Arabic Language Blog

World Mental Health Day 2020 Posted by on Oct 13, 2020 in Arabic Language, Vocabulary

Last Saturday, the 10th. October, was the world’s Mental Health day اليوم العالمي للصحة النفسية. Today’s post is based on a short clip that BBC Arabic produced to acknowledge this day. In the clip, five Arab young people خمسة شباب عرب talk about how people around them deal with their mental health issues.

Image by Jude Beck on

The World’s Health Organisation منظمة الصحة العالمية  reports that the Arab countries have the highest rates of depression أعلى معدلات الاكتئاب around the world في العالم.

In the clip below, the five young people were asked about the worst advice they have received with regards to their mental health أسوأ نصيحة تلقّوها بشأن صحتهم النفسية .


*The Arabic spoken in the video is vernacular. Here’s a list of the five people and the Arabic variety each speaks >>

  • Khalid خالد: Levantine Arabic (Syrian dialect)
  • Basant بسنت & Aaya آية : Egyptian Arabic
  • Ameerah أميرة : North African Arabic
  • Ameen أمين & Ahmad أحمد: Levantine Arabic (Lebanese)


The post will:

  • Provide an English translation of the lines that appear in the video.
  • The main phrases related to this topic will appear in bold.

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*Arabic > English Translation الترجمة من العربية > الإنجليزية


 سألنا البعض عن أسوء نصيحة تلقوها عن صحتهم النفسية
We asked some people about worst advice they have received with regards to their mental health


هذا ما قالوه لنا
This is what they told us >>




خلّيك رجّال

Be a man


كون أوي /قوي

Be strong




إنت لازم تبتدي تحسّن علاقتك بربّنا

You have to start strengthening your relationship with God




إنتِ لازم تتحكّمي في أعصابك أكتر من كده

You have to control yourself /your nerves more (than this)




الرجال ما بتبكي

Men don’t cry




ما تروحيش عند الأخصائي

Don’t go to a specialist


لأن هو ممكن يعطيك أدوية راح تفقدي عقلك

Because he might give you medications that make you lose your mind


ولا ترجعي مهبولة

Or you may come back crazy




شِدّ حالك.. لأنك رجال

Pull yourself together.. because you’re a man

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لماذا كانت تلك النصيحة غير مفيدة؟
Why wasn’t that advice useful?




بيحسّسوني إن – يعني – أنا اللي عايزه أتعزّب (أتعذّب) أوي كده

They’re making me feel – I mean – like I’m the one who wants to torment/torture myself a lot like this




إنت – كده – ما بتساعدوش إنُّه يطلع برّا الحفره.. خالص

You – like this – aren’t helping him to get out of the hole.. not at all


إنت كده بتوقّعوا جوه الحفرة زياده

You – like this – are making him fall down the hole more


وبتخلّيه يطوّل الوقت اللي ممكن يقعد فيه جوه الحفره

And you’re making him prolong the time in which he could stay in the hole




الرجال بتبكي

Men cry


الرجال بتحس

Men feel


الرجال بالأخير إنسان

Men in the end are human




الأدوية عمرها لا تكون عائق في حياة الإنسان

Medications have never been a barrier in one’s life


بالعكس، ممكن توفر عليك مشوار طويل

On the contrary, it may spare you a long journey

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ما هي أفضل طريقة للمساعدة؟
What’s the best way to help?




بتمنّى إنُّه الناس تستمع أكتر

I hope people could listen more


أو إذا (إذا) هي ما عندا (عندها) الخبرة الكافية

Or if they don’t have enough experience


بتمنّى إنُّه الناس تحاول تبتعد عن إعطاء حلول

I hope they try to refrain from giving/providing solutions




بي ذير.. مش معناها إني أبقى قاعدة جنب الشخص.. خالص

Be there.. doesn’t mean that I stay next to the person.. not at all


بس معناها إن أنا أسمع

But it means that I listen


إن أنا أحاول أفهم

That I try to understand


أسأل حتى.. ممكن أسأل

To also ask.. I could ask


إيه اللي بيخلّيكي تحسي كده؟

What is it that makes you feel like this?




لما بتلاقيه بيُقبل على أكتيفيتي

When you find him starting doing an activity


أو حاجة معينه هو هيهعملها

Or a particular thing he’s about to do


ساعده إنُّه يكملها للآخر

Help him to finish it till the end


ده كل اللي عليك

This is all you have to do




يكونو عم بيفرجوهم حب وتقدير مستمر

To show them constant love and appreciation




والباقي المُختص يديرها

And the rest, the specialist will do it

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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.