Hamada Helal’s catchy Ashrab Shai became a hit in early 2019, now with over 60 million views on YouTube alone.

Have fun singing along while learning the lyrics. Below, you can see the Arabic script with tashkeel. Click on any line to expand it to reveal the English translation and language notes.

She tells me it’s time for work. “Come on, get up! Don’t be late!”

ู…ูุนุงุฏ appointed time, time (for)
ู‚ุงู… to get up
ุจู„ุงุด (+ noun, verbal noun, or bare imperfect verb): No __ing!; Stop __ing!

I told her, “Okay, I’m up! But I’m groggy. How can I wake up?”

ู…ูุณู‚ู‘ุท sluggish, sleepy, groggy, lazy
ูุงู‚ to wake up fully, return to a usual state of consciousness, overcome grogginess

She asked me, “What do you want to drink?” I told her, “I’ll have tea.”

The bare imperfect (verb without ุจูู€ bi-) is used in offers. Think of it as the word ุนุงูŠูุฒ (want) being dropped from the beginning of the sentence: ุชูุดู’ุฑุจ ุงูŠู’ู‡ุŸ = ุนุงูŠูุฒ ุชูุดู’ุฑุจ ุงูŠู’ู‡ุŸ
The bare imperfect is used again in the response: ุงุดู’ุฑุจ (I’ll drink) = ุนุงูŠูุฒ ุงุดู’ุฑุจ (I want to drink)
I quickly left home for work to catch the bus.

ู†ูุฒูู„ to descend, go down; here it’s used to mean ‘leave the house’ as most people live in apartments, so going out means going downstairs.
ู„ูุญูู‚ to catch, make it on time
I got on, and it was so hot, and my brain started acting funny.

ุทูู„ูุน to ascend; get on/in (a vehicle)
ุฑููƒูุจ also means get on/in, and also ride; here the ู€ูู‡ (it) refers to the bus
ูู‰ ุนูุฒู‘ in the peak of (for example: ูู‰ ุนูุฒู‘ ุงู„ุดู‘ูุชุง in the dead of winter; ูู‰ ุนูุฒู‘ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŠู’ู„ in the middle of the night)
ุญุฑู‘ heat
ุฏูู…ุงุบ brain
ุชู‡ู’ูŠูŠุณ getting high (usually from drugs, but here from heat sickness)

I was pissed off because of the traffic congestion and I got heat stroke.

ุฏู…ู‘ blood
ุงูุชู’ุนูƒู‘ุฑ be disturbed, agitated
ูƒูุชู’ุฑ large amount
ุฒุญู’ู…ุฉ crowdedness (here: traffic congestion)
ุงู„ุดู‘ู…ู’ุณ ูƒู„ูุชู’ู„ูู‡ ุฏูู…ุงุบูู‡ (lit. the sun ate away his brain) to get sun stroke

I headed to the office and quickly called out to the gofer.

ู‚ุงู… (besides meaning to get up, it means to set out, start to do something)
ุทุงู„ูุน is the active participle of ุทูู„ูุน to ascend, go upstairs
ู†ุฏู‡ู’ to call
ุณุงุนูŠ is someone who runs errands, does miscellaneous tasks (and in the expression ุณุงุนู‰ ุจุฑูŠุฏ it’s the mail carrier)

I finished work and said to my friend, “Let’s go to a coffee house.”

ู‚ู‡ู’ูˆูŽู‡ (or ู‚ู‡ู’ูˆูŽู‡ ุจู„ุฏู‰) is a traditional Egyptian coffee house where mostly men hang out, drink tea, and may smoke shisha, read the newspaper, play backgammon or cards, etc.

Confusion, mistreatment, exhaustion in the heat (direct sun); my head was exploding.

ุจู‡ู’ุฏูู„ to confuse, dishevel
ุงูุชู’ุจู‡ู’ุฏูู„ to be confused, stressed out from being overwhelmed (for example: ุงู†ุง ุงุชู’ุจู‡ู’ุฏูู„ู’ุช ุงู„ู†ู‘ู‡ุงุฑู’ุฏุฉ ููŠ ุงู„ุดู‘ูุบู’ู„ I was overwhelmed at work today.)
ู…ุฑู’ู…ุท be hard on, treat badly
ู†ููˆุฎ crown of the head (but idiomatically just ‘head’)
ูุฌู’ูˆูŽุฉ hole; the idiom here (lit. my head made a hole) means I had a splitting headache. (This is new slang and may not be understood by older Egyptians.)

