Englabic: A Poem by Marianne Nsour

Here is a poem by Marianne Nsour, an American from Fremont who lived in Jordan for about 11 years and speaks 'Jordanian' very well and has a passion for the Arabic language/culture.

Englabic by Marianne Nsour

For students of Arabic, life can be hectic.
But before you panic please have a look
At thirty-four words you already know:

Bent means girl not out of shape.
Rockabye is your neck at the nape.
Fool are broad beans; lift means beets.
A foreign’s an oven for baking a treat.
Shanty’s a purse, not a worthless house
And a far is a scampering, runaway mouse.
Tell means hill and ghoul means tell
And guess what beer is? A water well.
Change she to he and he to who.
Then to ask what, just say shoe.

The girl’s name Anna is how to say I
And mean is who and not a bad guy.
Shy is tea and jelly, dishwashing.
Bait is a house and not for fishing.
If something is open, it’s really fat’
And when it‘s over, it’s really mat.
Something coming later is so bad
And if it stays a while, indeed it’s sad.
Sin means tooth, not degradation
And boom’s an owl, not detonation

Gal is not girl; it means he said
And deign is a loan to put you in red.
Dean is religion with its saving grace.
Tomb is the mouth, not the burial place.
A little bull-bull is a talking bird
And not disclaimers of spoken words
And what-what is another bird that
We westerners call the bat.
Men means from, not the plural of man
And once upon a time is simply can.
Hat and hack are give and take
And hub the world go round does make.

Now you know thirty-four words so don’t despair.
Soon you’ll speak Arabic with a fluent flair
And every time you say a mouthful,
You’re on your way to being a bull-bull.

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