Arabic Language Blog

Arabic music in Barcelona: Questions Posted by on Jun 12, 2020 in Arabic Language, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

Welcome to the first part of this post. Today, I would like to share with you a video clip, produced by BBC Arabic, featuring an inspiring story قصة ملهمة of a Syrian couple لزوجين سوريين living in Barcelona. Since the early days of the lockdown منذ الأيام الأولى من الإغلاق الكامل , Ahmed and Aseel haven’t been able to perform at the theatre as usual يؤديان/يغنّيان على المسرح كالعادة . What made the situation more difficult for them is the absence of any kind of social life غياب الحياة الاجتماعية  in their neighbourhood في حيّهم .

Image by Adi Goldstein on


So, how did the couple overcome their feeling of loneliness? Watch the clip below for the full story! 

*The couple speak Syrian Arabic, mixed with some standard Arabic. It’s an advantage if you’re already familiar with Levantine Arabic so you could follow.


Now that you’ve watched the clip, you could test your comprehension skills by trying to answer the list of questions below>>


١أسئلة لاختبار الفهم

Comprehension Questions:

أجب عن الأسئلة التالية

Answer the following questions


 كيف وصف الزوج (أحمد) العلاقات الاجتماعية في أوروبا؟

  1. How did the husband – Ahmed – describe social relationships in Europe?

 هل يعرف الزوجان أي أحد من جيرانهم؟

  1. Does the couple know any of their neighbours?

  ماهي الوسيلة التي اختارها الزوجان للتواصل مع جيرانهم؟

  1. What’s the method that the couple chose to get in touch with their neighbours?

 لماذا الموسيقى بالذات؟

  1. Why music, in particular?

 متى كان الزوجان يعزفان ويغنيان؟

  1. When did the couple perform and sing their songs?

 كيف تغيّرت العلاقات بين الجيران؟

  1. How did the relationship between the neighbours change?

 ماذا أدرك الجيران بعد هذه الحادثة؟

  1. What did the neighbours realise after this incident?

 ماهي المدة التي يقضيها الزوجان في العزف لجيرانهم؟

  1. How long does the couple spend performing for their neighbours?


٢اختبار المصطلحات

Vocabulary quiz (A): English> Syrian Arabic

Match the English words/phrases to their counterparts in Syrian Arabic (in the order they appear in, in the clip):


Apartment building   – تانية

We don’t know         – شغلات كتير

Someone                   – حارة

Who                          – حدا

Neighbourhood        – بناية

Another                     – طلعنا

When                        – وهيك

Came out                  – ما منعرف

And thus                   – هالشي

Became                    – لمّا

People                      – مين

See each other         – صارت

We’re missing out on – أهل الحارة    

many things             العالم

This thing               – تشوف بعضها

People of the neighbourhood    مروّحين ع حالنا



Vocabulary Quiz (B): Syrian Arabic > Standard Arabic

Match the Syrian Arabic words to their counterparts in standard Arabic

 بناية – الناس

ما منعرف – خرجنا

حدا – أخرى

مين – أحد

حارة – عمارة

تانية – أصبحت

لمّا – مَن

طلعنا   – يرون بعضهم البعض

وهيك   – هذا الشيء

صارت   – نضيع على أنفسنا

العالم   – سكان الحيّ/ المنطقة

تشوف بعضها   – عندما

مروّحين ع حالنا   – لا نعرف

شغلات كتير   – الحيّ/ المنطقة

هالشي   – وهكذا

أهل الحارة   – أشياء كثيرة


Stay tuned for next week’s post to check your answers 🙂


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About the Author: Hanan Ben Nafa

Hi, this is Hanan :) I'm an Arabic linguist. I completed my PhD in Linguistics - 2018. My PhD thesis was entitled Code-switching as an evaluative strategy: identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals. I'm also a qualified public service translator & interpreter.