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Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:28 am
by nooj
Systematic absence of overt complementisers in MA.

This threw me for a loop, being so omnipresent and obligatory in the other languages I've studied (Spanish and French).

يمكن ليا نبات عندك - Can I stay over at your place

An overly literal equivalent in Spanish would be:

Es posible (que) quede contigo?

Something that is shared between MA and many other languages is the use of a 'gustar' kind of verb, that is to say, 'something is appealing to me' in order to express likes and dislikes.

كتعجبني الفرنسية من عندك - your French is pleasing to me - I like your French.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:44 am
by nooj
Something a bit similar between Italian and MA:

شحال ديال الوقت كدير ف الفطور

Quanto tempo ci metti a fare colazione?

You can shorten the Arabic even more and say:

شحال كدير فالفطور

Which would give you in Italian, using the Arabic structure:

Quanto (tempo) metti nella colazione?

Italian also drops the complementiser in spoken Italian...another similarity between the two languages.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:05 pm
by nooj

Souad Massi (سعاد ماسي), Algerian singer with instrumentalist Rabah Khalfa (رابح خالفة).

My translation:
قلي علاش راك تفكر راك معانا وراك وحيد
Tell me why you are thinking
You are with us and (yet) you are alone.

الناس زاهية في لبحر وانت غايس ورحت لبعيد
The people are happy on the beach
And you are plunged into thought and you have gone far away.

راه باين قلبك معمّر راه باين ما عندك ما تزيد
It is clear that your heart is full (of sorrow)
It is clear that you don't have any more to add.

الي موالف لمحان مصغر طول عمرو نارو تقيد
There are those who are used to suffering from their early days.
Their whole life, their fire burns.


خلوني خلوني خلوني نبكي على رايي
Let me, let me, let me cry over my thoughts
وخلوني خلوني خلوني نبكي على زهري
And let me, let me, let me cry over my fortune.


شوف الناس كيفاش زاهية شوف الناس كيفاش تلعب
Look at how happy people are, look at how the people play.
شوف السما كيفاش صافية وانت سماك مضبب
Look how the sky is clear, and you, your sky is sullen.
كاين اللي ضحكتلو الدنيا واعطاتلو بلا حساب
There are those upon whom the world has smiled
And to whom the world has given in abundance (literally: without count, i.e. not stingily)
كاين اللي كيما انت يبكي و يصبر لّعذاب
There are those like you who cry and who bear suffering.
Repeat chorus.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:44 pm
by nooj
A song by the very influential and ground-breaking Moroccan Berber group Izenzaren from the 70s. The title is wad itmuddun (he travels), from the first lines wad itmuddun, ar itka tiqbilin (he travels and he visits villages). There is a long instrumental in the beginning, the singing starts at 3:00. As far as I know, there is no translation of this song available in any language and their work is poorly known on the internet outside of Tashelhit speakers. I would like to do it.

A new Italian translation of the old French-Tashelhit textbook I used has been released, with corrections and some changes. I am reading it now. It is giving me the strong desire to go back to Morocco and relearn these two languages. I miss the sound of Tashelhit and Moroccan Arabic. Two of the most beautiful languages in the world, as far as I'm concerned!

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:44 am
by nooj
For negation in MA, there is a bipartite structure, where mā + another negative bipolarity item, for example ʃī. That ʃī is commonly reduced to ʃ, unless you want to really emphasise that there is nothing.

mā ʔəndi ʃī
I don't have anything (c.f. French je n'ai rien)

راجلي مكيتعاملش معيا مزيان
rāʒli makæytəʔæməlʃ məʔjā məzjæn
My husband doesn't treat me well

Notice the ma+ʃ(ī) circumfix that surrounds the verb kæytəʔæməl (he treats).

klīt tɑ̄ʒin, walakīn maʒāʃ zwīn
I ate tagine, but it didn't come out well.

Note: ma + ʒā + ʃ

This proverb shows something that I just adore about Arabic syntax in relative clauses.

