How to address a man in a formal way

Mariah8282

Member
ITALIAN
How would you address a man that you don't know, that for example a friend has just introduced to you? (A kind of translation for "Sir")

It is correct to use the word sceikh? It's better Sayyd? It goes with first name or family name?

When I can use the word Haj?

How it works with "composed" names like Abu Hassan? You say Sceikh Abu Hassan?

Thank you very much
 
  • M-Pink

    Member
    Arabic (palestinian)
    in standard Arabic we use السيد أبو حسان al sayyd abu Hassan or حضرة السيد أبو حسن haDrat al sayyed abu hassan (sayyd is sir)

    when addressing a man, you can say: حضرتك haDratok

    in most of the spoken languages sayyd is the most common word

    in Palestinian Haj is used for an old man. this word came from the religious duty "al-Haj" so the correct use of it is for a man how did this duty..

    and sheikh (in Palestinian) is used -mostly- for a religious (muslim) man with a long beard
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hello Mariah,

    This depends largely on where the man is from, what his formal title is (like, for example, if he's a doctor/physician, a professor...).

    If the man is Egyptian, you can start by "ostaaz" أستاذ فلان (folaan being the man's first name).
    If he's a professor, a doctor, and engineer... it's simple: call him professor/doctor/bashmohandes fulaan (bashmohandes is how we call engineers and architects).

    Sheikh is only used for religious people and -as far as I know- tribal leaders in bedouin areas.

    Sayyed is not common any more in Egypt, so it's better to avoid using it. Use أستاذ instead.

    Hajj (pronounced hagg) is mainly used for old people. But, again, if that old man is a professor, a doctor/physician, an engineer... then the professional title is the one to be used.
     

    Mariah8282

    Member
    ITALIAN
    Thank you very much...it's always interesting to see the differences in the Arab countries...

    Another little question...

    which form you would use if the man is from Jordan?

    Thank you once again
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In Palestinian Arabic, the most respectful title would be عمو ("3ammo"). This would work in Jordanian Arabic as well.

    Note that this should only be used if the man is significantly older than you. If he is your age, there is no need for a title.
    in most of the spoken languages sayyd is the most common word
    Can you elaborate on this? At least in Palestinian Arabic (as you know), "sayyed" is not common at all (at least not as a respectful title; it is used, but it's usually sarcastic!).
     

    M-Pink

    Member
    Arabic (palestinian)
    At least in Palestinian Arabic (as you know), "sayyed" is not common at all (at least not as a respectful title; it is used, but it's usually sarcastic!).
    No! I do not know!( that it is sarcastic!)

    But yes I was mistaken it is not the most common (in spoken languages) -it is the one to be used In Standard Language

    and Ostaaz for spoken language

    But if -for example- you want to write someone a formal letter what would you use

    إلى السيد فلان الفلاني
    or what?

    and by the way I (personaly) rarely hear a man address another man 3ammo even if they were not of the same age
    specially in the countrysides and villages (at least in Jerusalem-where I live)

    regards to you :)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Hi M-Pink. :)
    No! I do not know!( that it is sarcastic!)
    I'm sure you do. :)

    Here's an example:

    A woman wants to complain to her husband about her annoying neighbor. She says, "Law tshuuf shuu Saar ma3aay il-yoom lama Tli3et anshor il-ghasiil. Ma-l7i2ltesh anshor bluuze willa bijiili 's-sayyed Maazen w-bibahdilni. Aal shuu? Laazem abaTTel anshor ghassil barra la2inno mish manzar."

    In this context, "sayyed" is sarcastic. The woman is not indicating any respect whatsoever by using it. I would be very surprised if you were not familiar with this usage, as it is extremely common. :)
    But if -for example- you want to write someone a formal letter what would you use

    إلى السيد فلان الفلاني
    or what?
    Of course I would use السيد, but that's because I'd be writing in MSA, not in Palestinian Arabic. :)

    and by the way I (personaly) rarely hear a man address another man 3ammo even if they were not of the same age
    specially in the countrysides and villages (at least in Jerusalem-where I live)
    In my experience, it is very common. Young men - and woman - use it routinely to address men who are significantly older than them, as a way of showing respect. It is definitely what I would use unless I had a particular reason to choose a different title.

    "Ustaaz," on the other hand, is not normally used unless the person you're addressing is a teacher or professor. It would sound extremely strange in most other contexts - and in fact, like "sayyed," it is often used sarcastically.

    If you, a 19-year-old, called your friend (who was your age) and his dad (who was not a teacher or professor) answered the phone, what would you say? "Mar7aba ustaaz"??? :eek: I would definitely say "Mar7aba 3ammo."

    By the way, I am also from the Jerusalem area.
     
