Lebanese: فيكن زاعجها أسلوب حياتها هيدا

Tilmeedh

Senior Member
English (Canada)
Hi all--I'm having trouble understanding some parts of the following paragraph. How could one translate the bolded section into English?

(البنات اللي مفكرين حالهن خفيفات الظل لما يدعوا على قاسم أمين ويتحسبنوا عليه لأنه كان من أهم الشخصيات اللي سعت لتحرير المرأة من الجهل وسجن العادات والتقاليد عن طريق تكريس أهمية تعليمها وخروجها للعمل وبناء المجتمع خارج البيت ليس فقط داخله: انتوا تخمين ما حدا عم يعذّبكن نفسيًا وجسديًا لتطلعوا تشتغلوا وتنزلوا عالكليات تدرسوا وتقدموا امتحانات، اللي فيكن زاعجها أسلوب حياتها هيدا بإمكانها تنسحب وتقعد بالبيت تلاقي بديل آخر، بس ما تقعدوا تتصرفوا بظرافة على حساب بنات جنسكن اللي بتوصل معهن يخسروا بعثات دراسية ومنح وفرص عمل مرموقة لمجرد انهن ما خلقوا شبّان، أما اذا كان بنيّتكن تستقطبوا الخطّاب فما كتير تعتلوا هم لأن اللي بينجذبوا لأمثالكن ممكن تلاقوهن ساكنين بالطابق اللي تحتكن فمش محتاجين تتسولوا عالانترنت بهالشكل الوضيع لتلاقوهن.)

'---- no one is using psychological and physical torture to make you go out to work and go away to college to study and take exams, who/which ---- this lifestyle of theirs by being able to live in a bubble and sit at home find an alternative. Just don't keep acting ---- at the expense of your fellow girls who ---- with them to lose scholarships, financial aid, and prestigious job opportunities simply because they weren't born boys/male.'

Here are my questions:

- What role would (تخمين) serve at the beginning of a clause? According to WR, it literally means 'guessing', 'assessment', or 'estimation', but I would posit that here it has the figurative/sarcastic sense 'presumably' or 'probably'.

- What does (فيكن زاعجها) mean? I know the MSA verb (أَزْعَجَ) '2az3aja' = 'to bother/to annoy', and Almaany says there's a verb (زَعَج) = 'to anger/to bother/to harass'. Perhaps Lebanese only uses the simplest form of this root; I believe the same happened with (أَقْنَعَ) '2aqna3a' -> (قَنَع) '2ana3' = 'to convince'. It seems probable that (فيكن) isn't a pseudo-auxiliary verb, 'you can', but rather a prepositional phrase, 'to you', governing the participle (زاعج).

- How does (تلاقي بديل آخر) fit into this sentence? It must have something to do with (فيكن زاعجها), but it isn't clear how.

- If people (بيتصرّفوا بظرافة), what might they be doing?

- What purpose is served by (بتوصل معهن) here?

Thanks in advance.
 
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  • analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    اللي فيكن زاعجها اسلوب حياتها هيدا = those of you who are so troubled by this lifestyle of yours

    زاعج is the participle of زعج

    So they're saying those girls who dislike going to university etc can quit and sit at home and find an alternative (lifestyle)

    اللي بتوصل مهون يخسرو is something like 'those who actually risk losing/who might actually lose'
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Thanks for your input, Analeeh. :) Are these conclusions correct?

    - (فيكن) is colloquial for (بينكنّ/من بينكنّ) in MSA.

    - (زعج) in Lebanese is a transitive verb meaning '[someone/something] bothers/troubles [someone]'. It differs from other verbs in colloquial related to emotion--e.g., (زعّل), (عصّب), (ضحّك)--by not using a (فعّل) pattern.

    - The (-ها) in (زاعجها) refers to the same people as (-كن) in (فيكن), i.e., the girls who would like to stay at home.

    It seems that a major stumbling block for me here was that, in this paragraph, plural-animate arguments are sometimes treated as grammatically singular and sometimes as grammatically plural. The cause of this shift may be the noun (المرأة).

    Any thoughts on (تخمين) or (تتصرفوا بظرافة)? :)
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    تخمين I'm not sure about. I actually read it as a plural of an adjective تخم. The masdar doesn't seem very likely here in the sense that you're talking about, grammatically speaking, although I can't say. I don't think it means 'probably', though.

    فيكن does mean something like baynakum here, although it doesn't always mean that and bayn does exist in dialect. But the reference is not switching between singular and plural:

    illi fiikon zaa3ijha usluub 7ayaatha - 'she among you that her lifestyle bothers her'

    The feminines refer back to illi. In Arabic it's very common for a singular definite to be used sort of generically - so here it can be translated (literally and awkwardly) as 'those women among you'.

    za3aj is transitive, yes. Its intransitive equivalent is inza3aj. Note that at least one of your examples is also intransitive, or can be: 3aSSab.
     

    wriight

    Senior Member
    English (US) / Arabic (Lebanon)
    Nice one. One more thing that made it click for me, in case it helps anyone else: the فيكن can be almost anywhere (well, three different places at most) in the phrase, and the whole thing can be rephrased to اللي زاعجها أسلوب حياتها فيكن illi zaa3ijha usluub 7ayaatha fiikon with no change in meaning. I had to read it over again a few times even after seeing your (great!) explanations until I twigged that!

    Also, I think I'm with your reading of تخمين tikhmiin/takhmiin, Tilmeedh. A تخمين is an estimate or a guess, so it doesn't seem far-out to use it here to say, like, "just a wild guess". (EDIT: You get what looks like a bunch of similar uses if you search the 3arabizi spellings "tekhmin" and "te5min" on Twitter.)

    I also wanted to make the quick point that زعج za3aj isn't quite about using a shorter form of the root, but rather that the entire class of "Form IV" verbs was just lost on the way to Lebanese and several other dialects. Most of those verbs either got replaced altogether or incorporated into Form 1, so زعج za3aj and قنع 2ana3 probably rep the latter camp as direct descendants of أزعج 2az3aja (whose active participle also separately survives as the noun/adjective مزعج miz3ij "annoying", for example) and أقنع 2aqna3a.
     
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    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    - What role would (تخمين) serve at the beginning of a clause? According to WR, it literally means 'guessing', 'assessment', or 'estimation', but I would posit that here it has the figurative/sarcastic sense 'presumably' or 'probably'.
    I haven’t seen it used in this way, but when I first read it I understood that the writer is saying “I’m guessing that no one is torturing you …. Etc”. I can’t think of any other possible meaning. So yes, I think that your suggestion is correct more or less but I don’t feel that it’s sarcastic, and it certainly is not figurative.
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Great discussion, everyone.

    A few quick follow-ups:

    - How is (عصّب) used intransitively vs. transitively?

    - By saying that (تخمين) was being used in a 'figurative/sarcastic' way, I meant that it doesn't literally mean 'I'm going to take a guess here, but I'm not sure of the answer'.

    - What would be another example of how to use the phrase (بتوصل معهن) or a permutation thereof? I haven't found any information elsewhere on this expression.
     
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