اليد اللي ما تقدر تعضها بوسها

Literally, the hand that you can't bite it, kiss it. (i.e. if you can't beat 'em, join em).

The subject in this sentence is is taken up again in the relative clause, and it's just so nice!

But there is no ʃī! That contradicts what I said before about MA using circumfixes to express negation. What's going on? Well in proverbs the second part can be dropped, leaving the mā to do all the job by itself.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:24 pm
by nooj
Documentary in French about the Moroccan Jewish immigration to Israel.

Israeli singer (with Moroccan grandparents, Neta Elkayam)

تعا لي, اه يا غزالي
Come, my gazelle
تعالي سويعة قبالي
Come for a while before me
يا زهوة بالي غيرك ما يحلا لي
Oh happiness of my mind, only you are pleasant for me
يا نور العين ارحميني بحضورك
Oh light of my eyes
you take pity on me with your presence
نمشوا سوا اثنين
Let's go the two of us together
يدي في يدك
Hand in hand
من اليوم للي عرفتك
Since the day I came to know you
ره حبك هاج عليا
Your love aroused me
في فوادي زادعشقك
In my heart, desire kept on growing
شعلت نيراني قويا
My fires burned strong
كل ليلة ارى خيالك منامي يحرم عليا
Every night, I see your shadow
Sleep is denied to me
فين هوا وصالك , تعالي في ذي العشية
Where is that meeting of yours,
Come to that night

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:27 pm
by nooj
This song, called (ta3ali, come) was originally sung by a Jewish-Algerian singer, Salim Halali. Click here to hear it sung by him. It was written for him by the Algerian singer-songwriter Mohamed el Kamel. Salim was part of the flourishing Jewish-North African music scene, of which a rich collection survives from the 20th century, before the Jewish communities by and large moved to Israel.

Neta Elkayam is an Israeli singer, whose grandparents are Moroccan immigrants. She was born however in Israel. She sings usually in Arabic, a language that she heard spoken by her grandparents, and which she learned later in order to get in touch with her roots. From this trailer of a documentary that was made about her, you can see that she speaks Moroccan Arabic, but it is not her most comfortable language. If her grandparents are from Tinghir, that would mean they are Jewish Berbers, and may have spoken the Berber language Tashelhit + Moroccan Arabic.

I've been to Tinghir, it's a beautiful place.

There are few Israeli Jews who actually speak Arabic, and the ones who do speak it natively are by now very, very old. Judeo-Arabic dialects are all seriously endangered, like most other Jewish languages, and they have not been transmitted to the younger generations of Israeli Jews. Hebrew is their language now. Neta is an exception, because she wanted to reconnect with her Moroccan Jewish heritage.

This song however is not composed in Judeo-Arabic. It is in Classical Arabic, the common heritage 'high' language of all Arabic speakers, whatever their religion.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:26 am
by nooj
All'inizio degli anni cinquanta, quasi un terzio della popolazione italiana non avrà potuto parlare quotidianamente l'italiano, secondo il linguista recentemente defunto Tullio di Mauro. Come vedete nel video sotto qui, lui è molto più ottimista di me respetto i cosidetti 'dialetti' italini. Perché se ci si fida dei dati attuali, secondo i quali i giovani non parlano più le lingue dei nonni (almeno nel nord-centro), quelle siano in rischio d'estinzione, per cui la situazione è gravissima. L'Italia ha la fortuna d'essere un paese ricco di lingue.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:35 am
by nooj
Una bella canzone in siciliano, con le parole in siciliano-italiano-inglese (tradutte da me, in base del testo italiano, purtroppo non so parlare ancora il siciliano).

