaced by اِحْلَو in most Arabic dialects.
(4) هَدِّيْلَه is for سأَدِّي لَه in MSA. The هـ is for future (see above). The أ in أَدِي is treated as alif wasl, so it is assimilated. هَدَّيْلُه seems as one word because of contextual blending of words.
(5) يَامَا is common in Egyptian, and it means ‘many a time’
(6) بَسْتَنَّى is for اِسْتَّأَنَّى in MSA. The two alif are treated as alif wasl, so they are not pronounced. The بَـ at the beginning of verbs in Egyptian indicate the action is continuous.
(7) مُش is a common negative particle in many Arabic dialects similar to لَنْ in MSA. While لن indicates negation and future, مش indicates only negation, so the verb after مش has the prefix هـ which indicates the future.
(8) إيه is the Egyptian equivalent for مَا in MSA, and it is always at the end of the question rather at the beginning.
(9) Active participles (i.e. words like كَاتِب from كَتَبَ, شَارِب from شَرِبَ, سَامِع from سَمِعَ) are used as verbs in Egyptian, as in شَايفه (i.e. شَائف + ـه). Therefore, Egyptian say أنا سامعه for سمعته ‘I heard it / I listened to it’; أنا حافظه for حفظته ‘I memorized it.’ The same is true with مطمناني which used as a verb while it is an active participle (i.e. مطمئن). Here, the hamzah is dropped; an alif is added after ن to ease pronunciation; the ن after the alif is called the ن of wiqayah (ن that prevents pronunciation from being altered which is added only with on attached pronoun, that is ـي for أنا. With other pronouns this ن is not added, hence مطمناه, مطمناك, مطمناهم and so forth.
(10) Egyptian plural for يُوم is يُومات and for ليلة is لَيلات instead of the MSA أَيَّام and لَيَالي.
In sum, learners of Arabic have the right to complain about the difference MSA and dialects. It is a high time that Egyptians (and Arabs) fixed their spoken language to match MSA. This way Arabs from different countries can communicate with each other a lot more easily. Also, foreign learners will acquire their language faster.