Monday, September 18, 2006

Les Maghrébiens:




In my family we always liked to talk about different people and different cultures, when it came to Arabs, my environment was never very Arab friendly, and of course we had a scale of preferences:

The worst of Arabs were according to my family the Syrians naturally, one of the best Arabs (according to my family) were the people from the Maghreb and on top of all, the Tunisians.

First of all they are Francophone.

Carthage is in Tunis, the Phoenician pride (in spite of all the differences).

Tunisians as Moroccan and other Maghrebiens are pretty exotic, a mix between the Arab culture, Europe and the native Berber.

I never met in person any Tunisian, except for a lovely family that came to the restaurant but the Tunisian culture is a recurrent subject of my family meetings, language more particularly.

When I listen to a Tunisian talk I struggle really hard to grasp a few words, even though I speak both French and Arabic I can’t understand what they say, we in Lebanon insert French (and English) words in our language but usually a French word remains whole, we don’t Arabise it as they do.

Take the example of this page I have scanned from my little brother’s Math Devoir de Vacances. It’s about the basic expressions used in Tunis and the ones that I haven’t been able to decrypt:


Ech nah oualik?: comment ça va?

Labas: ça va bien

Lalla: Madame

Zouje: 2


I wonder if it has something to do with the Berber Language or just some connection that I can’t figure out.

12 comments:

jokerman said...

Tunisians are lovely people pazuzu, i for one like Tunisia alot, the people there bare similarities with arabs but are different, you have words like zouz which means double or gouz. You have bersha which means alot, one does not know where many of their vocabulary is derived from but their arabic dialect is simply lovely. I would suggest you go there for a holiday, & by the way, Carthage is actually Punic not phoenician...Romans destroyed it in the third Punic war with Hannibal. Carthage is filled with Roman artifacts.

shlemazl said...

How do you say "smart ass" in
Arabic?

Actually, Phoenicians established a Phoenician Punic colony of Carthage.

Absolutely NOTHING wrong with what Rebecca said. No "actually" about it.

Oh, and thanks for all the useful information on artifacts and Punic wars. It was an eyeopener.

jokerman said...

they were called punics & actually a guy working in a museum there told me the punics were different than phoenicians.

shlemazl said...

"they were called punics..."

Somehow I suspect they did not call themselves "punic". The word means "treacherous" in Latin.

Even if your friend cleans floors in a museum it does not make him world's top expert in Phoenician history.

The people were really northern Canaanites, who established colonies in North Africa and Spain. "Phoenician" is what Greeks called them.

"Punic" in modern language is a valid term to describe later Phoenician civilization centred in Carthage. It is more narrow than "Phoenician", but both terms are 100% accurate.

Pazuzu said...

well ... I didn't mean to start an argument ... Well I am aware of the term punic, but you must understand that I am Lebanese we like to think that Carthage is "phoenician" but when it came to classifying, let's just remember that eventually none is the same as anyone else (think of Lebanon and how different each Lebanese is) of course Carthage people weren't like phoenicians in here and they were not like the people that lived there before them, they are certainly different but I am simply trying to be proud of the part that I believe I share with them.

P.S.: Yes Tunis seems really cool, there are a lot of countries I'd like to visit one day.

shlemazl said...

LoL Pazuzu. Don't worry:

1. There is nothing wrong with a little argument.

2. You did not start it.

I just find it funny when someone who has no clue starts teaching. In Russia there is a saying "eggs should not teach chickens".

Besides last time I had a little "discussion" with Jokerman he switched to common insults as soon as he figured that he was wrong. It's all here: http://shlemazl.blogspot.com/2006/08/historic-argument.html

As far as I am concerned this guy is fair game for a little teasing.

jokerman said...

but of course you know it all shelmazl, youre the worlds expert on anything & everything´& no one should ever doubt your fascinating resources or incredible wit & acumen.

jokerman said...

oh by the way shelmazl, you are still a racist bigot, always were, always will be, unfortunately for your sort.

shlemazl said...

"youre the worlds expert on anything & everything"

Glad you got something right for once.

It is a heavy burden, but someone has to carry it: I am ALWAYS right.

Moonbats like you give me lots of fun, even thought they don't know the meaning of half the words they use. The other half are senseless insults which is all that moonbats are good for.

shlemazl said...

Jokerman's latest post states the following:

"When you are caught cheating these days, the best defence you can do is call the others Biased or Racist".

Well, well, well... At least you do as you preach.

Jos said...

I have three Algerian friends (Berber origin); two of them don't even speak Arabic! They only speak French, and Berber.

Pazuzu said...

Oh even those who supposedly "speak Arabic" are very difficult to understand unless they speak in french