Category Archives: Armchair Arabist

20 [Eng/Darija] “I Wouldn’t Mind” / Sufi Lodges and the Hajj

In this episode:

We explain the term “ماكرهتش” literally “I don’t hate…”

Matt and I discuss his research on the role of Sufi orders in organizing Hajj caravans, which maintained the link between Maghreb and Mashriq.


Armchair Arabist: “I’d Love To…”

Reposted with permission from Matt Schumann, check out his great work at “The Armchair Arabist.” Thanks goes to Said Fertate for his input and edits to the original post’s transcription and translation. Minor editing by Chad Ratashak.

Here is a clip from a documentary featuring Moroccans in their 60s speaking about their views on life, society and the future. In this clip, a woman talks about money and what she’d like to do with hers in the future. This clip is good for beginning Moroccan Arabic students as it features verbs in the present tense and negation

Transcript: Moroccan Arabic, Latin transcript, English.

مانْكرهش نْخبّع متلا … ما نجمّع شويا. عندي بنتي ماساكناش هناية في المغرب. مانْكراهش نِمشي لعندها. هادي نْبغي نْخلي شوية باش ندير شي حاجة

“Mankrahsh nkhabba3 matalan… ma najma3 shwiya… 3andi banti masakinash hnaya f lmaghrib, mankrahsh nimshi l3andha… hadi, nbghi nkhalli shwiya, bash ndir shi 7aja.”

“I’d love to put away some money, for example, to grow it a little. I have a daughter who doesn’t live here in Morocco. I would love to go visit her. This… I’d like to leave some, so I can do something.”

Vocabulary Review
  • mankrahsh – مانكرهش – means  “I’d love to”, “I’d like to” or “I wouldn’t mind to”. It’s meaning can be stronger depending on context. This is the negative of the present tense verb nkrah – نكره – “I dislike”. See here for an explanation of negation.
  • nkhabba3 – نخبّع – means “to keep”, literally “to hide” something. This is the first person present tense form of the verb, and it is in the subjunctive. Read more about the present tense conjugation of verbs here.
  • matalan – متلا – means “for example”.
  • shwiya – شوية – means “a little bit” or “a little”
  • masakinash hnaya – ماساكناش هناية – means “she doesn’t live here”. masakinash is the negative of sakina – ساكنة – the active particle of the verb sakina – سكن – which means “to live” or “to reside” in a given place. The active particle is often used in Moroccan Arabic as a substitute for present tense verbs. hnaya – هناية – means “here”, and it’s oppositre is tima – تمة –  “there”
  • nbghi – نبغي – means “I like” or “I love”.
  • bash – باش – is a preposition that means “in order to”. It is used before present tense verbs and the initial kaf is dropped:   
مشيت المغرب باش نقرى العربية
mshit lmaghrib bash nqra l3rabiyya
I went to Morocco to learn Arabic.
  • ndir – ندير – means “I do”.
  • shi 7aja – شي حاجة – means “something”. This is an phrase comprised of shi, which is the indefinite article, functioning like “a” or “an” in English, and 7aja, which means “thing”.

Matt and Dallas Schumann join “Mazyan Bizaf Show”

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To all of our faithful listeners, we’d like to announce two new contributors to Mazyan Bizaf Show, Matt and Dallas Schumann. 

Dallas is fluent in several Arabic dialects and is interested in helping us analyze the impact of the Ottoman Empire on Arabic dialectal boundaries. Matt is currently pursuing a PhD in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His area of expertise is Early Modern Moroccan History.  We hope to learn much more about them soon; they will be recording an episode to introduce themselves and their expertise sometime between Thanksgiving and the end of the calendar year.

Matt’s blog, The Armchair Arabist, provided excellent study materials on Moroccan Arabic, but he was most prolific from 2012 to 2013. We found his site and approached him to see if you he was interested in getting back into educating a wide audience about Darija. After investigating the podcast, Matt graciously offered to join Abdessamad and Chad in creating our podcast and website. We will be reposting his material on this page (with permission, of course).