Translation Philosophy:

We tried to give full definitions of the entry words so that the meaning of the word is as clear as possible, while not making the entry too long or complicated.

For example, we translated "إددّشْ" as "to walk like a baby, learn to walk, toddle" in order to make the meaning clearer, even though we could have just written, "toddle."

As for the example sentences, we translated them more directly and without much explanation, trying to keep them somewhat literal (so the meaning of each word is evident) while making the overall meaning clear and natural enough.

So the sentence, "اشنعوها و عملو فوضة" was translated somewhat woodenly as, "They caused trouble and made chaos" in the hope that the meaning of each word in Arabic would be clear enough.

But when a literal translation would be too awkward, we translated the sentence more freely. So "وقع الإستعلام عليه" became, "They investigated him" rather than "The investigation happened to him."

Transcription Philosophy:

There is no one standardized way to write in Tunisian Derja, so we tried to use a system that would show the different parts or elements of a given word or phrase. That is, we tried to avoid writing contractions or staying too close to actual pronunciation, instead opting for spelling out letters that exist in theory but aren't typically pronounced. When in doubt, we wrote a word as it would be written in Standard Arabic.

So we wrote "تحمص" instead of "اتحمص" because the "ا" would be too distracting. And we wrote "من الدار" instead of "مدار" for clarity's sake.

There are certainly multiple ways both to translate and to transcribe. We hope the system we've used is consistent, clear and helpful.

Transliteration into Latin Characters:

This website provides an option to display the Arabic transliterated into Latin characters. Note these transliterations are generated automatically, and are not as accurate as a transliteration of a native speaker. These automatically generated transliterations are particularly low quality if the source Arabic does not contain shakl (vowels/diacritics), or if the source Arabic is in itself a transliteration of French words.

When searching in transliterated Tounsi, the website is programmed to convert your search query to Arabic script before attempting the search. For this reason, if you are able to, it is best to transliterate as mechanically as possible from the way it would be written in Arabic script.

Here is a quick guide to our key of transliteration:

2أ (like the glottal stop in "uh-oh" in English)
3ع (like the start of the Tunisian word "3asslema" for hello)
5خ (kind of like the "ch" in "Bach" in German)
7ح (strong H like in the Tunisian Arabic word "7ar" for spicy hot)
9ق (strong K like in the Tunisian Arabic word "9attousa" for cat)
chش (like "sh" in the English word "shoe")
ghغ (like the start of the Tunisian word "ghali" for expensive)
hه (like "h" in the English word "hat")
thث or ذ (like "th" in the English words "bath" and "the")
aFat-ha vowel, like "ah" or "eh"
iKasra vowel, like "ee"
ouDamma vowel, like "oo"


The entries in this dictionary are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. To summarize the license, you are free to share and adapt this work, under the following terms: attribution is required, and you may not use the material for commercial purposes. Please attribute the work to Derja.Ninja.

Privacy Policy

Please read our Privacy Policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.