Charbel Rouhana: Hi Kifak Ca Va

Apropos of our series of posts on greetings in Lebanese Arabic, we look here at Lebanese musician Charbel Rouhana’s “Hi Kifak Ca Va” from his 2006 album “Dangerous”. You can listen to this song (and others) for free at his official page, where the idea behind the song is described as follows:

It is becoming more and more common for the Lebanese to use three different languages concurrently to express themselves. “Hi, Keefak, Ca va” for instance, illustrates this trilingual expression for greeting. Is the Arabic language incapable of expressing modern times? Do we really need to use western languages to enhance the expression of our native tongue? (http://www.forwardmusic.net/charbel_rouhana_-_dangerous.html)

Below you will find our transcription and translation of “Hi Kifak Ca Va”. We have provided links to brief explanations of Arabic words that we have left untranslated; these links lead to other pages on our blog as well as notes at the bottom of this page.

“Hi Kifak Ca Va” © 2006 by Forward Music
Lyrics and translation of “Hi Kifak Ca Va” are printed here by the Lebanese Arabic Institute with the permission of the copyright owner.

fannēn: šarbil rūHānā فَنّان: شربل روحانا
Āuğniyeŧ: Hi kīfak ça va أُغْنِيِة: هاي كيفَك سا فا
Āalbōm: ḰaTīraŧ (2006)
ألبوم: خطيرة (2006)
Hi, kīfak, ça va? هاي، كيفَك، سا فا؟
min wén jibtħa yā libnēné? مِن وين جِبْتها يا لِبْناني؟
ba3d nāĀiSħā ciao, bitSaffé 3aTTulyēné بَعْد ناقِصْها تْشاو، بِتْصَفّي عالطُّلْياني
“Hi, kīfak, ça va?”
Hey Lebanese, where did you get this from?
All it needs is “ciao”, and it will become Italian
Hi, kīfak, ça va? هاي، كيفَك، سا فا؟
min wén jibtħa yā libnēné? مِن وين جِبْتها يا لِبْناني؟
ba3d nāĀiSħā ciao, bitSaffé 3aTTulyēné بَعْد ناقِصْها تْشاو، بِتْصَفّي عالطُّلْياني
šū btišké kilmit marHabā Āaw SabāH lḰér? شو بْتِشْكي كِلْمِة مَرْحَبا أو صَباح الخير؟
fī Āajmal minnħā sa3īdeŧ – ya3né, masāå lḰér? في أَجْمَل مِنّها سَعيدِة – يَعْني، مَساء الخير؟
“Hi, kīfak, ça va?”
Hey Lebanese, where did you get this from?
All it needs is “ciao”, and it will become Italian
What’s wrong with the word “marHabā” or “SabāH lḰér”?
Is there anything more beautiful than “sa3īdeŧ” – rather, “masāå lḰér”?
mā dēmak 3am tēkul manĀūšeŧ مَا دامَك عَم تاكُل مَنْقوشِة
wšaTT rīĀak 3attabbūleŧ وشَطّ ريقَك عالتَّبّولِة
yā lél yā 3én… yā lél yā 3én يا ليل يا عين… يا ليل يا عين
yā lél yā 3én… daḰḰilné 3almaSmūdé! يا ليل يا عين… دَخِّلْني عَالمَصْمودي!
As long as you’re eating manĀūšeŧ
and your mouth is watering for tabbūleŧ
yā lél yā 3én… yā lél yā 3én
yā lél yā 3én… let’s get to the rhythm of the drum!
wow! sahraŧ cool واو! سَهْرَة كول
kill šī byuḰlaS dommage كِل شي بْيُخْلَص دوماج
ḰalaTō šarĀé wğarbé خَلَطو شَرْقي وغَرْبي
mon Dieu, quelle marriage! مون ديوو، كيل مارياج!
Wow! What a cool soirée
It’s a shame that everything has to end
They mixed east and west
My God, what a blend!
wow! sahraŧ cool واو! سَهْرَة كول
kill šī byuḰlaS dommage كِل شي بْيُخْلَص دوماج
ḰalaTō šarĀé wğarbé خَلَطو شَرْقي وغَرْبي
mon Dieu, quelle marriage! مون ديوو، كيل مارياج!
Wow! What a cool soirée
It’s a shame that everything has to end
They mixed east and west
My God .. What a blend!
ddal3ōnā za3lēneŧ, miš 3am ti3rif Hālħā الدَّلْعونا زَعْلانِة، مِش عَم تِعْرِف حالَها
štāĀit 3aĀbū zziluf tatğanné mawwālħā شْتاقِت عأبو الزِّلُف تَتْغَنّي مَوّالها
wmā dēm hal3ūd biĀīdak وما دام هَالعود بِإيدَك
diĀĀillé wcancel mawā3īdak دِقِّلّي وكَنْسِل مَواعيدَك
yā lél yā 3én… yā lél yā 3én يا ليل يا عين… يا ليل يا عين
yā lél yā 3én… dawwibné btaĀāsīmak! يا ليل يا عين… دَوِّبْني بْتَقاسيمَك!
The dal3ōnā is sad, it doesn’t recognize itself
It misses Āabū zziluf to sing its own mawwāl
As long as the oud is in your hand
play it for me and cancel your appointments
yā lél yā 3én… yā lél yā 3én
yā lél yā 3én…
melt me in your oud solo!
Please, s’il te plait, yā māmā baddé Āēkul بْليز، سِل تو بليه، يا ماما بَدّي آكُل
Dit le en français, Āaw mā byuTla3lak tēkul دي لوو أون فرانْسيه، أو ما بْيُطْلَعْلَك تاكُل
Please, s’il te plait, yā māmā baddé Āēkul! بْليز، سِل تو بليه، يا ماما بَدّي آكُل!
wlak dit le en français yā 3ammé وْلَك دي لوو أون فرانْسيه يا عَمّي
Āaw mā byuTla3lak tēkul! أو ما بْيُطْلَعْلَك تاكُل!
Please, I beg you please, Mom I want to eat
Say it in French, or you don’t get to eat
Please, I beg you please, Mom I want to eat!
Come on, say it in French
or you don’t get to eat!
trikīħ yā 3ammé yēkul! kill Hādis luħ Hadīs تْرِكيه يا عَمّي ياكُل! كِل حادِث لُه حَديث
lēHiĀ yiHké frinsēwé wyitmaḰtar bibārīs لاحِق يِحْكي فْرِنْساوي ويِتْمَخْتر بِباريس
mā b3ilmé libnēné lhawiyyeŧ ما بْعِلْمي لِبْناني الهَوِيِّة
wilĀarzeŧ šlūšħā (šrūšħā) Āawiyyeŧ والأرْزِة شْلوشها (شْروشها) قَوِيِّة
yā lél yā 3én… yā lél yā 3én يا ليل يا عين… يا ليل يا عين
yā lél yā 3én… libnēné miyyeŧ lmiyyeŧ يا ليل يا عين… لِبْناني مِيِّة المِيِّة
Come on, let him eat! Everything in time…
He’ll eventually speak French and stroll pompously in Paris
I thought his identity was Lebanese
and the roots of the cedar were strong
yā lél yā 3én… yā lél yā 3én
yā lél yā 3én… one hundred percent Lebanese
3abbir 3an faraHak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن فَرَحَك بالعَرَبي
3abbir 3an Hiznak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن حِزْنَك بالعَرَبي
ğanné 3an Hubbak bil3arabé غَنّي عَن حُبَّك بالعَرَبي
SarriḰ 3an ğaDabak bil3arabé صَرِّخ عَن غَضَبَك بالعَرَبي
Āišké 3an ta3abak… 3an Dajarak إشْكي عَن تَعَبَك… عَن ضَجَرَك
Āiktub 3an Āamalak… 3an Āalamak إكْتُب عَن أمَلَك… عَن ألَمَك
Ḱabbir 3an Āahlak… 3an ša3bak خَبِّر عَن أَهْلَك… عَن شَعْبَك
Express your happiness in Arabic
Express your sadness in Arabic
Sing of your love in Arabic
Shout your anger out in Arabic
Complain of your fatigue… your weariness
Write about your hope… your pain
Tell about your people… your nation
3abbir 3an faraHak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن فَرَحَك بالعَرَبي
3abbir 3an Hiznak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن حِزْنَك بالعَرَبي
ğanné 3an Hubbak bil3arabé غَنّي عَن حُبَّك بالعَرَبي
SarriḰ 3an ğaDabak bil3arabé صَرِّخ عَن غَضَبَك بالعَرَبي
Āišké 3an ta3abak… 3an Dajarak إشْكي عَن تَعَبَك… عَن ضَجَرَك
Āiktub 3an Āamalak… 3an Āalamak إكْتُب عَن أمَلَك… عَن ألَمَك
Ḱabbir 3an Āahlak… 3an ša3bak خَبِّر عَن أَهْلَك… عَن شَعْبَك
Express your happiness in Arabic
Express your sadness in Arabic
Sing of your love in Arabic
Shout your anger out in Arabic
Complain of your fatigue… your weariness
Write about your hope… your pain
Tell about your people… your nation
3abbir 3an waTanak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن وَطَنَك بالعَرَبي
3abbir 3an waTanak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن وَطَنَك بالعَرَبي
3abbir 3an waTanak bil3arabé عَبِّر عَن وَطَنَك بالعَرَبي
Express your homeland in Arabic
Express your homeland in Arabic
Express your homeland in Arabic

