Form the Peace Corp Manual

Unfortunately they don’t give a translation to everything they use. On page 40 the waiter says at the end: mrHba, 3la r-ras u l-3in. What does that mean?

I have never ever heard a Moroccan say “3ala rras wal 3ain.” However, I do know what it means. Palestinians use it all the time (as well as other Middle Easterners) and it means, “Of course! I’ll do that right away! Anything you want!” Literally, though I’m sure you worked this out, it means, “Upon the head and in front of my eyes.”

Yeah but upon the head and in front of my eyes didn’t make any sense, that’s why I’m asking.

Nuwwara, I said that I was sure you had worked that out, didn’t I? And, of course it makes NO sense literally; that’s why it’s an idiom. By the way, want to take a shot at what, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” means?

Please note that English is a 2nd language to me and I might not always get clear, what I want to say.

Do you want me to explain you the horse-saying?

Literally, 3la rrâs w l3în is: “Upon my head AND eyes”. I don’t see anywhere where “in front of” is mentioned. This expression is indeed used in Morocco. It means “your wishes are my orders” ;). Or the French equivalent, that you use when someone ask you for something “avec plaisir”.
There is another Moroccan expression that says “dertô fôq râsî”. Literally: I put him on my head. The expression means that you make the person come first, and you grant her/him her/his demands and wishes.
In the middle east, it’s either “3alâ 3înî w râsî min fô2” (I love this expression!), or “min 3yônî” = From my eyes, you’ll do what the person asks from you with the most precious treasure of yours (your eyes!) and with extreme care and attention.

For a little background, this is a teaching of Islam. There is a verse in the Quran: [large]??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???[/large] [Al7ashr, aya 9]
[And give them (emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that] - For the context, it’s Al-Madina Muslims who welcomed Makka emigrants, and favored them over themselves for the sake of God.

I hope this answers your question. :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Bitte schön :).

Just ask if you need something translated to or from German.

Thanks for your offer :). I know I have friends I can rely on.

Of course you’re helping everybody so everybody wants to give something back and help you, too. As we say “So wie man in den Wald ruft, schallt es zurück.” (We reap what we sow.)

But I am not asking for anything back for whatever help I can give here :).

Dear Simply Moroccan, I apologize for saying that Moroccans don’t use “A2la rral wal 3ayn.” It is, however, true that I personally have never heard a Moroccan use it. And I learned it from a Palestinian professor just as it is phrased. I didn’t know what it meant and had to figure it out by context; a lot of Middle Easterners use it. They also say the other things you mentioned, of course.

As for translating it into English as “in front of my eyes”, that’s because you can’t say “on my eyes” in English. It makes no sense, so I rendered my translation in a manner which makes sense in my language.

And as for the saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” yes, I was asking if any of you would like to try to figure out what it means. But I’ll just tell you. When you want to determine the age of a horse you look at its teeth, which are in its mouth. If you are given a gift it is considered ungracious to try to ascertain its worth, and if you do find it to be “long in the tooth” ie, old, you might decide that what you were given is of inferior value and forget that, after all, it was a gift.

Oh, and about Taghzout or Taghazout, it is Taghzout, in the north of Morocco, about 100 miles from Hoceima, I was told.

Thank you so much for your help, Simply Moroccan; I really do appreciate it.


I translated that saying from German were it has exactly the same meaning. Only that we use the word “Gaul” so that it rhymes with “Maul” (mouth of an animal) and not the normal word “Pferd” for horse. “Gaul” is derogative. I would never use that normally.

Don’t apologize, but you actually spelled the expression wrong up there :hap:.

If you noticed, what I do generally is give a literal translation of any expression, for vocabulary purposes, and to understand the structure of the sentence. Most of the time, literal translations do not make that much sense, they are somehow similar to machine translations. Then, I give the meaning of the expression. That’s why I mentioned that part about “in front of”. If you ask me, if you consider the expression “on my head, and in front of my eyes”, it doesn’t make sense either!

I didn’t give a try to your expression, since I concentrated on this thread’s original question. But I saw that Tukha responded to you in the other thread. This sounds fun! Feel free to open a thread about English idioms. Most of us are not native speakers, and we will certainly will learn loads with you.
By the way, and as l3îd lkbîr approaches, we do also check sheep teeth to estimate their age. I did that last year :D, will probably do again this year.

As for Taghzout, I thought you were talking about the region that is in the South, because you said your parents in law spoke Berber. As it’s a region in the North, then what they speak is probably Tarifit… a dialect of Berber.
To comment on something you said before: This actually happens a lot. When a Moroccan couple is mixed, one parent is Berber and the other is not, the kids grow up understanding Berber but not speaking it well, since Darija prevails in most cases. Most of the time also, elder kids learn some Berber from the Berber parent, or grandma, and the younger ones don’t!
I was raised by both Berber parents, so Berber is my primary language. Just for info. :slight_smile: