Levantine Arabic: man, men

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  • momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    in syrian arabic
    مفرد::زلمة_جمع::زِلِمْ
    أو مفرد::رِجّا
    لْ __جمع::رْجَال


     

    cepiolot

    New Member
    English - Canada
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hi! I was reading an Arabic learning book and it said that رجال (rijaal) was the word for man in Levantine Arabic. However, a Syrian friend of mine who's English isn't great yet, so there are some miscommunications, told me the singular form was رجل (rijal). Some other forums I have been reading claim that those two are actually MSA and that the Levantine word is something entirely different. I was hoping someone here would be able to clear this up. If it is not rijal for Levantine, specifically in Syria, what is the most commonly used? Thanks a bunch.
     
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    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    Hi,
    We use rijjaal رجّال and zalame زلمة in Syrian Arabic .We also Keep the orginal pronociation of rajul in the exclamation construction "ya rajul!!".
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The singular is rijjaal, and the plural is rjaal. (Some dialects have a plural like rajaajiil but I've never heard this from an urban Syrian speaker).
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In Palestinian Arabic زلمة/زلام is the most widespread term, but رجّال/رجال is used as well. And as in Syrian, it's يا رَجُل (we also use يا زلمة - a lot).
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    The singular is rijjaal, and the plural is rjaal. (Some dialects have a plural like rajaajiil but I've never heard this from an urban Syrian speaker).
    this form rajaajiil exists in Tunisia but limited to some rural areas or south Tunisia.

    in the Gulf it's rayaayiil :D
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Palestinian:

    Singular: زلمة (zalame)
    Plural: زلام (zlaam)
    Interesting! Today I heard a Palestinian pronounce it زَلَم zalam. Is this a variant of the standard pronunciation, zalame? And is this word a borrowing from another language? I don't think this root exists in Classical Arabic, at least not with this meaning.
     

    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    زلمة did exist in Classical Arabic and has very satisfying explanation in Arabic.
    The only plausible Aramaic explanation I've seen so far is that the word is the Aramaic Salmah a cognate (loanword?) of Arabic Sanam which is very unlikely if you ask me. Why would Arabic speakers borrow this word for man and not the other much more common word gabra جبرا of which Arabic has جبروت, too.
     
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