Basic Egyptian Phrases

I can’t speak Arabic well. - mabatkallemš `arabi kwayyes ما بتكلمش عربي كويس

Do you speak English? - betetkallem ’engelīzi? بتتكلم إنجليزي؟ (male) - betetkallemi ’engelīzi? بتتكلمي إنجليزي؟ (female)

Is there someone here who speaks English? - fī hadde hena beyetkallem ’engelīzi? فيه حد هنا بيتكلم إنجليزي؟

Save me! - ’elha’ūni! إلحقوني

Look out! - hāseb حاسب (to a male) - hasbi حاسبي (to a female) - hasbu حاسبو (to a group)

I don’t understand. - ’ana meš fāhem أنا مش فاهم (male) - ’ana meš fahma أنا مش فاهمة (female)

Where is the toilet? - fēn ’el-hammām? فين الحمام؟

I Want To Write Different Words For You | Nizar Qabbani

“I Want To Write Different Words For You”
Nizar Qabbani

I want to write different words for you
To invent a language for you alone
To fit the size of your body
And the size of my love.

I want to travel away from the dictionary
And to leave my lips
I am tired of my mouth
I want a different one
Which can change
Into a cherry tree or a match box,
A mouth from which words can emerge
Like nymphs from the sea,
Like white chicks jumping from the magician’s hat.

Translated from the Arabic by Bassam K. Frangieh and Clementina R. Brown.