Arabic Language Blog

‎El-Funoun Dance Troupe فرقة الفنون الشعبية الفلسطينية Posted by on Aug 25, 2021 in Arabic Language, Culture, folklore

Are you interested in folklore التُّراث الشَّعبي/الفولكلور? Have you attended any performance by a folklore dance group فِرقة رَقْص فولكلوري? What comes to mind when you think of فرقة رقص فولكلوري? I assume they have a lot of pride الفَخْر since they express their love for their culture الثَّقافة and homeland الوَطَن through the art of dance فن الرقص. In this post, I thought to introduce a Palestinian folklore group called فِرْقة الفنون الشَّعبية الفِلَسطينية El-Funoun Dance Troupe through a clip that describes this dance troupe and what it stands for, in addition to interviews with members of the group as well as members of the audience who have come to watch a performance taking place in Amman, Jordan. I have transcribed the clip below so you can read along as you listen to the clip. I have also provided a translation. This is part one and next week’s post will have the continuation in part two.

📝In between segments of the clip, I have provided compression questions.

Image provided by Yasmine K.

🎇 فرقة الفنون الشعبية الفلسطينية🎇

.عضو من الفرقة: هنا يعني هي اكتر بتقدر تحكي إنها عيلة

Can you find the word in Levantine that is the equivalent of “family” in MSA?

.عضو من الفرقة: الفنون اكتر من مجرد مساحة بس للرقص

What do you think the speaker means when he says this, what is El-Funoun Dance Troupe expressing? 

عضو من الفرقة: تقريباً هذا الحكي كان ب٢.١٠

المُذيعة: هلق كم سنة صرلك؟

.عضو من الفرقة: يعني ١١ سنة

المذيعة: اليوم الك ١١ سنة؟

.عضو من الفرقة: ١١ سنة تقريباً

Can you find the word in Levantine dialect that means “now” in MSA? 

.المذيعة: بال٧٩، تأسست فرقة الفنون الشعبية. مثلت وقدمت الفلكلور الفلسطيني في أهم المهرجانات المحلية والعالمية

When was this folklore group established? Does it only give local performances? 

المذيعة: لما يكون في عرض لفرقة الفنون في البلد، ممنعجئ. انك تتدبر تذكرة، انك تضمن يكون الك محل موجود بين الجمهور. عمرها اكتر من ٤٠ سنة ويوم عن يوم بتزيد عراقة وجمال

What happens when people know there is going to be a performance? Why do they panic? 

المذيعة: بما انكم اول الحاضرين، بدكم تحكولنا ليش الفنون؟

أحد الحاضرين: أنا بالنسبة الي الفنون هي تاريخ، تاريخي أنا كمان، يعني أنا حاضرتهم من وهنا من مؤسسين الفنون من وهنا شباب صغار بالسبعينات 

What does this lady say that tells you she is of Palestinian origin? 

.أحد الحاضرين: كل أولادنا ميلت على الفنون وخلق أجيال وراء أجيال بثقافة ووعي ورقص عالي، عالي الجودة

What does this generation have when it comes to folklore, according to this parent? 

المذيعة: في حدى من أولادك، احفادك، حدى هيك بالفنون، ولا جاي تحضر لأنك بتحب الفنون؟

.أحد الحاضرين: اليوم للأسف فشي حدى من أولادنا اليوم، بس أولادنا مروا بالتجربة التلات، تلات اولاد

Does this father have any children participating in the performance? 

.عضو من الفرقة: يعني انا تقريباً من ٢٠١٤، اخوي إلو تقريباً فوق العشرين سنة بفرقة الفنون

Has the speaker’s brother been in the dance group since he was twenty years old, or has he been in the group for about twenty years? 

✨Note: Notice that most of the speech in this clip is in the Levantine dialect. The people being interviewed are describing their personal experiences and relationships with the dance group and tend to express this in dialect. Yet, when the interviewer gives a formal description of the dance group, she uses modern standard Arabic. 


Troupe member: You could say it’s like a family here.

Troupe member: ‎El-Funoun is more than just a space for dance.

Troupe member: This was around 2010.

Interviewer: How many years have you been here now?

Troupe member: Eleven years.

Interviewer: Today makes it eleven years?

Troupe member: About eleven years.

Interviewer: In 79, the Folklore Troupe was founded. It represents and presents Palestinian folklore in the most important local and international festivals.

Interviewer: When there is a performance for El-Funoun in town, we panic. For you to get a ticket, to guarantee a seat in the audience. It is more than 40 years old, and day by day it  is becoming more elegant and beautiful. 

Interviewer: Since you are among the first to arrive, tell us why El-Funoun.

One of the attendees: For me, El-Funoun is history and my history. I have been attending them since they were establishing El-Funoun when they were young men and women, in the seventies.

One of the attendees: All of our children have been artistically inclined creating a generation after generation of culture, awareness and dance that is of  high, high quality. 

Interviewer: Do you have any children or grandchildren or anyone in El-Funoun, or are you attending because you just love El-Funoun? 

One of the attendees: Unfortunately, none of our children are in it today, but all three of our children have gone through this experience. 

Troupe member: I have been here approximately since 2014, but my brother has been in the El-Funoun dance troupe for over twenty years. 

I hope you found this post interesting in that it gave you a glimpse into Palestinian folklore dancing and helped you practice more of your Arabic comprehension skills. Till next week, happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.