Monthly Archives: October 2009

You are rock

I think I’ve figured out that 9th graders are actually tiny little entertainers. When I get bored, I just find a little 9th grade dude to hang out with. Some of them here are around 70 pounds and absolutely hilarious. I was chatting with a couple one day (they were teaching me some Arabic), and one of them keep saying “You are rock” so I had to figure out what he was saying.

“You are rock, you are rock”.
“Uh thanks? But what does that mean? Int hajar?” (that’s “you are a rock” in Arabic)
“You’re American, you should know!!”
“Oh, you mean ‘You rock’?”
“Oh right… you rock!”
(fist pound)

So hilarious. Now, okay, you might be thinking that I’m a jerk for making fun of his English skills (he actually has awesome English, everyone does), but I’m here making the same mistakes in Arabic too. Like when I was trying to say “I’m a genius” (= Ana 3abqari) but instead said “I’m a scorpion” (= Ana 3aqrab) – how ironic. At least my little 9th grade buddy wasn’t trying to say he was smart when he made his mistake…

Arabic For Your Everday Life – Majari (مجاري) = Sewage

As in, I heard a girl sitting around before class shout out to her friend out in the hallway that my classroom smelled like “majari”. The only reason I somehow knew that word and understood her was because a few summers ago the kids had taught me how to say stupid little insults like “bitashrab majari بتشرب مجاري (you drink sewage) (see post “The Sunglasses are in the Potatoes“). I was slightly offended because I didn’t smell a thing, but then I remembered that this girl is a little crazy. When I asked her to stop talking one time in the middle of class she turned to me and said “But SIR, we’re only human!” Yeah, but you’re a 17 year old human and you can sit through a 45 minute class paying attention and not talking. If she says my classroom smells like sewage again, I’m just going to bust out the insult that I learned and tell her that she drinks sewage. That will teach her.

Majari = مجاري = Sewage

And now you know some Arabic for your your everyday life.