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  • Two different words for "to become" (in Levantine)?

     Nasrani updated 8 months ago 2Members · 3 Posts
  • Nasrani

    May 27, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Hello all,

    I am watching a video online and the anchor keeps using the verb بَاتَ, يبيتُ – I have found out that this means “become.” (I think the anchor is from Lebanon, but I don’t know where in Lebanon she is from.) I have also heard صارَ, يصيرُ for “to become” but which is more prevalent in a given area (and where)? Or are the two relatively interchangeable?

  • Nadine 

    May 27, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Nasrani,

    I’m Lebanese and I’ve never heard any Lebanese use this word  بَاتَ, يبيتُ  “become”. It’s MSA.

    However, I’ve heard Lebanese anchors, journalists, politicians and reporters use this word on TV/Radio. Because there is something called  “white language” “لغة بيضا”  which is a blend of Lebanese and MSA, but leans more towards MSA .
    This “white dialect” is used by Lebanese anchors specially during political or economic talk shows, interviews and media coverage,  as well as by Lebanese TV/Radio guests (specially politicians). The purpose is to be understood by ِArab speakers from  different geographical region.

    The word صارَ, يصيرُ for “ become” is used by all Lebanese.

    • Nasrani

      May 28, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Many thanks. It must have been the “white language” I was hearing, since it was in the context of a news report. It seemed a little odd to me at first, since I have heard باتَ, يبيتُ in the context of “to stay somewhere overnight” (from where we get the word بَيتٌ for house), but never for “to become.”

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