I sat down and told him what had been happening to me ever since I got up. ุญูƒูŽู‰ ุนู„ูŽู‰ to tell about ุงู„ู„ู‰ that which ุญุตู„ to happen ู€ู„ู‰ to me ู…ูู† ุณุงุนูุฉ ู…ุง ever since, from the time that

Then he told me, “Same here. And I wish you hadn’t told me.”

ุฒูŠู‘ like, as
ุฒูŠู‘ูƒ like you
ูŠุงุฑูŠู’ุช (optionally + pronoun suffix)
ู…ุง not (without the ู€ุด suffix on the verb after the expression ูŠุงุฑูŠู’ุช)
So, he bummed his friend out by telling him about his awful day since his friend can relate.

I visited my fiancee who was giving me a hard time.

ุนู†ู’ุฏ at (someone’s house)
ุฎุทูŠุจู‡ fiancee
ุทุงููุญ ุงู„ุทู‘ูŠู† ู…ุนูŽ to be exhausted by, be getting a hard time from

But we are very close to get married, only 6 years left!

ู‡ุงู†ูุช means you are very close to doing something. So, let’s say your daughter is feeling bad about her next exams; you can encourage her with “ู‡ุงู†ูุช!” (You’re almost there!)
ูุงุถูู„ remaining
The sentence means “Just six more years until I get married!” It’s sarcastic. He doesn’t have enough money to get married and he is making fun of that! Six years is a long time.

And uncle Hajj, her father, came and said to me, “What’s your plan?”

ุทุฑูŠู‚ way, path, so literally: How is your path [to getting married]?
I told him, “Before I speak, I want to drink tea!”

ู‚ุจู’ู„ ู…ุง before __ing
ุงูุชู’ูƒู„ู‘ูู… to speak
I went home because I couldn’t take any more and wanted to sleep.

ู‚ุงุฏูุฑ can
ู…ูุด ู‚ุงุฏูุฑ can’t
Here, he just says “because I can’t”, but it’s an expression to imply that you can’t take it anymore
ู†ููู’ุณูู‡ + bare imperfect verb = want to, desire to

Since early morning, I’ve been truly exhausted.ย 

ู…ูู† ุตุจุงุญูŠุฉ ุฑุจู‘ูู†ุง early in the morning [lit. the morning of our Lord]

ุจู‡ู’ุฏู„ุฉ confusion

My mom came and asked me what happened, why and how.

ุณุฃู„ to ask
ู€ู†ูŠ me
ู„ูŠู’ู‡ why
ุฅุฒู‘ุงูŠ how

What do you want to drink? I’ll have tea.

x8 (And in your head for the rest of the day: ad infinitum! You’re welcome!)

11 Comments

  1. ู…ุฑุญุจุง ุจูƒู…
    ู…ูู† ุตุจุงุญูŠุฉ ุฑุจูู‘ู†ุง ุจู‡ุฏู„ู‡ ุจูุฌุฏู‘ุŒ ุงู†ุง ุชุนู’ุจุงู†.
    ุจู‡ุฏู„ู‡ ู‡ู†ุง ูŠุนู†ูŠ ุงูŠู‡ ุจุถุจุท
    ุดูƒุฑุง ู„ูƒู…

    1. I added notes in the lyrics. ุจู‡ู’ุฏู„ู‡ is confusion. It’s the noun form (masdar) of the verb that appears earlier in the song. The “confusion” he feels is from the heat, fatigue, and stress. It doesn’t translate well, but his sentiment is that he’s been tired and having a bad day since the very beginning, early morning.

      1. ุงูŠูˆู‡ . ุงูู‡ู… ุงุญุณุงุณ ุงู„ุชุนุจ ุจุชุงุนู‡ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ..ุจุณ ู‡ู†ุง ุงู„ูƒู„ู…ุฉ ุฏูŠ “ุจู‡ุฏู„ู‡” ู…ุด ูˆุงุถุญ ู…ู† ุงู†ู‡ูŠ ู…ุตุฏุฑ.. ู…ุซู„ุง ู‡ุฏู„ุŸุŸ

        1. I see. It’s a quadriliteral root (a root with FOUR radicals): ุจ ู‡ ุฏ ู„
          It follows the same pattern as a more common root I’m sure you’re familiar with: ุช ุฑ ุฌ ู…
          ุชุฑู’ุฌูู… to translate; ุชุฑู’ุฌู…ู‡ translation
          ุจู‡ู’ุฏูู„ to confuse; ุจู‡ู’ุฏู„ู‡ confusion

  2. Learning with songs is one of the best ways of learning languages! I have been using this method especially in learning Arabic dialects, very useful.

  3. Love this. I have just started listening to songs that my daughter and future son and low have been sending me from Egypt. I began with one of Ramy Sabry’s songs. But I am def. going to use this one too. Thanks. I would love to see more songs broken down.

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