Muslims around the world were celebrating the holy month of Ramadan recently and the greeting de jour here in Abu Dhabi was Ramadan Kareem!, which literally translates as “Ramadan is generous.” Ramadan Kareem! is one of the many Arabic expressions that the vast majority of Abu Dhabi residents use in their English. Some of my personal favorites include yanni (“you know”), yallah (“come on, let’s go, just do it”), chalas (“finished, over, done”), Inshallah (“God willing”), al-hamdulillah (“Thank God”), Mashallah (“Congratulations!” literally “God’s gift/will/blessing”) and, of course, shokran (“Thank you!”).
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)