Aid el Kebir: 'The great feast'- commemorating Abraham's sacrifice and is marked by a ritualistic slaughter of a sheep by the head of a family. A Big Holiday in Morocco.
Artisanale: Artist collective for marketing goods with out going through a middle man. A bit more expensive, but the quality is excellent and you know that the artist is getting all of the money.
Bezzéf: (be-Zef): A lot
Bish'hal (Bishal): How Much
Bis-M'allah (bis-Me-la): In the name of God. Used before beginning some thing. At the start of a meal or at the beginning of a taxi ride.
B'slama (bis-Lem-a): Good Bye
Buta-gaz: A two or three gallon tank of butane gas. Used to cook with or hooked up lantern apparatus to light a room. Everyone used this stuff.
Dar Chabab: Grade School. Literally: Children's house. Mom teaches English classes here a few times a week.
Dirham: Unit of money. 10 Dhs = $1
Dereeja (dur-E-shun): The form of Arabic spoken in most of Morocco. There is no written form.
Chwiya (Schwe-ah): little
Gendarme: (Zhon-darme) A policeman.
Grand Taxi: Cars that will take you from city to city. Typically carries six passengers- very cramped.
Hanut: A small corner storefront. Typically, a ten foot wide counter. They sell eggs, fresh bread, milk, bottled water, and the ever ubiquitous Tide (pronounced Teed, a weaker formulation of the laundry detergent but used for everything!).
Hammam (ha-Mem): Public Bath
Haj: The title bestowed on any man who makes the pilgrimage to Mecca. This is considered a great honor.
Hashuma (ha-Shu-ma): Sinful. Drinking, smoking, women at a café (mainly in small towns), and wearing shorts (men or women).
Insh 'allah (in-Sha-la): Allah willing. Used after any statement of intent. One of my favorite terms.
Jamil: Josh, a Peace Corps volunteer who we visited with.
Jellabah (gel-a-Bah): A cotton or wool cloak type thing with a hood. Obie-One Kanobi wore one.
Juge (Zhuge): two
Kelaa Des M'Gouna (Claw Ma-goon-a): A small town 1.5 hours east of Ouarzazate. This is where we caught the tumubile up towards Tourza (M'luda's Village).
La Shokran: No Thank You
Lahcen (Lacen): Common first name.
Leycee (Lee-say): Highschool?
Ma f'hemshi (Ma-fempsh): I do not understand.
Maganna(ma-Ga-na): Something that measures. Taxi meter, Gas meter, and Clocks all are magannas.
Marrakech (mare-ah-Cash): One of the biggest cities in Morocco. My first stop
M'barka(Em-Barka): Becky's Arabic name (Becky is my mother- incase you are confused.)
M'luda(Ma-Luda): Mary-Liz, a Peace Corps volunteer who we visited with.
Netty: Woman's Center. Here they teach life skill classes and English. Mom teaches the English classes here to women and girls who are no longer in school.
Nymphaeum: Roman pleasure house containing fountains and pools. I looked for one of these while I was there but couldn't find one. Maybe on my next trip.
Ouarzazate (war-za-Zat): The "big" town on the way from Marrakech to Zagora. It is located between the High Atlas Mountains and the smaller Anti-Atlas Mountains. They have an airport here.
Palmeraie (Palmery): I think that this is the French spelling. Near the river where they grow palm trees. Extends for much of the Draa valley. Very beautiful (zween). These palm trees produce dates.
Petite Taxi: Small inter-city taxis. Only carries three people. Make sure they turn on the maganna. #1 is the Day rate. #2 is another faster day rate, you don't want this. #5 in the night rate which is very fast. Then there is a small red (rouge) light in the left corner of the box that is some sort of tariff. You shouldn't be charged for this either. If they refuse to switch to the appropriate metering system then you have to get out of the cab.
Safi: I have had enough, done, stop
Sidi Ali: A brand of bottled water.
Shokran (Sho-Kran): Thank You
Souk (sook): An outdoor market where you go and get vegetables, spices, cows, goats, donkeys, sardines, wood, salted fat, butchered meat, dates and olives. Souk is twice a week in Zagora.
Tagine: (Ta-Jean) A stew of tender mutton cooked with onions, prunes, and nuts. Often decorated with hardboiled eggs. It is served in a large earthen dish that everyone eats out of scooping with pieces of bread instead of silver ware. My favorite!
Tarik: My Arabic name. Means Nomad or Wanderer.
Tashelhait (Tash-ill-hate): One of 3 berber dialects. It is spoken near where Becky lives. It is spoken mainly out in the country and not very much in the city. People who have moved to the city in search of work are always excited if you know some Tashelhait.
Tumubil (tow-mo-Beel): Berber Van- 'comfortably' seats 23 with 3 on the roof. The record is 27 with 3 sheep.
WaHa: OK; I understand
Walou (wa-Lu): None
Wahad (wa-Head): One
Zagora (Zag-or-ah): Where Mom lives. Two hours south of Ouarzazate in the Draa river valley. It is 52 days by camel from Timbuktu.
Zune-Zune: Same, in Tashelhait. If you use this people will instantly think you are fluent in Tashelhait, so be prepared.
Copyright Seth Toomay 2000
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