    Last edited:

    M-Pink

    Member
    Arabic (palestinian)
    oh! :)

    thank you for these explanations

    you are definitely right

    Salamat & tashakoorat ya eben bladi :)
     

    Outlandish

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    In a formal occsion, you would definitely use Sayed, particlary during a speech or in official papers.
    In formal daily dealings, some countries use sayed, some Ustath, some Akh. Akh and hajj are more freindly and informal.
    You can some times start right away with:
    فضلا: ...
    لو سمحت:..
    من فضلك: ...
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    I'm happy this thread was revived because I don't really remember it. Anyway, I'm curious about the usage of 3ammo in other parts of the Levant. Perhaps contributors from Jordan, Syria or Lebanon could put forth an example?

    When I lived in Jordan I always said ustaaz when addressing a man I didn't know as a respectful title. For example, if I needed to ask someone on the street for the time or directions how to get somewhere. Maybe I should have been using 3ammo? No one ever seemed (to me) taken aback by this. Even with local friends, I was never corrected to use something different.

    Just curious:D.
     

    Muwahid

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    I've definitely heard عمو more from Palestinians than Jordanians. I've also heard it in semi-sarcastic contexts i.e., used with a young person or a peer who has knowledge. But that's with most of the youth here in the west, I'm not sure so much about in the Levant specifically.
     

    Jennie.

    New Member
    French- France & Arabic- Lebanon
    Well, in Lebanon 3ammo is widely used, like it's been said, to address significantly older men, especially those you are relatively familiar with.
    But when talking to a stranger, or when in a professional context, I think "monsieur" is what many -if not most- Lebanese would say.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    When I lived in Jordan I always said ustaaz when addressing a man I didn't know as a respectful title. For example, if I needed to ask someone on the street for the time or directions how to get somewhere. Maybe I should have been using 3ammo? No one ever seemed (to me) taken aback by this. Even with local friends, I was never corrected to use something different.

    Just curious:D.
    It depends, how old are you? (just joking, you don't need to answer this).

    In family and close social relationships (parents friends, neighbours...etc.) The use of 3ammo and khalto is very common, it also doesn't change through time (i.e., you called a 30 year old 3ammo when you were 15, you continue to do so when you are 30).

    However, in more formal cases or when meeting people for the first time, it's more related to the age group. While it's quite normal for a 15 year old to call a 30 year old 3ammo, a 30 year old will not call a 45 year old 3ammo because they are practically in the same age group now. Also, the older you get, the more people get sensitive when you call them 3ammo, in the case of the 45 year old, the first thing that will come to his mind is "what! I'm not that old, nor is he that young".

    So the older you get it would be better to refer to him as akhi unless the man is very old - say, in his seventies; or appears to be very old, such as a 60 year old that is ill and tired of life that he is more like a 75 year old, you can use 7aj. Don't worry, even if the man never made it to Macca, it's acceptable to call senior people 7aj and 7ajja; but be careful, he has to be very old - you don't want to call a 55 year old 7aj, that would be like saying "you look twenty years older than you really are".

    In business settings, avoid 3ammo and 7ajj altogether and opt for ustaz or other similar titles. 7ajj and sheikh may be acceptable if the person is usually referred to that way in the business, but that is usualy limited to some particular people that have established themselves as businessmen a long time ago and actually prefer this type of address - you will know whether they prefer that through the person that introduced you in the first place when he/she uses your first+family name but using this title for the other person. I was even once introduced to a man by his own brother, that say "Maha, this is my brother, sheikh fulaan"! he was neither a clerik nor a tribal leader, but he was so religious he was treated like a clerik.

    I hope I didn't give you headach with all my blabbering :), but to answer your first question, ustaz is always fine when you are not related or very close friends, but you can also use akhi if you like. I personally use akhi - I like this best because you can use this in almost all cases without trouble, and when you get to a certain age it becomes flattering for both those younger (because you are saying that they are mature enough not to be called "ibni") and those older (because I'm basically saying "you're too young to be 3ammo or 7ajj").
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    In dialect, when addressing someone directly, is it correct that you'd say أستاذ فلان (without the definite article) and when referring to him in the third person you'd say الأستاذ فلان (with the definite article)?

    Same for شيخ ، سيد ، دكتور ?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    In the Egyptian dialect, here's how we do it (I'll use your name :)) :
    -When addressing you: أستاذ أبو طلحة
    - When referring to you: both the definite and indefinite are used, but it's more common to use the indefinite أستاذ

    If you are a physician or a university professor, ostaaz is replaced with doctor (most people pronounce the second "o" long, but not "u") دكتور أبو طلحة

    If you're an engineer, an architect, a technician, it's باشمهندس when addressing you in dialect, and سيادة المهندس أبو طلحة when writing you, and المهندس أبو طلحة when referring to you both in dialect and in writing.

