Arabic Language Blog

What’s White privilege? امتياز البِيض Posted by on Jun 30, 2020 in Arabic Language, Vocabulary

Earlier this month, mass protests مظاهرات جماعية erupted اندلعت after the death بعد مقتل of George Floyd – an African American citizen مواطن أمريكي من أصل أفريقي  – at the hands of a police officer على يد ضابط شرطة in the US. As today is the last day of this month, it’s very timely الوقت مناسب جدًا to talk about a specific term  للحديث عن مفهوم محدّد that you may have heard a lot of within these past few weeks, and that is the term: white privilege امتياز البيض . This post will explain this term سيشرح هذا المفهوم and its effects وآثاره , using a short video clip produced by BBC Arabic.

A "Black Lives matter" protesting sign.

Image by Clay Banks on

The post is vocabulary focused and is suitable for advanced learners of Arabic. It will:


  • Provide an English translation of the lines that appear in the video.
  • List some of the important and relevant phrases to this topic.


Go to this link here to watch the video >>


*Arabic > English Translation الترجمة من العربية > الإنجليزية


What you need to do is to read the lines (in Arabic) on the video and follow the English ones provided. You can test yourself by reading the Arabic lines first and try to produce your own translation. The phrases in the second can be used as hints 🙂


كتابة على مقعد في مكان عام: “للبيض فقط”

Writing on a bench in a public place: “Whites only”

كيف يؤثر لون بشرتك في حياتك؟

How does your skin colour affect your life?

هل تشبه أصحاب النفوذ الأكبر عالميًا؟

Do you resemble the world’s most influential people?

ما هو امتياز البيض؟

What’s white privilege?

 إن كنت لا تعرف ما هو “امتياز البيض”، فأنت على الأرجح أبيض

If you don’t know what white privilege is, then you’re probably white

إنه امتياز يحمله لون بشرتك

It’s a privilege that your skin colour carries

وهو متوارث عن أجيال

And it’s inherited across generations

ويجعل البعض ينجح أكثر في الحياة عن البعض الآخر

And it makes some succeed in life more than others

كيف يؤثر امتياز البيض على البشر؟

How does white privilege affect people?

الجميع يتأثر بهذا الامتياز أو عدمه

All is affected by this privilege or the lack of it

البيض يمتازون به

White people have this privilege (distinguished by it)

وغيرهم يتضرر لانعدامه

And others are badly affected by its absence

في بريطانيا، البطالة بين البيض: ٦.٣٪ فقط

In the UK, unemployment among white people is 6.3% only

بينما أبناء الأقليات العرقية: ٪١٢.٩

Whereas it’s 12.6% among people from ethnic minorities

في الولايات المتحدة كان عدد أصحاب الشركات البيض الممنوحين قروضًا

In the US, the number of white business owners that were granted loans

 ضعف عدد أقرانهم من السود

Was twice the number of their black peers

ويُرجَّح أكثر أن يجد الأبيض وظيفة

And it’s more likely that a white person would find a job

تناسب مستوى دراسته

That is suitable to his level of study

وجدت دراسة استمرار الفوارق بين البيض والسود

Studies found the persistence of difference between whites and blacks

رغم نشأتهم في أسر من نفس الدخل

Despite growing up in families with the same income

والوضع الاجتماعي، والتعليمي، والثروة

And the social and educational situation and wealth

امتياز البيض إرث قديم وسبب للعنصرية

White privilege is an ancient legacy and a reason for racism

يُقرر امتياز البيض من يحظى بأفضل الوظائف

White privilege determines who gets the best job

وأفضل تعليم

And the best education

وأفضل مستوى معيشي على الأرجح

And probably the best standard of living

الملوَّنون محرومون من هذا الامتياز

People of colour are deprived of this privilege

ولا سبيل للتغيير إلا إذا استوعبت المجتمعات

And there’s no way of changing it until societies realise

تأثير عنصرية الماضي في طريقة التفكير والتصرّف اليوم

The effect of racism of the past on way of thinking and behaviours today

وحتى هذا الحين، سيستمر البيض يُولدون

And until then, white people will still be born

بامتياز ينتفعون به

With a privilege they’re distinguished by

مهما اعتنقوا هم أنفسهم من أفكار المساواة

Regardless of their embracing of ideas of equality

= = = = = = = = = = = =


*Important Vocabulary مصطلحات هامّة


The colour of your skin لون بشرتك

You look alike/resemble تُشْبِه

Inherited/passed down through generations مُتوارث عن/عبر أجيال

Distinguished by يمتازون بـ

Is badly affected/disadvantaged يتضرر

Ethnic minorities الأقليات العرقية

Been granted (plural) مَمْنُوحِين

Peers أقران

Level of study/ education مستوى الدراسة/ التعليم

Differences between فوارق بين

The same income نفس الدخل

Social situation الوضع الاجتماعي

Wealth الثروة

Racism العُنْصُرِية

Ancient legacy إرْث قديم

Standard of living مستوى معيشي

People of colour الملوَّنون

Deprived of (plural) محرومون من

Way of thinking طريقة التفكير

Equality المساواة

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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.


  1. Bob R:

    Thank you very very much for publishing this

    • Hanan:

      @Bob R You’re very welcome. Thank you for passing by 🙂
      Happy learning.

  2. Mohd Umar:

    This is very useful for learning 👍 . We must continue
    I am obliged to you sir ,
    Best regards

  3. Noor:

    Nice blog. Well composed. Taught me a lot. Thank you.