Slang 2.0: t3aj.com a Repository for Arabic Slang Language.
Us: Arabs or those who speak or currently learning Arabic, find it difficult to understand slang language that are used in other Arab countries than ours, as each Arab country has a different dialect and its own set slang expressions.
For example Examples (Enta Men 3dam el Ra2beh – إنت من عضام الرأبه ) is used in lebanona and Jordan, while (Zawba3a b Fengaan – زوبعة بفنجان) is used in Egypt so how would you know what do they mean?
This is where t3aj.com provides the answer. The site aims to build an online repository generated by the users for Arabic slang language which helps to bridge the cultural and generational divide across the Arab world.
According to Gabriel Abi Aad the founder of t3ej.com who is from Lebanon and currently lives in UAE, “
I wanted to bring people from different cultures closer to one another and make them understand one another better, specifically Arab nationals.
T3aj is a Lebanese slang expression that almost means “farjini 3ard ktefak”, kind of a dismissing expression, very slang-ish and was used by teenagers in the 90’s … “t3aj!”..literally means “bend”, or “warp”, but metaphorically expresses dismissal of a person, a person’s presence, ideas, or arguments, generally said in a passive aggressive, but funny way, probably its Jordanian equivalent would be “za7leg”. (editors add: “7el” lol.)
t3aj.com idea is similar to an American web site for slang: urban Dictionary but it is for Arabic words (tipped on t3ej.com’s facebook group by Habib Hadad co-founder of Yamli.com)
Currently in t3aj.com there is Lebanese Slang, Syrian Slang Jordanian Slang, and Egyptian Slang, and more Arab countries will be added according to Gabriel.
t3aj.com was launched 6 month ago, and allowed members to add entries last January, but Gabriel had the idea 3 years, so why it took him 3 years? According to Gabriel:
well lack of time, but mostly I could not get myself to properly understand how the technology of Content Management Systems (CMS) works, till I finally figured it out.
T3aj is based on the popular Open Source CMS Joomla (which means word in Arabic). Joomla, wordpress and other Open Source platforms and software has enabled many people to take their idea into action without the need for too much programming (like us in ArabCrunch 🙂 but with the help of Mamod and Zeinab Samir who designed the new AC logo, many thanks to them). But t3ej.com has many bugs because Gabriel does know PHP and there is no one currently doing development for the site, so if you are a programmer specially in PHP, you can email Gabriel “t3aj[at]t3aj.com “and maybe you will do some freelancing with him.
As anyone can add slang words to the site, though it has to be approved/edited by a publisher, currently there are 3 publishers along with Gabriel. And if the member contributes more and more, and abide by the site’s general feel, he/she would probably be promoted to publisher according to Gabriel..
The moderation is for an obvious reason:
I don’t want to have adhoc posts, and certainly no profanity or cursing, so need to control the posts in one way or another.
Gabriel wants to add few more features to the site: Facebook friend connect (requires a developer) Arabic version in the coming 6 month, and Tidbits section on idiosyncrasies: a section with useful small articles such as:
“what not to do, and what to do” in different circumstances in different Arabic countries. “ i.e. could be “in the Gulf countries, and in general in the Arab countries, you do not give your hand for shaking to a woman unless she gives her hand” said Gabriel, he added “ Small tips like this in Lebanon, when taking a cab, you must negotiate before getting in.”
And From my experience and tips i was told about from my Egyptian friends while i was there last time, you should ask people how much it would cost from point “A” to point “B” before taking a cab in Egypt and pay him accordingly.
How would t3aj.com be better?
1- First fixing all the bugs in the website, enabling links to each post/entry and there should be site wide massages that notifies the user what happened after he/she takes an action.
2- Adding categories and enabling tagging: Categories would let people find slang words under a certain section, and tags helps in searching and discovering. The current way of displaying all entries with no type order is not helpful at all.
3- Add related slang words to each entry, this can be done through each word tag. I think there is a plug-in that does that for Joomla.
4- Better SEO as none of t3ej.com entries show up on Google.
5- enable commenting to each entry.
6- Make it a Wiki: This would allow anyone to add/edit the entry and there should be a country editor who will approve add/edit entries, at the same time ban/block members who spam or misuse the site.
7- Firefox add–on so people can search from their browser without visiting the site.
8- Add semantic search/Sematic Wiki: meaning if I enter a search term, it will understand what it means and displays morphological slang entries that also has the same meaning, which would help in finding stuff, especially in ta3j.com case. I advice contacting alKhawarizmy (They launched kSearch in ARABCRUCNH DEMO 09) who is the only one offering Arabic semantic search.
Gabriel started t3aj.com as a hobby, but nowadays he is thinking of ways to generate revenue out of it. Though it is early to talk about monetizing, as it needs to fix its bugs first, reach to a larger user base and have a more content. But According to Gabriel monetizing is through Ads and a future online shopping service for some mementos from t3aj.com: giveaways, or some form of a souvenir.