A little Arabic?

20 Feb

As I wander through the day being English, the Arabic world  buzzes busily around me.  Mostly I tune out and mentally write blogs, but occasionally I listen and try to learn.

I have mastered a few words, namely shokran  – thank you –  -momtaaz – excellent –  ensha allah – God ( Allah ) willing,  shway shway  – slowly – and  -yalla yalla – be quick.

Occasionally I slip a little Arabic into a lesson,  (not something I thought I would ever say),  whereupon the children exchange glances and knowing smiles, much as a mother would, on hearing her baby’s first words. ‘ How sweeet to hear little Mass Kathaleen trying to get her tongue around our Arabic’, they seem to say.

Sadly, the  Arabic phrase book I  bought at Manchester Airport on the way  here hasn’t seen much of the Bahraini light of day, mostly due to the fact that nearly everyone speaks English, but I won’t give up and hope to absorb a little more before returning to England for the summer.

By the way, if you think you don’t know any Arabic, here are just a few words that found their way into the English language either directly or indirectly:

algebra , alcohol,  alchemy,  alkali,  zenith,  alcove,  alfalfa,  apricot,  artichoke,  aubergine, moussaka , azure,  candy,  camphor,  carob,  cotton,  crimson,  demask,  ghoul,  giraff,  guitar, hummus,  jasmine,  lemon,  lime,  mattress,  magazine,  mohair,  monsoon,  popinjay,  ream, scarlet,  sequin,  sofa,  sugar,  syrup,  tangarine,  tuna and zero.

There are lots more if you’re interested …. and why wouldn’t you be?

My source was Wikipaedia …

Maa as salaamah  –  goodbye.

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