Sugnu sempri alla finestra e viru genti ca furria pà strada
Sono sempre alla finestra e vedo gente che gironzola per strada.
I’m always by the window and I see people who hang about in the street

Genti bedda, laria, allegra, mutriusa e siddiata
Gente bella, brutta, allegra, musona ed annoiata.
Beautiful people, ugly people, happy people, sulkers and bored people

Genti arripudduta cu li gigghia isati e a vucca stritta
Gente arricchita con le ciglia alzate e la bocca stretta:
People who got rich quick, with the eyelashes done up, and pursed lips

“Turi ho vogghia di quaccosa, un passabocca, un Lemon Zoda!
”Salvo, ho voglia di qualcosa, un sorbetto, un Lemonsoda!
Hey Salvatori, I want something, a sorbet, a lemon soda!

Iddu ci arrispunni: “Giusi, quannu ti chiamavi Giuseppina, eri licca pà broscia cà granita”
Lui risponde “Giusy, quando ti chiamavi Giuseppina eri golosa di brioche con la granita......"
And he responds, Giusi, when your name was Giuseppina, you couldn’t get enough of brioche with ice…

“Turi tu n’ha fattu strada e ora che sei grosso imprenditori t’ha ‘nsignari a classi ‘ntò parrari
”Salvo, ne hai fatta strada ... ma adesso che sei un grande imprenditore.... devi imparare a parlare con classe!
Salvatore, you haven’t travelled...but now that you are a big businessman, you should learn to speak with class!

Sugnu sempre alla finestra e viru genti spacinnata,
Sono sempre alla finestra e vedo gente che non fa niente,
I’m always by the window and I see people who don’t do anything

sduvacata ‘nte panchini di la piazza, stuta e adduma a sigaretta.
stravaccata sulle panchine della piazza che fuma una sigaretta dopo l'altra.
Sprawled on the benches of the plaza, smoking a cigarette one after another

Gente ca s’ancontra e dici “ciao” cu na taliata,Genti ca s’allasca, genti ca s’abbrazza e poi si vasa,
Gente che si incontra e si saluta solo con lo sguardo, che si scansa, si evita ma che poi si abbraccia e si bacia.
People who meet up and greet each other only with a look, who step around and avoid each other but then hug and kiss

Genti ca sa fa stringennu a cinghia, si strapazza e non si pinna, annunca st’autru ‘nvernu non si canta missa!
Gente che stringe la cinghia, che lavora sodo e non si dispera, altrimenti quest’inverno non si canta messa!
People who tighten up their belt, who work hard and who don’t give up hope, otherwise this winter, Mass won’t be sung!

Genti ca sa fa ‘lliccannu a sadda, ma ci fa truvari a tavula cunsata a cu cumanna.
Gente che vive di stenti ma che fa trovare la tavola imbandita a chi comanda.
A people who lives in hardship but manages to find a table laden with food for whoever orders

Chi ci aviti di taliari, ‘un aviti autru a cui pinsari almeno un pocu di chiffari?
Cosa avete da guardare? Non avete altro a cui pensare o almeno qualcos'altro da fare?
What do you want to look at? Don’t you have anything else to think about or at least something else to do?

“Itavinni a travagghiari” vannia ‘n vecchiu indispettitu, “avemu u picciu arreri o vitru”.
“Andatevene a lavorare” sbraita un vecchio indispettito, “abbiamo il menagramo dietro il vetro”
Go work, a ticked off neighbour yells, we have the jinx behind the window

Jù ci dicu “m’ha scusari, chista è la me casa e staju unni mi pare.
Io gli dico “mi scusi eh... ma questa è casa mia e sto dove mi pare!"
I say to him, I apologise…but this is my house and I’m where it well pleases me!

La domenica mattina dagli altoparlanti della chiesa a vuci ‘i Patri Coppola n’antrona i casi, trasi dintra l’ossa.
La domenica mattina dagli altoparlanti della chiesa la voce di Padre Coppola ci introna le case ed entra dentro le ossa.
Sunday morning, from the speakers of the church, the voice of Father Coppola shakes the houses and enters into the bones.

“Piccaturi rinunciati a ddi piccati di la carni. Quannu u riavulu s’affaccia rafforzatevi a mutanna”.
“Peccatori, rinunciate a quei peccati della carne, quando il diavolo si affaccia rinforzatevi la mutanda."
Sinners, renounce those sins of the flesh, when the devil peers out the window, gird up your knickers.

