Monday, November 16, 2009

My shameful Arabic

I've been here for slightly over four months, and disgustingly haven't learned much (really any) Arabic. It shames me. By this time in Bangladesh I could happily converse, haggle and argue with anyone, and could understand even more than I could speak. I was a very confident Bangla user. The difference here is that I haven't had a single lesson as the teacher UNRWA uses doesn't have any openings until the new year...which of course is no excuse for not going out and finding my own teacher....

So here is the list (potentially not exhaustive - it's still early) of Arabic words I've picked up through osmosis so far...

Mahabar - Hello
Shukran - Thank you
Tikalafi - Thank you (literally means something along the lines of thank God for giving you the ability to work)
Afwan - Excuse me
Ki feq? Ki fiq? - How are you? (men/women)
Alhamdula - Good
Fatah - Here you go (used when handing over money to cab drivers)
Wahad - 1
Alf - 1000 lire
Nien - 2
Moustachfe - Hospital
Dowra - circle (roundabout)
Abu - father
Ibn - son
Kelb - dog (the only curse I've learned is Ibn kelb - son of a dog)
Anjad - really
Walah - I swear
Yanni - a filler word that people use when thinking, like "I mean"
Durkadurkamohammedjihad - ok, I may have picked that one up from Team America...

This week, I'm going to learn to count to twenty...

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