Before I came to Bahrain I started reading up about arabic, looking for a few basic words I could use to impress people, surprise them sort of.
I gave up on this search very early, put down by the complication of the language, its pronunciation just to name a few. Turns out it is indeed one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn.
Now, after spending almost eight-months here, I have finally figured out the most awesome word in Arabic. When I say the most awesome word, I am talking about one of those words which can be used in multiple contexts, but multiple meanings. In English I can think of two four letter words, but neither of them are “family-friendly”. (HINT: ONe starts with F and ends with K the other one starts with S and ends with T).
This arabic word could help you make new friends at coffee shops, it can make strangers smile and do more awesome stuff if you know how and when to say it. The word I’m referring to ‘Yella’. It rhymes with fella only there’s an extended stress on the ‘l’s.
It’s typically used for ‘hi, hello’ scenarios, but it can also be used in cases of thank you or cool. Some use it as good bye or see ya later and I have even heard it being used in context of “Wow! really?”
I don’t know what other circumstances it can be used under, but it’s the sheer flexibility that surprises me. Are there any words in Hindi/Malayalam which have similar depth and flexibility? Something I have overlooked may be?