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Eveningsdawn
10-10-2006, 07:07 AM
In one of my favorite story arcs, my MC is eventually led to flee to Egypt. My question here is twofold: first, what language do they speak in Egypt? If region matters, she's in either Alexandria or Cairo, haven't yet decided. I'm assuming it's Arabic, but I may be making this up.

Second and more major.
I just need some simple words and phrases, like a greeting - can I use salaam alekoum, which is likely spelled wrong here, and then the response alekoum al-salaam? My global class teacher used these - the words for mother, father, (for these two, I'd like words a child might use), daughter, son, daughter of, son of (I think this may be ibn), affectionate terms, etc.

Jao and Catkin aren't there for long, but there's a subplot involving Catkin's daughter Bastet, who is about nine and been raised to speak Arabic. Also, would she, living in Cairo, likely have been raised Muslim, and thus what would be the age she'd put on the veil?


The language stuff is the important thing here. I cannot find the answers I want - I might be looking in the wrong places. Can anyone point out where to look?

Angelinity
10-10-2006, 07:17 AM
-arabic, yes, although each Arabian region (country) has a different dialect, the language base is still common enough.

-the response is 'al-salaam alekoum'

-i can back to you on 'father'/'mother' later (in a bit of a hurry now).

-depending on your time-line / currently egypt does not strictly observe the hair/face covering for young girls, but it would also depend on the family's level of observance of these traditions.

-google 'learn arabic' -- there is at least one free site where you can download basic phrases and common words -- i have something somewhere, but... later -- sorry... :)

Medievalist
10-10-2006, 07:19 AM
I take it this is contemporary?

The spoken colloquial Arabic of Egypt is slightly different from the Arabic of, say Saudi Arabia, much like UK English is different from the English spoken in the U.S. It's understandable to other Arabic speakers, but they know the person is Egyptian.

Go to your local public library and look for tourist guides to Egypt; often they have a short courtesies section. They may even have a brief language guide.

Eveningsdawn
10-10-2006, 07:34 AM
Ooh. Good idea. I'm at college and I bet my library has something. We like exchanges here.

And yes, contemporary.

Fahim
10-10-2006, 07:56 AM
-the response is 'al-salaam alekoum'


Actually "as-salaamu alaikum" is the greeting and "wa-alaikum as-salaam" the counter greeting :)

Angelinity
10-10-2006, 01:58 PM
Actually "as-salaamu alaikum" is the greeting and "wa-alaikum as-salaam" the counter greeting :)


:poke: can you tell i hadn't had my coffee yet? :D (shame on me!)

Angelinity
10-10-2006, 02:15 PM
a couple of links which might help you do your research...

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-arabic.htm

http://www.ummah.com/forum/

good luck :)

maya
10-10-2006, 04:30 PM
hiya

your young egyptian girl needn't be muslim - there is actually a fairly large population of coptic christians in cairo and some very impressive churches and cathedrals. here's one of the many website with info on coptic cairo if you're interested

http://www.egyptologyonline.com/coptic_cairo.htm

my experience from many trips to cairo is also that many of the younger people are very liberal in their attitudes and behaviour.

more information can probably also be gained from:



Egyptian Culture net www.idsc.gov.eg/culture (http://www.idsc.gov.eg/culture)


Egypt Information highway www.idsc.gov.eg (http://www.idsc.gov.eg/)


Egypt Tourism Net www.tourism.egnet.net (http://www.tourism.egnet.net)

cheers
maya

Histry Nerd
10-10-2006, 05:38 PM
The young girl needn't be Muslim, and if she is she needn't be traditional Muslim. More progressive Muslim families might allow their girls to go about in just a hijab (head covering) instead of the full-length cover, or may allow them to go bareheaded.

In any event, if she was raised by a family that required her to cover up, she'd probably start around puberty--if there's a rule, I think it's when her cycles start. Or whenever her dad says it's time.

HN

L M Ashton
10-10-2006, 06:34 PM
I've been told that it's when menstruation has started, but that's for those who cover up to any degree. Not everyone does.

basenjinana
10-13-2006, 06:33 AM
Hi,

This is my first post here, in fact, I registered just to post an answer to this post - although I have been getting the newsletter for over a year now.

Anyway, I just wanted to add that if you go to byki.com, you can download free programs of many languages. One of the ones that I have downloaded is Arabic. You could probably find all you need to know on these free programs, plus you can actually learn how they are pronounced also.

Hope this helps.

Bravo
10-13-2006, 07:04 AM
as others have said, colloquil arabic is different than the standard one you might see in a textbook.

you need to decide also if the person is muslim or coptic or whatever as well.

while salaam alaikum works, if you want to mix it up a bit, you can use the colloquil "merhaba", and "marhabtein" is sometimes used in response.

and if your MC just woke up and was saying hello:

sabaah al-khair means good morning. and "sabaah al-noor" is the response.

i really dont know the frequency of their use in egypt, but i suspect that these are pretty general and you can get away w using them.

also, use lots of habibi (for men/boys) or habbiti (women/girls).

HTH

:)

Fahim
10-13-2006, 07:14 AM
also, use lots of habibi (for men/boys) or habbiti (women/girls).


Just as an explanation, "Habib" means friend and the "i" at the end is the possessive, making "Habibi" my friend. It's always a good idea to know what you're saying and why you're saying it :tongue

Bravo
10-13-2006, 07:30 AM
lol.

thank you.

