Friday, 1 February 2008

Revolt with an Egyptian accent

The AP news agency noticed a change in language following the fall of the Gaza wall:

A trip to Egypt has become a status symbol, and many Gazans have picked up Egyptian slang to prove they were there.

«When people speak Egyptian (Arabic), they want to give an impression that they are now cultured. It also gives an impression that they've traveled to Egypt and met with Egyptians,» said linguist Asad Abu Shark from Azhar University in Gaza City.

Five days in Egypt was enough for Gazan Taysir Muammar, 37, who loudly joked with his friends in a broken Egyptian dialect, replacing the Palestinian «j» with a hard Egyptian «g».

Gazans have picked up new phrases across the border, like the filler word «bitaa,» loosely translated as «stuff» which until now was not common in Gaza, or the Egyptian greeting «ezayak» instead of «kifhalak».

Hmmm... I wonder if Egyptian security forces are picking up an Israeli accent.

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