Sunday , October 23 2016

Elissa – Ahla Donia – I’m confused whether to complain, talk or cry about my joy

Here's a well-known song by Lebanese singer Elissa called A7la Donia (احلى دنيا).

Below are the lyrics in English and Arabic (scroll down for an explanation).




I've left out the repeated parts:

احترت اشكي ولا احكي ولا ابكي من فرحتي

I'm not sure (confused) whether to complain, talk or cry about my joy

من شوقي ليك يا حبيبي بدعي تكون في يوم من قسمتي

From my love (passion) for you, my love, I call out (to God) that one day you'll be part of me

يا احلى دنيا عشتها في الكون بحاله

The most beautiful world I've ever lived in in the whole universe

في عنيك ليالي عشقتها أول ما مالو

In your eyes are nights that I loved as soon as they met (mine)

كلمة يا عمري قلتها لحظة لقانا

One word - my life - I said the moment we met

ماعرفش قلبي لما شافك ايه جراله

I don't know what happened to my heart when it saw you

طول عمري خايفة احب واعشق زي كل الناس

My whole life I've been afraid to love and desire like everyone (else)

لإني ماملكش في حياتي غير حبة الإحساس

Because I don't own anything in my life apart from feelings

شفتك ملكت كل شيء فيّا بثواني

When I saw you I owned everything in a second

علمت قلبي ازاي يحب ويعرف الاخلاص

You made my heart love and know devotion


Here are some notes on some of the words and expressions used above:

احترت - lit. I was confused (from v. حير 'to perplex/mystify' - n. حيرة (confusion)).

اشكي ولا احكي ولا ابكي - lit. I complain or I talk or I cry.

بدعي (lit. I call/cry out) is often heard in combination with الله (God) - بدعي الله (I call out to God).

قسمتي from قسمة meaning part. Can also refer to fate/destiny.

يا احلى دنيا - Oh, most beautiful world - who in this case is the guy she's singing to.

بحاله - like كله - so all of/the whole universe

كلمة يا عمري - she said a/one word the moment she met him - my life (term of endearment in Arabic)

ماعرفش قلبي لما شافك ايه جراله - the literal order of this sentence is interesting: I don't know + my heart + when it saw you + what happened

طول عمريthe length of my life (the whole of my life).

ملك - Used twice here. I mentioned this verb before. From the same root as the word king it refers to complete ownership/possession (stronger than have).

عملت... يحب... ويعرف - This is one way you can indicate a causative action in spoken Arabic. Verb to make verb - just as in English.

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  1. I believe the last line is “my heart learned to love…”

    علمت means “learned,” whereas عملت means “worked” or “did” or perhaps “made”.

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