Sunday, 10 June 2007

Ten Word Arabic

Please note I've updated this post and made it easier to read here. Cheers!

Some people think I’ve wasted 20 years in the Arab World, but I can prove ‘em all wrong. The following is the synthesis of everything insightful and useful I have learned about the Arabic language. Well, almost everything.

Arabic is not an easy language for speakers of the Romance languages. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy. Worse, pretty much everyone speaks English and people are often more keen to use their English than listen to you mangling their language.

The following ten words will allow you to get by, have meaningful sounding conversations and serve you well in any number of situations and scrapes. The investment required to get from this to speaking proper Arabic is so great, and the commensurate rewards so small, that you’ll probably never progress beyond Ten Word Arabic.

The definitions below link to the Wiki because that’s where I originally put ‘em and I can’t be bothered to move ‘em.

1) Ugh

2) Shou

3) Yani

4) Khalas

5) Naam

6) Akid

7) Salaam

8) Fie

9) Mushkila

10) Inshallah

Amaze your friends! Stun business contacts! Speak Ten Word Arabic!


Mai said...

First of all, it's "Khalas" not "Halas".
Second, I think it's very shallow of you to say that one can get by with these 10 words only. You have forgotten the following essentials:

-habeebi (especially in the lebanese community)

and there's plenty more.

Alexander said...

OK, I changed Khalas. OK, I'm shallow. Is wasta truly essential? how worrying! >;0)

Carol said...

You forgot 3afekra and hayeteh!!!!

fizain said...

are the words more frequently use in UAE

Alexander said...

I think you have a point, but so do Mai and Carol above and if you include these there'll be others and then you'll have 20 Word Arabic and then someone will add more and then before you know it you'll have a proper language lesson and that would never do! :)

Hali Cespedes Zane said...

How about


We used to append it to just about everything in the KSA.

Steve said...

Have to admit I found "shukran" useful....

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