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To commemorate Refugee & Pride Month, Get 20% OFF any Language Session Purchase, using code WRD21 at Checkout, to amplify impact during this special month!

Month: April 2022

8 Ways to Wish Someone a Happy Eid

8 Ways to Wish Someone a Happy Eid in Arabic

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Millions around the world mark the end of Ramadan with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Here are 8 different greetings from around the Arabic-speaking world that you can use to wish someone a happy and prosperous Eid (and the common responses to such wishes).

1. Eid Mubarak (عيد مبارك) – Across the Arab world

This is perhaps the most common way to wish someone a happy Eid. It literally translates to, “[have a] blessed Eid”. In response, one could also say Eid mubarak (عيد مبارك) which means, “blessed Eid [to you too]”, Allah yebarek feek/i (الله يبارك فيك), which means “God bless you [too]”,  or simply, shukran (شكراً) meaning “thank you”.

2. Yen’ad alaikum bel-sahha wa al-saleme (ينعاد عليكم بالصحة والسلامة) – Levant 

This greeting is directed to a group of people and means: ‘‘May the next Eid find you in [good] health and wellness’’. It is used commonly in the Levant. As a response one would say: wa alaikum bel-sahha wa al-saleme (وعليكم و بالصحة والسلامة) meaning, ‘‘may health and wellness be upon you [too]’’.

3. Kol ‘am wa anta/i bikhair (كل عام وأنت بخير) – Levant 

With this expression you are saying: ‘‘I wish you goodness every year’’. Like the previous greeting, it is used popularly in the Levant. One would respond by saying: wa anta/i bikhair (وأنت بخير) which translates to ‘‘and goodness to you [too]’’.

4. Eid fitr saeed (عيد فطر سعيد) – Across the Arab world

This greeting is most apt for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr celebration. It literally means: “Happy Eid al-Fitr”. The common response to this would be: ‘alayna wa ‘alaik/i (علينا وعليك) meaning, “upon us and upon you”.

5. Eidkum mubarak wa inshallah min al-aydeen (
عيدكم مبارك وإن شاء الله من العايدين) – Iraq

This is a popular Eid salutation in Iraq. It means: “[Have a] blessed Eid and God willing, may you be among those who celebrate it over and over”.

6. Min al-aydeen (من العايدين) – Yemen

Similar to the Iraqi greeting, this expression from Yemen means: ‘‘May you be among those who celebrate Eid over and over’’. One would respond to it with min al-fayzeen (من الفايزين) which means, ‘‘may you be [counted] among those who are successful’’.

7. Eidkum mubarak wa asakum min uwwadah (عيدكم مبارك وعساكم من عواده) –  The Gulf region

This heartfelt expression means: ‘‘Have a blessed Eid and may you go on to witness many more Eids’’. In response one would say: Mubarak ‘alayna wa alaikum inshallah (مبارك علينا وعليكم إن شاء الله) meaning ‘‘God willing, blessings on us and you’’.

8. Kol sana wa anta/i tayeb/a (كل سنه وأنت/ه طيب/ه) – Egypt 

With the meaning of ‘‘I wish you goodness every year’’, this phrase is commonly used in the Egyptian Eid greetings (as well as birthday wishes). It is often followed by wa anta/i tayeb/a (وأنت طيب) and/or Eid saeed ‘alayna (عيد سعيد علينا)  as a response, meaning ‘‘and [wish] you goodness too’’ and ‘‘happy Eid to us [all]”, respectively.

Book a session, today, to learn more about these greetings and the various dialects of Arabic with NaTakallam’s native language tutors! Choose from Modern Standard Arabic and 7 dialects: Egyptian, Iraqi, Sudanese, Yemeni, and Levantine – Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese.

To our language partners, learners, friends, supporters and all those celebrating, Eid Mubarak!

At NaTakallam, every language session contributes to the livelihoods of our skilled tutors from refugee/displaced backgrounds and their host communities.