Quannu attagghiu di la chiesa si posteggia un machinone: scinni Saro Branchia detto Re Leone
Quando accanto alla chiesa parcheggia un macchinone: scende Saro Branchia, detto Re Leone
When next to the church, a hefty car pulls up: Saro Branchia gets out, also called Re Leone

Padre Coppola balbetta e ammogghia l’omelia cu tri paroli picchì sua Maestà s’ha fari a comunioni!
Padre Coppola balbetta e conclude malamente l’omelia con tre parole perché sua Maestà si deve far la comunione!
Father Coppola stammers and finishes clumsily the homelie with three words because his Majesty has to get the communion!

Chi ci aviti di taliari, ‘un aviti autru a cui pinsari almeno un pocu di chiffari
Ma che avete da guardare? Non avete altro a cui pensare o almeno un po' di qualcos'altro da fare?
But what are you looking at? Don't you have something else to think about or at least something to do?

“Itavinni un pocu a mari”, vannia un vecchiu tintu “accussì janca mi pariti ‘n spiddu”
"Andatevene un po’ a mare” mi urla un vecchio bieco "...così pallida mi sembrate un fantasma!”
Go visit the sea why don’t you, a creepy neighbour hollers at me, you’re so pale that you look like a ghost.

Jù ci dicu “m’ha scusari, ma picchì hati a stari ccà sutta a me casa pà ‘nsultari?”
io gli dico “mi scusi, ma perché dovete stare sotto casa mia per offendere?”
I say to him, excuse me, but why must you be there below my house, insulting me?

Sugnu sempri alla finestra e viru a ranni civiltà ca ha statu, unni Turchi, Ebrei e Cristiani si stringeunu la manu
Sono sempre alla finestra e vedo la grande civiltà che è stata, dove Turchi, Ebrei, e Cristiani si stringevano la mano.
I’m always by the window and I see the grand civilisations that once were, where Turks, Jews and Christians shook each other hands

Tannu si pinsava ca “La diversità è ricchizza”, tempi di biddizza e di puisia, d’amuri e di saggezza
Allora si pensava che la diversità è ricchezza, tempi di bellezza e di poesia, d’amore e di saggezza.
Back then, it was thought that diversity was richness, times of beauty and poetry, of love and wisdom.

Zoccu ha statu aieri, oggi forsi ca putissi riturnari si truvamu semi boni di chiantari
Quel che è stato ieri oggi forse potrebbe ritornare solo se troviamo semi buoni da piantare.
That which was yesterday could perhaps come back today only if we were to find seeds fit for planting

‘Nta sta terra ‘i focu e mari oggi sentu ca mi parra u cori e dici ca li cosi stannu pì canciari
In questa terra di fuoco e mare oggi sento che mi parla il cuore e dice che le cose stanno per cambiare.
In this land of fire and sea, today I feel that the heart speaks to me and tells me that things are about to change.

Chi ci aviti di taliari ‘un aviti autru a cui pinsari, almeno un poco di chiffari? Itavinni a ballari, ittati quattru sauti e nisciti giustu pì sbariari!
Cosa avete da guardare? Non avete altro a cui pensare o altro da fare? Andate a ballare, fate quattro salti e uscite solo per svagare!
What are you looking at? Don’t you have anything else to think about or do? Go dancing, jump four times and go out just to have fun!

Jù ci dicu “Cù piaciri, c’è qualchi danza streusa ca vuliti cunsigghiari!?”
Io gli dico "Almeno col piacere, c’è qualche danza estrosa che vossia vorrebbe consigliarmi?”
I tell him, with pleasure, is there some strange dance that your lordship would like to recommend me?

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:42 am
by nooj
Un confronto carino tra l'arabo egiziano e l'arabo marocchino (ma naturalmente, il video è stato tutto fatto in italiano!).