Learn Arabic as it is really spoken. Listen to and read Egyptian Colloquial Arabic.

Amr was a star student in high school. How is he doing in college? And how does he feel about the upcoming midterms?

الاِسْبوع الجاىّ عنْدى اِمْتِحانات ميدْتِرْم! انا بدْرِس فى كُلِّيِّة الهنْدسه و السّنه دى هِىَّ آخِر سنه لِيّا اِن شاء الله. المفْروض اتْخرّج فى يونْيو ٢٠١٦. ايّام الثّانويه انا كُنْت طالِب مُجْتَهِد و مُمَيِّز جِدّاً. كُنْت محْبوب مِن المُدرِّسين و كُنْت دايْماً بنافِس عَلَى المراكِز الاُولَى فى الترْتيب عَلَى فصْلى و عَلَى المدْرسه. لكِن الوَضْع اِتْغيّر لمّا دخلْت الكُلّيه. فى تانى سنه مجْموعى اَجْبرْنى اِنّى ادْخُل قِسْم غَيْر اللى انا كُنْت عايْزُه. القِسْم اللى دخلْتُه اِسْمُه الهنْدسه الصِّناعيه. مكُنْتِش حابّه اوى اَوْ بِمعْنَى اصحّ مكُنْتِش اعْرف كِتير عنُّه. فِضِلْت مِتْضايِق لِفتْره طَويله. مكُنْتِش مُهْتِمّ و مكُنْتِش بحْضر اىّ مُحاضْرات و مكُنْتِش بذاكِر غَيْر ايّام الاِمْتِحانات. بسّ الحمْدُ لله كُنْت بنْجح. بسّ طبْعاً بِمجْموع وِحِش جِدّاً. معَ مرور الوَقْت بدأْت احِبّ التّخصُّص بِتاعى و اِكْتشفْت بعْد كِده اِنّ ده اكْتر تخصُّص مُناسِب لِيّا و لِاِمْكانِيّاتى! اعْتقِد دِلْوَقْتى لَوْ رِجِع بِيّا الزّمن هفضّل القِسْم ده عَلَى اىّ قِسْم تانى. لِلاسف اِكْتشفْت الكلام ده مِتْاخّر شُوَيّه، بسّ اِتْعلِّمْت اِنّى لمّا اكون مُجْبِر عَلَى حاجه مُعيّنه، و معنْديش خِيارات تانْيه، اِنّى ارْضَى بِاللى ربِّنا اِخْتارْهولى و احاوِل اسْتفيد مِنُّه لِاقْصَى حدّ. لِاِنّ فى النِّهايه مُمْكِن تِكْتِشِف اِنّ ده كان الطّريق الانْسب ليك مِن البِدايه. المُهِمّ، بعْد درجاتى السَّيّئه جِدّاً السّنتَيْن اللى فاتوا. قرّرْت اِنّى اسْتعيد تانى ايّام الثّانَويه. السّنه دى انا بحْضر كُلّ المُحاضْرات و بذاكِر بِشكْل مُنْتظِم، و ناوى كمان اِن شاء الله اِنّ انا انافِس عَلَى ترْتيب كُوَيِّس عَلَى الدّفْعه. الاِسْبوع الجاىّ همُرّ بِاوّل اِمْتِحانات رسْميه السّنه دى. و بِالرّغْم مِن اِنّى عدَّيْت عَلَى اِمْتِحانات اصْعب مِن كِده بِكْتير بسّ حاسِس اِنّى قلْقان شُوَيّه زىّ ايّام الثّانويه تقْريباً. يِمْكِن دى علامه كُوَيِّسه؟! فا اِتْمنّولى التَّوْفيق لِاِنّى اكيد هاحْتاجُه.

Next week I have midterm exams! I study in the engineering department, and this year is the last year for me, God willing. I should graduate in June 2016. In [my] high school days, I was a very hardworking and distinguished student. I was loved by the teachers and I was always competing for first place in the rank of my class and the school. But the situation changed when I entered college. In the second year, my grades forced me to enter a department other than the one I wanted. The department that I entered is called “Industrial Engineering”. I didn’t like it much, or in better words, I didn’t know much about it. I remained upset for a long time. I wasn’t interested, and I wasn’t attending any lectures and I wasn’t studying except at exam time. But thank God, I was passing. But of course with very bad grades. Over time, I started to like my major. And I found out later that this is the most suitable major for me and for my potentials! I think now if I went back in time, I would prefer this department over any other department. Unfortunately, I found that out a bit late. But I’ve learned when I’m forced [to do] something and I have no other choices, that I’m content with what God has chosen for me, and I try to take advantage of it to the maximum limit. Because at the end you might find out that this was the most suitable path for you from the beginning. Anyway, after my very bad grades in the past two years, I have decided to call upon the days of high school. This year, I’m attending all lectures and studying on a regular basis, and I’m also intending, if God wills, to compete for a good rank in my class. Next week I’ll go through the first official exams this year. And even though I’ve been through much harder exams than this, I feel a bit worried… like in [my] high school days. Maybe this is a good sign?! So, wish me luck because I’ll definitely need it.


  1. I like this one especially because it shows how a student matured and discovered something important from an unpleasant development, when he ended up in a discipline he would not have chosen. There are lots of new words for me to learn.

    Question: The clause,”… I have decided to call upon the days of high school,” makes sense in English, but do the words “call upon” correspond to the meaning of the Arabic, “اسْتعيد” ? Seems as though that word suggests, “to make use of.” Sorry I cannot find my Hans Wehr at this time to verify.

    This diaries are wonderful. I hope you will do more of them.

    1. Hi Marie!

      To answer your question, اِسْتعاد means ‘recall’ or ‘call back to mind’. The root, if you want to look it up in a dictionary, is ع و د. (A similar verb, اِسْتفاد means ‘make use of’.) So, here, he means he tries to recall his days back in high school and start being more studious like he was then.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the Diaries series! This and others are also included in the book with word-by-word translations, phonemic transcriptions, and even handwritten versions of the text.

  2. Thank you for this clarification! I got the verbs mixed up, since they look alike and I wasn’t sure of the root. I will have to get the word-by-word book since I’ve noticed that the English translations do not correspond to the Arabic, except in a general sense. I am learning a lot from Lingualism resources (previously I studied فصحى).

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