Levantine Arabic: What do you have to say?

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by WannaBFluent, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. WannaBFluent

    WannaBFluent Senior Member

    I would like to know how to say:
    ' what do you have to say about/against this ? (accusations) '

    I was thinking of:

    شو لازم تقول بهالشي ؟


    شو لازم تقول على هالشي ؟

    But I'm not sure.
  2. DialectLearner Member

    I would say something like:
    شو بدك تقول هلأ؟
    ("What can you say now?" Not exactly what you are asking about, but applicable in certain circumstances.)
    كيف بدك تبرر حالك؟
    (Literally - "How can you justify yourself?")
    شو بدك تقول كرمال تبرر حالك؟
    (Literally - "What can you say in order to justify yourself?")

    Native speakers, please correct me.
  3. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    لازم doesn’t work at all. “Have to” in this case doesn’t mean “must.”

    شو بدك تقول هلأ؟ is grammatically correct but not very idiomatic in this context, in my opinion.

    كيف بدك تبرر حالك؟ means “How will you justify yourself?” so it doesn’t specifically refer to saying something.

    The last one is perhaps too specific. The original isn’t necessarily asking the person to justify himself/herself — although that’s implied.

    I would use:

    عندك إشي (بدك) تقوله؟
  4. DialectLearner Member

    Good one, elroy.

    How about
    قول اللي عندك، إزا في شي.
    إزا عندك شي، قولو
  5. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    قول اللي عندك is sufficient (there's no need to add إذا في إشي), but it's a command as opposed to a question.

    إذا عندك إشي، قوله doesn't quite work for me because إذا عندك إشي doesn't specifically refer to something to say. I wouldn't say "If you have anything, say it" in English either.
  6. DialectLearner Member

    واضح. شكرا.
  7. She'lock Holmes

    She'lock Holmes Senior Member

    Lebanon > Damascus > Abroad
    Northern Lev. Arabic (mostly Syrian)
    بشو بترد؟
    How do you reply [to these accusations]?

    عندك تعليق على هالكلام؟
    Do you have any comments [that you can defend yourself with]?

    دافع عن حالك.
    Defend yourself!

    شو رأيك بهالكلام (a little sarcastic)؟

    Literally: what's your opinion about this?

    I personally don't use إذا عندك شي قولو or قول اللي عندك but they'll do and are natural to me.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  8. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    London, UK
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Based on the answers here, I'm assuming that the context here is a quarrel or something and not a rational logical argument that one has points for and against. Or am I mistaken? I'm asking because the English is a little confusing to me, in a context similar to what I just described the words said would more likely be: "what do you have to say for yourself"? Basically, asking the other party to defend him/herself. This of course, would make Elroy's suggestion:
    fit perfectly since the phrase does in fact ask him to justify his position. I might use this phrase, or maybe a re-wording of it such as كيف بدك تبرر موقفك or كيف بدك تدافع عن حالك

    However, the phrase used in the first post seems to me more like two people discussing some opinion on which they disagree and they are asking (maybe) a third party to pitch in. I don't know if it's only me but the phrase "what do you have to say about … " sounds a little like شو رأيك ب

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