Palestinian Arabic: هيني

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Sidjanga

Senior Member
German;southern tendencies
I bumped into this word reading up different things on PA, and these are the two instances I could find it in on the forum:
Not on its own like that. You could, however, say, هيني بدي آكل الساندوش ("hayni biddi aakol is-saandwesh"). I should point out, however, that there is not a cut-and-dry expression that always works as an equivalent of "about to," so individual translations are quite context-dependent.
The present tense works if the decision is made on the spot, but if it's just "I'm gonna go" then you have to say بدي أروح or أنا/هيني رايح.
So my question is simply: What exactly is the function of هيني / how does it work?

In particular:

- Do you generally use it with the participle, as the second example suggests? (بدي may be an exception - or is does it have some sort of a participle?)

- And am I correct to understand that, in the second example, you would say either هيني رايح or أنا رايح ?

Thanks
 
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  • CZAREK

    Senior Member
    POLISH
    Hi guys,

    I was very curious about word"هيني" and I found sentence like this:

    مش هيني الواحد يكون لبناني
    mesh hayynii al-waa7ed yakoon Lobnaanii
    It is not easy to be Lebanese.

    Can you confirm if it it correct?

    Salam
    Czarek
     

    Masjeen

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    both of you are correct
    هيني رايح comes from "ها أنا رايح" wich means here am i going

    and the "مش هيني الواحد يكون لبناني" it comes from "هين" which means easy

     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    Hi guys,

    I was very curious about word"هيني" and I found sentence like this:

    مش هيني الواحد يكون لبناني
    mesh hayynii al-waa7ed yakoon Lobnaanii
    It is not easy to be Lebanese.
    This is not the same word. The word here is actually هينة from هيّن, see Masjeen's post.

    The هيني in Elroy's sentence is a synonym of أنا it seems, though I'm interested in knowing how interchangeable it is. Can one only use it with the participle? Or with conjugated verbs too?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    هيني literally means "here I am" ("me voilà" in French; "eccomi" in Italian). It is not a synonym of أنا.

    So if I was looking for somebody and I said وينك؟, they could reply هيني. Or, if I was looking for a book, somebody could say هيو or هي الكتاب.

    In the examples given, هيني is used idiomatically, to indicate that something is about to be done. Another very common use of the word is in the expression هيني جاي, which means "coming (in a minute)."
     

    evanovka

    Senior Member
    German - Bavaria
    Very common expression indeed - I hear it all the time, particularly in hide-and-seek-"dialogues" with small children :)

    In my family, it sounds however a bit different, with a long alif in the middle:
    hiyyaani - here I am
    hiyyaatu / hiyyaaha - here it is (masc. / fem.)

    Grammatically this looks very odd to me, when I compare it to Elroys
    haynii / hayyu (transliteration ok like this?)
    Any ideas about the origin of the internal -t- in the 3rd pers. masc. ? just to make it better pronounceable?
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    Very common expression indeed - I hear it all the time, particularly in hide-and-seek-"dialogues" with small children :)

    In my family, it sounds however a bit different, with a long alif in the middle:
    hiyyaani - here I am
    hiyyaatu / hiyyaaha - here it is (masc. / fem.)

    Grammatically this looks very odd to me, when I compare it to Elroys
    haynii / hayyu (transliteration ok like this?)
    Any ideas about the origin of the internal -t- in the 3rd pers. masc. ? just to make it better pronounceable?
    Well, while it is pretty clear that هيني comes هيّ +ني (where هي is probably derived from ها), the form hiyyaatu is indeed interestingly "out of place" because the other forms don't have -t-. The base is obviously hiyyaa- but keep in mind that other bases like this (lissa, lissaa-(with suffixes)) also show this variation (across the Levant, I can't say specifically about Palestinian Arabic(s)): lissaa or lissaato, lissaaha or lissaat(h)a.

    Is your family Palestinian or from some other region? It sounds to me like hiyyaa- is yet a further derivation of the word hayy meaning "here is (X)" Then the -aa- developed to maintain a shadde on the yaa2, where as in Elroy's example, the shadde is just lost: hayy+ni>*hayni>heeni (is "heeni" how هيني is pronounced?**). Remember that most Arabic dialects (and standard Arabic) do not accept three consonants in a row (the meeting of two sukuuns). So, you can either simplify the shadde and reduce it to a single consonant, or you can add a vowel in between it and the next consonant.

    **Long [ee] represents the sound of French é, not the English "ee".
     
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    Sidjanga

    Senior Member
    German;southern tendencies
    In the examples given, هيني is used idiomatically, to indicate that something is about to be done. Another very common use of the word is in the expression هيني جاي, which means "coming (in a minute)."
    So would you always use the (active) participle when it's used with a verb?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Clevermizo is right. The "t" is optional with "hiyyaa-," so you can say "hiyyaato" or "hiyyaa." I'm pretty sure this applies to all of the other forms as well. The "hiyyaa-" forms are predominant in the north, whereas the "hay-" (not "hee-") forms are predominant in the Jerusalem area.
    So would you always use the (active) participle when it's used with a verb?
    No, it depends on the context. هيني can be used with the past tense to sort of "report" on something that happened. For example, a college student might call his parents and say هيني نجحت بالإمتحان.
     
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