Ramadan Kareem! Or: urban etiquette for monolinguals

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    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!”).
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2009

    Bibliographical note

    © 2018 Language on the Move. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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