Fahim
10-13-2006, 07:32 AM
Actually, I knew I was wrong but had to go back and do some digging to find out :p Habibi is used for friends as well, colloquially but the actual meaning is more along the lines of "my beloved" or "my darling" :)

Eveningsdawn
10-13-2006, 07:42 AM
So, could habibi be used with a daughter? Catkin doesn't see the girl much, but they're very close when they do meet, although it's much more of an equals relationships than most mother-daughters.

If not, are there similar terms to be used with kids?


Bast's father is a very strict Muslim. She wears a skirt and a blouse and a scarf or - is the word hijab appropriate? - over her hair. Is that feasible? Be great if it was, because of the way the story goes.


You lot rule. Fall break starts tomorrow at 4; as soon as it does I can actually start looking at this stuff.

spicysamosa
10-13-2006, 08:09 AM
So, could habibi be used with a daughter?

Actually, you'd want to use habibi for male characters. For the female characters use habibti. I think you can also use 'Qalbi' (my heart) but I'm not sure..I hear it in love songs all the time so I'm guessing its a term of endearment. Just don't use 'Kalbi' because it will be read as "my dog" (haha).

Hijab is the correct word for the head covering. I believe Egyptians also use the word "Khimar", but hijab is the more common term.

Andre_Laurent
10-13-2006, 03:44 PM
Actually "as-salaamu alaikum" is the greeting and "wa-alaikum as-salaam" the counter greeting :)
Isn't just "salaam" proper with a non-Muslim? I used to know these things but seem to be suffering from a brain fart.

Edward2006
10-13-2006, 04:14 PM
It may not be too much, but this one give phonetics, all the others I could dig up give the Arabic "spaghetti".

http://muttaqun.com/arabic/english2arabic.html

Cordially,
Edward.

jehorn
10-13-2006, 09:07 PM
Arabic is spoken in Egypt, and of all of the Arab dialects, Egyptian is considered the classical form, the most correct.

Ahb-salaam alekum is the greeting.
U-alekum-salaam is the response.

Eeman
10-13-2006, 11:20 PM
Arabic is spoken in Egypt, and of all of the Arab dialects, Egyptian is considered the classical form, the most correct.

Ahb-salaam alekum is the greeting.
U-alekum-salaam is the response.

Sorry to disagree, Jehorn, but the Egyptian dialiect is not considered the classical form of Arabic, nor is it the "most correct." However, it is one of the most "familiar" dialects in the Arab world, since so many films and TV programs are done in Egypt compared to other countries in the region.

Also, not sure where you got the "Ahb" in the greeting, but it is:

As-salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you).

The response is:

Wa alaykum as-salam (and upon you be peace).

Or, like Fahim spells it:


Actually "as-salaamu alaikum" is the greeting and "wa-alaikum as-salaam" the counter greeting

This is only used with Muslims - otherwise neutral greetings such as "Marhaba" (hello) and "Saba al-khair" (good morning), etc. are used. I guess some people might say "salam" as well, which just means "peace."

Habibi is definitely male, and habibti is for a female. There is also azizi (dear - for a male) and azizti (dear - for a female).

Some people makes affectionate nicknames from a person's name, like if the person is named Amal, they might call her Amool. If she is named Aisha, they might call her Aioosh. Hamzah becomes Hamooz. And so forth.

Mother means "oom" - you would usually address your mother by calling her "ya ma" - but "oomie" means "my mother."

Father is "ub" - you'd address him by saying "ya ba".

Hope this helps.

Eeman
10-13-2006, 11:25 PM
Hi,

This is my first post here, in fact, I registered just to post an answer to this post - although I have been getting the newsletter for over a year now.


You are fortunate that you could post right away. I registered a few days ago to answer a post in the TIO forum - then I found out you must have fifty posts before you can participate. It has been very slow for me since I don't have that much time for posting.

Bravo
10-14-2006, 03:00 AM
Habibi is definitely male, and habibti is for a female. There is also azizi (dear - for a male) and azizti (dear - for a female).

habibi can be used interchangeably. habibti is only for females.

sorry to confuse eveningsdawn even more, but i dont think any1 would be upset if she used habibi for a girl.

pdr
10-14-2006, 04:26 AM
isn't it trying to patch in a culture and language you don't know.

If you want to do a little background reading on Cairo which gives you a superb sense of the place and how to include Arabic without it sounding patched in for effect there is a series of mystery books written by Michael Pearce. They are about the Mamur Zapt - the Khedive's liaison and political police officer with the British and his hilarious adventures in and around Cairo.

Pearce grew up in Egypt and the books make you smell, taste and hear the city and its people.

PM me if you want list of titles.

Eeman
10-14-2006, 05:40 AM
habibi can be used interchangeably. habibti is only for females.

sorry to confuse eveningsdawn even more, but i dont think any1 would be upset if she used habibi for a girl.


I have not heard that, except when people say "ya habibi" - which they sometimes say when things are going terribly wrong. In that case, they are not actually addressing someone (although it might seem so), but making an exclamation. When have you heard habibi used with a girl?

Eveningsdawn
10-17-2006, 04:47 AM
Agh, my brain.

Thank you for the links though!

Question:

Instead of oomie or ya ma for mother, could I use mudarrisa, which means female teacher? Bast so rarely has contact with her mother that the relationship is a bit odd.