 

Notes:

manoushe with za'atar (thyme)

manĀūšeŧ (plural “manāĀīš / مَناقيش“; often written “manoushe” or “man’oushe”): flatbread topped with thyme or cheese and baked in the oven. People usually pick it up from a bakery for breakfast on the go.

Video: Manoushe Zaatar: A Traditional Lebanese Breakfast from Anthony Rahayel on YouTube.

tabbouleh (Lebanese salad) with lettuce
tabbūleŧ
(“tabbouleh”): Middle Eastern salad made from parsley, tomatoes, spring onions, a few mint leaves, bulgur, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Some people also add seven spices. Tabbouleh is usually eaten with lettuce or cabbage.


“yā lél yā 3én…”:
a phrase which is commonly used in Arabic songs for dramatic effect. It does not really have a specific meaning, although a literal translation would be “O Night O Eye”.


dal3ōnā
(“dal’ouna”): a type of music for the dabke (a traditional Levantine dance); e.g. https://www.youtube.com/results?q=dal3ona


Āabū zziluf
(“Abu zeluf”): a certain kind of vocal prelude to a song, similar to a mawwāl (see below) but with its own metre and beginning with the following lines:

hayhāt yā bū zziluf هَيْهات يا بو الزِّلُف
3énī yā mūlayyā عيني يا موليا

In the following video, the Lebanese singer Marwan Mahfouz sings Abu zeluf:

Video: Marwan Mahfouz – Abou Elzelouf from Marwan Mahfouz on YouTube.

mawwāl (“mawwal”): a vocal solo which can serve as the prelude to a song, or as an independent song in its own right. It is a display of vocal strength and virtuosity, as the singer extends the syllables of the words and may even improvise on the lyrical and melodic theme; e.g. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mawwal

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