Level 2: ابعتلي جواب (Ib3atli gawaab)

Egyptian Dialect:

ابعتلي جواب

Ib‘atli Gawāb

(“Send Me a Reply”)

 

 

The first few lines are from this song:

 

  •  البوسْطَجِيّة اشتكو من كثر مراسيلي

Il-Bustagiyya ishtaku min kuthr(i) marāsīli.

The mailmen have complained to me about the sheer amount of my letters.

– بُوسْطَجِيّ  = mailman (from English “post” and the Turkish “-ji” ending for professions)

 

  • وعيوني يا ما بكو شكتلي مناديلي

Wa ‘uyūni ya ma baku shakitli manādīli.

And my eyes cried so much that even my tissues started to complain to me.

 – يا ما  = how much + verb (not as a question but for purposes of emphasis or astonishment)

 

  • من يوم ما سافر حبيبي واخذ قلبي وروحي معه

Min yōm ma sāfar ḥabībi u akhad ’albi u rūḥi ma‘a

From the day that my lover left and took my heart and my sole with him.

 

  • عرفت عيوني السهر وصاحبت مناديلي

‘arifit ‘uyūni is-sahr u ṣāḥibt manādīli

My eyes learned the meaning of sleeplesness and I formed friendship with the tissues.

– ṣāḥibt = note that in Egyptian Arabic the past tense of form III verbs is not ṣāḥab but ṣāḥib and form V is not it’allam but it’allim

 

  • ابعتلي جواب، جواب، جواب .. وطمني

ib‘atli gawāb, gawāb, gawāb.. u ṭaminni

Send me a reply… and tell me you’re alright.

–  جواب  = response; here maybe: letter

– طَمَّن، يْطَمِّن  = to reassure, tell someone one is alright 

 

  • ولو انه عتاب، عتاب، عتاب .. لا تحرمني

Wa law ino ‘itāb, ‘itāb, ‘itāb.. ma taḥrimni

Even if it’s just to scold me… don’t deprive me of you.

– عاتب، يعاتب، العِتاب = to scold, to reproach (عَتَب، يَعْتِب = to blame, rebuke)

 

  •  ابعتلي جواب يا سيدي

ib‘atli gawāb, ya sīdi

Please, just send me a reply.

– يا سيدي = polite way of addressing someone (lit.: my master)

 

  • غيابك طال .. وبستنا

ġiyābak ṭāl.. u bastanna

Your absence is becoming long.. and I’m waiting.

 

  • وقلبك مال .. بتهنى

wa ’albak māl .. bithanna

Your heart has shifted.. I’m happy.

 

  • ان كنت هويت ونسيتني

In kunt(i) hawēt wi nsitni,

If you have fallen in love and forgotten about me,

– kunt(i) hawēt = note the helping vowel (i) that is inserted because otherwise there would be three consonants after one another, which is not permissable in Egyptian Arabic.

– nsitni = 1. note the helping vowel in the beginning as Egyptian Arabic doesn’t allow two consonants at the beginning of a word. 2. Note how it’s not “nsītni” as in other dialects. This is because the ī is shortened in a so-called closed syllable (with two consonants surrounding one vowel). In “n-sīt-ni” the long i is in the syllable sīt which has a vowel at the beginning and at the end so the ī is shortened to i.

 

  • وعلي جنيت ما راعيتني

wa ‘alayya ganēt ma rā‘itni

You have done me unjusitice, you didn’t protect me.

– rā‘itni = note once more the shortening of the ī (in other dialects it would be  rā‘ītni) for the same reasons mentioned above (rā-‘īt-ni)

 

  • ابعتلي جواب، جواب، جواب .. وطمني

ib‘atli gawāb, gawāb, gawāb.. u ṭaminni

Send me a reply… and tell me you’re alright.

 

  • ولو انه عتاب، عتاب، عتاب .. لا تحرمني

Wa law ino ‘itāb, ‘itāb, ‘itāb.. ma taḥrimni

Even if it’s just to scold me… don’t deprive me of you.

 

  •  ابعتلي جواب يا سيدي

ib‘atli gawāb, ya sīdi

Please, just send me a reply.

 

  • انا ليه إلاه يعرفني

Ana liya ilāh yi‘rifni

I have God who knows me.

– liya = Fuṣḥā لي (lī)

 

  • من حر الآه ينصفني

min ḥarr il-āh yinṣafni

He will establish right in the face of my burning pain.

– آه = “aah” (expression of pain)

– أَنْصَف = to be just, establish justice

 

  • موش قادر اقول انت الجاني

Mush ’ādir a’ūl anta il-gāni

I can’t say you’re a criminal

 

  • حـاصبر على طول على احزاني

ḥaṣbur ‘ala ṭul ‘ala aḥzāni

I will always be patient with my sorrows.

– ḥaṣbur = note the ḥa- prefix which is the future particle in Egyptian dialect

– على طول = always, all the time; immediately, right away; straight on, straight ahead

 

  •  ابعتلي جواب يا سيدي

ib‘atli gawāb, ya sīdi

Please, just send me a reply.

 

  • ابعتلي جواب، جواب، جواب .. وطمني

ib‘atli gawāb, gawāb, gawāb.. u ṭaminni

Send me a reply… and tell me you’re alright.

 

  • ولو انه عتاب، عتاب، عتاب .. لا تحرمني

Wa law ino ‘itāb, ‘itāb, ‘itāb.. ma taḥrimni

Even if it’s just to scold me… don’t deprive me of you.

 

  • صبرت عليك .. وذقت مرار

Ṣuburt(i) ‘alēk.. wi du’t(i) marār

I was patiened with you and tasted the bitterness of life.

– داق، يدوق  = to taste

– مُرّ، ج أَمْرار  = bitter

 

  • وبعتٌ إليك .. اخبار واخبار

U ba‘t ilik.. akhbār u akhbār

I sent you letters over letters.

 

  • اتاريك نسيتني مع الايام

Atarīk nisitni ma‘ il-ayyam

It seems like you have forgotten about me with time.

– أتاري / أتابي = It seems like, looks like

 

  • ورضيت تفوتني على الألام

Wi riḍīt tifawwitni ‘ala il-alam.

(Sounds rather like “tifutni” to me)

And you were fine with throwing me into these pains.

– فوّت، يفوّت  = to put in, bring in (from فات، يفوت “to enter; to pass”)

 

  • ابعتلي جواب، جواب، جواب .. وطمني

ib‘atli gawāb, gawāb, gawāb.. u ṭaminni

Send me a reply… and tell me you’re alright.

 

  • ولو انه عتاب، عتاب، عتاب .. لا تحرمني

Wa law ino ‘itāb, ‘itāb, ‘itāb.. ma taḥrimni

Even if it’s just to scold me… don’t deprive me of you.

 

  •  ابعتلي جواب يا حبيبي

ib‘atli gawāb, ya ḥabibi

Please, just send me a reply, my lover.