We Lebanese have an an innate need to "bayed tanajer" (literally: wash pots, loose translation: compliment).
It makes our conversations more fruitful. But, they only work when they're said in Arabic. Here's why:
1. Fosak ghali : Your fart is expensive
This is one of those compliments we oftentimes hear our parents and grandparents tell the younger kids of the family.
It is basically another way of saying that a person is so important that even their passing gas is cute (or expensive).
2. Albak kteer tayeb : Your heart is so good
Someone does something kind for you, says something sweet and cheesy, cooks soup for you when you have a cold ... well that person deserves this compliment.
3. Mitil el amar : You are like the moon
You not only love this person to the moon and back, you think this person IS the moon.
Person A: *Getting ready for a massive Arab wedding*
Person B: Wow, tal3a mitil el amar lyoum
Person A: Shukran ya albe (thanks my heart?)
Person C: *Doesn't speak a word of Arabic* What is it with you guys and moons and hearts?
4. Btetekal: You're edible
You're talking about how cute a certain person is and you just can't find the words to express that level of cuteness ... except when you say "yeee byetekal."
If you decide to translate it into English when conversing with an adult, you may be sued for sexual harassment.
5. Teezak sha2fet almaza: Your butt is a piece of diamond
Another compliment we've heard our tetas say to us when we were younger: comparing your butt to a piece of diamond ... that's the spirit!
6. Shu hal zaher, byo2har 2aher: What is this pink? It pains the pain
You're wearing pink and some cheesy guy wants to give you a compliment. That is when "shu hal zaher byo2har aher" comes into action.
But, really when translated to English, it's just weird. Don't try to convince me otherwise.
7. Jamalak jamal: Your beauty is beauty
There's nothing like comparing one's beauty to beauty that's even more beautiful than beauty.
8. Shu hal 3yoon, mitil 3yoon el ghezlan: What are those eyes, like the eyes of a deer
Lebanese people love giving compliments (back-handed compliments) by using animals as the subject.
And when complimenting ones eyes... we use deer.
9. Tal el amar: The moon just showed up
Someone pretty shows up and lights up the room (nawarit, nawarit) ... and you want to tell them just how beautiful they are.
So you telling them that the moon has showed up ... and the compliment will get lost in translation.