Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where We Went...

Before I left for Morocco, I solicited what the advice I could from Shannon's friend, Johanna Dooley. Johanna had studied in Marrakesh last spring and sent me a wonderful list of Arabic phrases that came in super handy as we made our way around the country.  Whether we were haggling in the market souks, bantering with taxi drivers, or seeking the good graces of strangers, people in Morocco would light up with a single "Salaam".  With Johanna's list as a springboard, I did my best to acquire as much Arabic (and Berber) as I could.  Everyone was eager to help and by the end of my time in Morocco, I was babbling like a parrot and telling everyone we met that, "ana faquera" which result in a lot of laughter and instant bonding.

At some point I'd like to expand my vocabulary beyond these simple phrases, but until then, these are the expressions that I picked up while in Morocco. (I don't really know how they're actually spelled, so I did my best to write them down the way I heard them. Also, both the Arabic and Berber are regional, so everyone who helped me out had a different opinion on how to say this and that.)  I know it's silly, but I was really proud of my simple vocabulary.  However, everyone in Morocco speaks around five languages with relative ease.  
Obviously I have some learning to do.

salaam alykoomb- hello (this usually is enough to prompt people to launch into an exited conversation with you about whether or not you know Arabic, etc.)
(this greeting is returned with alykoomb salaam)
shrukran- thank you
shrukran jazilaan- thank you very much
bay salaam- goodbye
ma salaama- go with god (sort of an alternative to goodbye, I think)
shmeetee Chloƫ- my name is Chloƫ
ana taliba, ana faquera- I'm a student, I'm poor (everyone I met was poor too, this is a great way to find things in common, haha)
la- no
wwaha- yes
hamsa- five (I don't know why this one stuck and no other numbers...)
yellaah- let's go
masheley moushki- not a problem
allah akbah- god is great
inch'allah- god willing (you can pretty much say this as a response to anything.  It especially comes in handy if you're trying to be non commital.)
buhsaaha- bon appetite
zweena- pretty
shway-shwaya- a little bit (perfect think to say when someone asks if you speak Arabic)

azul- hello (literal translation, my heart is with you)
lahinim- goodbye
harumbarum- cheers
waaha- okay
saaha- thank you
oralee moushkie- not a problem
shannima-shannima- little by little
alroam- camel
zaydi da tay- more tea
larhamaldin- please
earmiyr youf outhaa- better than nothing
afa- fire
yellando s'___- let's go to the ____
fah hempt- understood
yellando- let's go
am d'allah- thank god
ezweena- pretty
jasawalla shannimirror- I only speak a little
la pho'- a thank you said when someone passes you something unhealthy (ex. a joint, etc)
ordesawall n'Berber- I don't speak Berber