    As I said in a post above, شيخ is only used with religious people (imams, Azhar university graduates, preachers...) and tribe elders. Referring to them is الشيخ أبو طلحة and addressing them is يا شيخ أبو طلحة

    سيد is becoming less and less commonly used in writing, as it's being replaced with أستاذ (for people who don't have other titles, like doctor or bashmohandes). And, as far as I know, it's not used in colloquial at all.

    Oh, and if you're a police or army officer or just any important figure, you'd be addressed with the title pacha (pronounced basha) يا أبو طلحة باشا or أبو طلحة بك (where بك is pronounced be(h) ).


    And to be inclusive :), women are addressed as follows:
    A young/unmarried woman is آنسة فلانة.
    A married woman is مدام فلانة in colloquial, and السيدة فلانة in formal writing, unless she has a title:
    An engineer is باشمهندسة when addressed colloquially, and المهندسة فلانة when addressed in writing.
    And physician, university professor is دكتورة both in speech and writing.
    A working woman is أستاذة فلانة both in speech and writing. Some working women are ok to be called مدام فلانة in their work place, either by their colleagues or the public/customer, others dislike the title and feel it's not professional. So it's safer to call a working woman by the title أستاذة (again, unless she has another title).
    Outside of work environment, a woman of high social position (or just rich) can be addressed with the tite haanem هانم. And it's the only title of this list that comes after the name: آنسة أم طلحة، مدام أم طلحة، دكتورة/باشمهندسة/أستاذة أم طلحة but أم طلحة هانم. And this title is used only in speech, not in writing.
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    In Tunisia the most common word is:

    si + name سي فلان

    For an old man we use عمّ (aam / 3amm) + name
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    In the Egyptian dialect, here's how we do it (I'll use your name :)) :
    -When addressing you: أستاذ أبو طلحة
    - When referring to you: both the definite and indefinite are used, but it's more common to use the indefinite أستاذ

    If you are a physician or a university professor, ostaaz is replaced with doctor (most people pronounce the second "o" long, but not "u") دكتور أبو طلحة

    If you're an engineer, an architect, a technician, it's باشمهندس when addressing you in dialect, and سيادة المهندس أبو طلحة when writing you, and المهندس أبو طلحة when referring to you both in dialect and in writing.
    Thanks Cherine for this comprehensive and very informative reply. So if I understand correctly prefixing the title with the definite article for the third person is done more for some titles than others?

    For example:
    أستاذ أبو طلحة :tick: الأستاذ أبو طلحة :tick:
    دكتور أبو طلحة :tick: الدكتور أبو طلحة :cross:
    مهندس أبو طلحة :cross: المهندس أبو طلحة :tick:
    شيخ أبو طلحة :cross: الشيخ أبو طلحة :tick:


    Also, lastly, the definite article is never used for any title in the second person, correct? That is, there is no equivalent to أيها الشيخ أبو طلحة (which even in Standard Arabic sounds a little sarcastic?).
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Thanks Cherine for this comprehensive and very informative reply.
    You're most welcome.
    So if I understand correctly prefixing the title with the definite article for the third person is done more for some titles than others?

    For example:
    أستاذ أبو طلحة :tick: الأستاذ أبو طلحة :tick:
    دكتور أبو طلحة :tick: الدكتور أبو طلحة :cross:
    مهندس أبو طلحة :cross: المهندس أبو طلحة :tick:
    شيخ أبو طلحة :cross: الشيخ أبو طلحة :tick:
    الدكتور is also used, it's not wrong, also شيخ is not wrong (see below). I can't remember an instance of hearing مهندس without the article, but I don't know it can be deemed outright incorrect. So let's say that what I gave were more about what's more commonly used, than about what correct or incorrect.

    Also, lastly, the definite article is never used for any title in the second person, correct? That is, there is no equivalent to أيها الشيخ أبو طلحة (which even in Standard Arabic sounds a little sarcastic?).
    أيها الشيخ، أيها الأستاذ، أيها المهندس...are not incorrect, just less common than يا شيخ فلان، يا أستاذ فلان، يا باشمهندس فلان.
    And in writing correspondence, it's always with the article:
    سعادة/سيادة المهندس فلان
    سعادة/سيادة الدكتور فلان
    ....etc.
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Perfect. Thanks.
    أيها الشيخ، أيها الأستاذ، أيها المهندس...are not incorrect, just less common than يا شيخ فلان، يا أستاذ فلان، يا باشمهندس فلان.
    So أيها الأستاذ is acceptable in colloquial dialect?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top