My 5 Peeves as a Trilingual Lebanese
I was born Lebanese. I didn’t choose it, but I wouldn’t change it even if I could. I am proud of being born with the privilege of being trilingual. That said, some things Lebanese people do or say irritate me. After all, I am a grammar Nazi and I can’t help it: from the notorious “hi, kifak, ça va?” to the ever annoying “seurry” Lebanese girls utter, the list is a pretty long one, but I narrowed it down to 5 ultimate pet peeves.
Saying “Thanks God”
Seriously, people who say “thanks God” when they actually mean “thank God”; I know everyone aspires to pray and communicate with God the almighty in a friendly way, but “thanks God” is just wrong. We say “thank God”, “thank goodness”, “thank you Jesus”, “thank you dear Lord”, etc. You can’t say “thanks God”; it’s not like God is your buddy and you’re thanking him like “wassup up my man, thanks bruh”. Just. Don’t. Being a little bit more formal, even in prayer, is actually a really good thing.
Switching from French, to English to Arabic in a Single Sentence
It happened to me quite a few times. I’d be on the phone with someone, (and I usually only speak Arabic, although I’m fluent in both French and English, but I just tend to use my mother tongue because I don’t have to prove anything to anyone) and they try to throw in a couple of English or French words while speaking, so I automatically switch to whichever language they’re speaking (or trying to speak), and then, guess what happens? They switch back to Arabic (Lebanese dialect to be exact). I know this is in every Lebanese person’s nature, but it is nonetheless irritating. I am not talking about the typical words that we borrow from foreign languages (like remote control, Kleenex, bonjour, bonsoir, pardon, sorry, etc.). I am talking about using unusual words like trying to show off that you speak 3 languages. That is what I just can’t stand!
If you’re not certain that you will be producing a 100 correct sentence in a foreign language, just stick to your Lebanese. There’s no pressure, trust me. That said, I appreciate the effort some people put, and I can tell the difference between people who are making an effort, and people who are simply trying to show off.
Saying “Yesterday Night”
For those who say “yesterday night” when they mean “last night”. I mean, I can’t even…
We either say “yesterday”, “last night”, “the other day” (when it’s a few days back) or “the other night” (when it’s a few nights back). That’s pretty much it.
Subject Inversion in an Affirmative Sentence
I get it. I really do. This is a tricky one, but maybe this explanation here will help.
You say “I don’t know what he will buy” and not “I don’t know what will he buy”. You started the sentence with an affirmation (“I don’t know”) so basically it is not a question. When you are asking a question, you simply say “what will he buy?”
I am 100% certain that we are the only country in the world where people pronounce “sorry” as “seurry” and think it’s cute. It’s actually stupid!
What are your pet peeves? Have I missed any important ones? Don’t hesitate to share them with me in the comments section below!