Syrian Arabic: على نكشة كان رح يموت بين ايديها

analeeh

Senior Member
English - UK
Related to the nikshe question the other day.

Unfortunately I no longer have the context for this [على نكشة كان رح يموت بين ايديها] - other than they're talking about a guy who is in love with a girl.

My provisional translation would be 'He would have died in her arms at any moment?' but I'm really not sure about 3ala nikshe.
 
  • I.K.S.

    Senior Member
    Moroccan Arabic
    Interesting ,i just want to say that على نكشة is one of the expressions commonly used in Moroccan dialect ,but it's pronounced على نقشة ,and it means "about to"
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Related to the nikshe question the other day.
    It would be interesting to see the thread this term came up in.

    Unfortunately I no longer have the context for this [على نكشة كان رح يموت بين ايديها] - other than they're talking about a guy who is in love with a girl.

    My provisional translation would be 'He would have died in her arms at any moment?' but I'm really not sure about 3ala nikshe.

    A couple of Lebanese speakers have informed me that they use (على نكزة) instead of (على نكشة) and provided the following examples.

    Source 1 (translations not mine)

    - '3ala Nakze ken fet fina elbus'

    'the bus almost hit us/rammed us'

    - '3ala nakze kenna metna'

    'we almost died'

    Source 2 (tentative translations mine)

    - (ع نكزة كان نجح=حدا ساقط بالامتحان وبدو كم علامة تينجح)

    'he almost passed--i.e., someone failed an exam and he wants/needs a passing grade'

    - (ع نكزة كان سبق رفيقه)

    'he almost did better/got a better mark than his friend'

    - (او كمان منستعملها بالمعنى الايجابي=لحق حاله
    (ع نكزة ضمط)

    'it can also be used with a positive connotation--[??]
    'he almost [??]'

    - (ع نكزة كان راح فيها)

    'he almost died'

    - (ع نكزة نجح)

    'he almost succeeded'
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Yeah, there's a lot of regional variations I've since discovered.

    I would translate this now as something like 'he was this close to dying right there', but of course we no longer have the context.

    The other thread is here (you probably haven't been able to find it because of the definite article). In that one the meaning is arguably more literal, although in both cases the meaning is 'a scratch'/'a prick' in the sense of 'something very small and insignificant'.

    - (ع نكزة نجح)

    'he almost succeeded'

    This one surprises me. Normally I would expect a كان here (3ala nikshe he would have succeeded), although lots of NL speakers allow counterfactuals without kaan. My automatic reading of this one though, out of context, would be that he did succeed.
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Thanks for all your input. You're right; I didn't realize that (ع النكشة/النكزة) was possible.

    How would one translate (لحق حاله) and (ع نكزة ضمط)?
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Ah, I missed that. I think he's referring to what I was saying there, that it can be used in a 'positive' sense and not just with the negative:

    ع نكزة ضمط = 'he only just got away' (i.e. he did get away)
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Interesting. It seems as if this expression can have two contradictory senses: 'almost' and 'just barely'.

    Perhaps the presence of (كان) gives (ع نكزة) the former meaning, while its absence gives the phrase the latter meaning?

    If true, (ع نكزة نجح) translates to 'he just barely succeeded', not 'he almost succeeded'.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Interesting. It seems as if this expression can have two contradictory senses: 'almost' and 'just barely'.

    Perhaps the presence of (كان) gives (ع نكزة) the former meaning, while its absence gives the phrase the latter meaning?

    If true, (ع نكزة نجح) translates to 'he just barely succeeded', not 'he almost succeeded'.
    Yes, that's what I was saying above above على نكزة نجح. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

    كان has a counterfactual sense here - it's the same syntax as you get in conditional clauses. كنت نجحت most commonly means 'I would have succeeded' (لو كذا كذا). كنت رح انجح can have the same meaning.
     
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