27 Nov 10 Emirati Words You’ll Hear (in almost) Every Conversation
Spoken by the locals in the United Arab Emirates, the Emirati dialect is a branch of the Gulf dialects family. Just like any other Arabic dialect, it is unique and has its own distinct terms and pronunciation of words.
The below handy list will give you a glimpse of spoken Emirati – it consists of 10 Emirati words that are frequently heard and used in daily conversations.
Pssst.. The first two make a great conversation starter with your local friend!1. مرحبا الساع
Transliteration: marhaba el-saa’
Marhaba is the simplest form of greeting that’s used across all the Arabic speaking countries. Yeah, you’ve heard it and if you’re living or have lived in the Middle East then you surely know it (and possibly use it too!).
In the Emirati dialect, the word el-saa’ is added after marhaba making it marhaba el-saa’, which
literally translates to “welcome at this hour of the day”. Alternatively, el-saa’ can also mean “seeker” (literally); as in ‘a seeker of good intentions’. The phrase is said upon the guest arrival (welcome to us).
Did You Know: Saa’ is a colloquial short form of Sa’aa (clock in Arabic).
2. شو اليديد؟
Transliteration: shu el-ydeed?
Meaning: what’s new?
This one’s easy, try saying it: shu el-ydeed? It’s pretty much like what’s up?/how’s it going?
Remember what was said earlier about the first two? Yep, now you can use them together: “marhaba elsaa’, shu elydeed?”
Did You Know: “j” is pronounced as “y” in several words in the Emirati dialect. Here, ydeed is the same as jadeed, which means new in Arabic.
3. ما شيَ
We got two examples for you:
A: “What’s wrong?”
B: “Ma shay!”
Ma shay fyda yakhi!” (There’s no point!)
…You get it, it simply means “nothing”/ “there’s no..”
This is how you say “yes” the Emirati way, heh.
A: “Are you free to talk now?”
Did you know that there are so many ways to say “yes” in Arabic, depending on the dialect a person speaks?
Meaning: a lot
Not only it means a lot, but also it’s used A LOT! .. On the daily.
You can even stretch it: waaaaayed!
“This place is wayed helu!” (this place is very nice!)
Also heard very often in conversations: tarrishli (send me) tarrashtla (I sent him).
“Ana tarrashtlak risala yesterday” (I sent you a message yesterday).
Meaning: as if
Awina will be your new favorite Emirati word. It’s added to sentences to emphasize boasting/sarcasm.
When you sense someone is showing off, simply say: awina! (you can think of it as a substitute for “pftt”/”as if”).
A: “She said I’m handsome”
Meaning: like this
Nope, we’re not talking about “likes” here, rather“chee wala chee?” (like this or like that?) ; (this way or that way?)
“I’d rather do it chee”.
Meaning: oh my!
The word khaiba is used to indicate surprise/shock: “khaiba! You’re going to eat all of that?!”
If someone is trying too hard to impress: “khaiba!”
When you see something that’s neat and elegant, you’d say “kashkha”. When someone is looking good, wearing a super cool outfit, or perhaps someone had a fresh new haircut… It’s all kashkha!
“Look at you! Kashkha!”
Intrigued to learn more about the Emirati dialect and UAE culture? Check out our Arabic course options!