For International Mother Tongue Day – February 21st

In Lebanon, our mother tongue is Lebanese Arabic, it’s our spoken language while the written language is classical Arabic, it’s so rare to write in Lebanese Arabic unless it’s personal and unofficial, or on social media probably where we usually use Latin letters and even numbers to express in Arabic. (Kifak = How are you). (7 = deep H and 8 is KH etc…).

Lebanese Arabic is different from Standard Arabic; it has significant linguistic influences borrowed from other Middle Eastern and European languages, and is in some ways unique from other varieties of Arabic.
Until the 13th century, all Lebanese spoke the Syriac language, then Muslims shifted to Arabic because they consider it a sacred language, and then the Christians left progressively the Syriac language. The last who left the Syriac language are the Christians Maronite, they kept speaking it until the 19th century even though they kept using the Syriac letters to write Arabic. This is why the Lebanese language vocabulary is mostly borrowed from Syriac, the Christians Maronite took the Syriac language and kind of transformed it into Arabic so we got the Lebanese language, they didn’t choose certain letters, they used the entire language and dressed it the Arabic robe.

We have of course many accents, the north people speak differently than south and the Mount Lebanon and the Capital. But it’s all Lebanese.
مرحبا كيفَك \ كيفِك؟ منيح \ منيحة؟  (Mar7aba Kifak / kifik for feminine, Mni7 / Min7a for feminine= Hello How are you? Good?
This is the common sentence that you will hear in Lebanese.

Few Lebanese lines for the International Mother Tongue Day:
7 is deep H = ح  
2 is Eh = ء
3 is AH = ع

7abibi: حبيبي  = my love

B7ebak / B7ebik (feminine): بحبَك \ بحبِك  = I love you (masculine and feminine)

Shta2telak / shta2telik (f):  اشتقتلَك \ اشتقتلِك   = I miss you

7ayete:  حياتي = My life

Tayyeb: طيّب  = delicious

7elou / 7elwi (f) حلو \ حلوي  = beautiful or pretty (masculine and feminine)

Mahdoum  / Mahdoumi (f): مهضوم \ مهضومي = nice, funny

Yalla: يلّا  = let’s go or can also be hurry up! It depends how you’re saying it

Esmi: إسمي  = my name is

Shukran: شكراً = thank you. Even though most Lebanese just say Merci مرسي  

Tekram:  تكرم \ تكرمي  = you’re welcome.

Hope you enjoyed some Lebanese words! What is your mother language? And how do you feel about it?

Huguette Antoun – February 21st 2019

42 thoughts on “For International Mother Tongue Day – February 21st

  1. Shukran.

    I started learning the script when i started reading the Urdu -persian poet Ghalib. I wanted to enjoy the language and write in that too. Though I now can say that I can read fairly well but I still am at elementary lavel l when it comes to write the same. I must say it’s very daynamic and terse language but very difficult to type set. 😊

    1. You’re welcome 🙂 Thank you for reading and for your contribution! Hope you will reach more and more levels in Urdu and Persian, I’m sure they are not easy! So is Arabic but it’s always easy when it’s your mother language so we don’t often feel how difficult is is!
      Best of luck 🙂

      1. Urdu was easy, I had to learn vocab only as the grammer is almost same as my mother tongue. Persian is entirely different and I still have not mustered courage to learn it.

  2. Such a vast formations we humans have discovered when it comes to respective linguistic languages.

    Well differentiated between Arabic & Lebanese Arabic 👌
    I didn’t know a bit of it .

    Good detailed explanation of your ‘Mother Tongue’ language as well ✌:)

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for the the valuable interaction 🙂 so glad it was informative and I could share useful information about my mother tongue 😊
      Appreciate your encouragement words as well 🙂

  3. this was a nice read. subtle but just the way it should be. also do you know about the language which is out there but never really uttered?

      1. just read it a few times and it’ll come to you, for it is a form of language you already are familiar with 🙂

  4. Thank you for a little education, a short course of Lebanese language. It’s sure an interesting old language. By the way, my mother language is Croatian, a southeastern European language, from Balkan, a type of Slavic language that has origins in both Latin and old Greek (our first unique writing script was called Glagoljica, or the Glagolitic script in English, the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It is generally agreed to have been created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril, a Byzantine monk from Thessaloniki.)…

    1. Thank you for the interesting interaction and the language information
      I wanted to visit Croatia 2 years ago and then it was canceled
      Beautiful country and it’s nice to know more about its language as well! Thank you for reading and for the exchange

  5. Good evevning, arabic letters always looks so beautiful and difficult as well, good to know more about it and where it comes from and how with time is transforming❤️مساء الخير ، استمتعت بقراءتي ، أحب الحروف العربية ، تبدو جميلة. رأيت النساء بملابس وردية على تعليقاتك ، وجعلتني أضحك ، وقد رأيتها من قبل على مشاركتك ، ولن تستسلم حتى تتبعها

    1. I’m curious to know if the premium plan has an option to detect bloggers activity? was surprised to see your comment, the post is from February so thank you for reading!😊
      Oh the translation it so totally different and embarrassing hahah made me laugh😂😂, Google translate is not so accurate with most languages but can help to understand the meaning a bit
      Appreciate your time and the effort 😁👍

      1. Not at all, i just checked on my own conversations on word press reader, and i can see people who is always there, in my opinion it means they active🤗🌸lol, yes translation can be really bad some times, but i just wanted to tell you in arabic, that she wont give up😂

      1. I have read both this contents… it’s really helpful for me… I don’t have enough knowledge about the religion , language and culture of the country… thank you for your great information.. . . .😃😍

      2. thank you for your interest in our country, I do appreciate it and I’m glad it as helpful 🙂 Have a good day 😃

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