 

 

Credits:
– Copywriting: Maria Thomas is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in art history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, powerlifting and going on hikes.
– Copyediting: Emmy Plaschy is a volunteer content writer and editor at NaTakallam. She currently works in communications in Switzerland. In her spare time, she enjoys polishing her Arabic skills, writing and gazing at the stars.
Proofreading support: Sally Wehbi is an Education Coordinator with NaTakallam. Her background is in education and event planning. In her free time, Sally enjoys spending time with family, seeking out adventures, and practising laughter yoga.
Content support 1: Abir Zahra is an Arabic Language Partner with NaTakallam from Lebanon. She has worked as a maths and science teacher for 4 years. More recently, she worked as an educator with Syrian refugee children. Abir enjoys travelling, shopping, and meeting new people.
Content support 2: Ahmed Aseem is an Arabic Language Partner with NaTakallam from Egypt. He is passionate about the Arabic language and culture, and enjoys helping others overcome language barriers. In his spare time, Ahmed loves to go fishing and hiking.
And 3 other Language Partners who would like to remain anonymous.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Spanish

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Up for a challenge this summer? We recommend picking/brushing up a language – perhaps, Spanish! As we mark UN Spanish Language Day, observed annually on April 23rd, here are five reasons to learn this beautiful language.

1. Second-most spoken language in the world


Learning Spanish gives you the ability to connect with more than 580 million people! Spanish is the official language of over 20 countries and is widely spoken in Spain, Latin America and the United States. Spanish is the second most spoken language worldwide, with a higher proportion of speakers who recognize it as their first and primary language over English. There is rapid growth in the number of Spanish language speakers, meaning that there is a growing opportunity for Spanish language learners to engage and immerse themselves in the language.

 2. Rich literature 


Spanish is the language of world-class literature. Spanish classics include the likes of Colombian author García Márques’ novel
Cien años de soledad (One hundred years of solitude) which won a Nobel Prize for Literature for its portrayal of magical realism, the award-winning anthology of works by Chilean author Isabel Allende, and the much-celebrated novel, Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes. If you have a passion for literature or Spanish culture, learning Spanish might just be for you.

3. Gateway to other languages


Spanish belongs to the family of romance languages. Learning Spanish would open doors to several other languages such as Italian, Portuguese and French. The general structure of these languages is very similar, thereby making them easier to grasp and understand. Spanish has also borrowed several words from Arabic, including ojalá (hope), almohada (pillow), and azúcar (sugar). Besides, Spanish is a fun language to learn and an excellent starting place for those looking to embark on learning a second language!

4. Language of the future 


Spanish is an amazing language with rising potential. If you are interested in travel, increasing your career prospects or learning a new skill, studying Spanish may just be the way to go! Spanish is an excellent way to leverage your career opportunities. The rapid growth of the Spanish language across the globe, from Europe to Latin America, has seen a rising demand for Spanish speakers in the international job market. With a diverse and global array of Spanish speakers, there’s no wonder international organizations, governments and big-name brands are looking to include them. If you are interested in testing your intellectual capabilities and improving your career prospects, learning Spanish will open new doors.

5. Easy to learn


Unlike some other languages, with standard Spanish, what you see is what you get! Spanish is a phonetic language, meaning that words are spelled exactly as they are pronounced – with consideration of the unique pronunciation of certain letters in Spanish (and varieties of Spanish), and the exception of the letter h, which is silent! Also, you may already know some Spanish as thousands of English words are borrowed from the language, for example, the word “barbeque” which comes from the Spanish term “barbacoa”, or the word “cargo” which is derived from the Spanish verb “cargar” meaning “to load”.


If you are interested in discovering new worlds and cultures, increasing your career mobility AND making a social impact, consider learning Spanish with NaTakallam, today!

NaTakallam brings Latin America to your doorstep with native tutors from refugee backgrounds. Learn a language, make a friend and support the livelihoods of forcibly displaced persons – from the comfort of your home.

 

CREDITS
Copywriting: Lucy Haley is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently completing her Masters in International Relations. She is an avid reader, gym-goer and language learner, and loves nothing more than a good cup of coffee.
Copyediting: Maria Thomas is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in art history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, powerlifting and going on hikes.
– Copyediting: Emmy Plaschy is a volunteer content writer and editor at NaTakallam. She currently works in communications in Switzerland. In her spare time, she enjoys polishing her Arabic skills, writing and gazing at the stars.

NaTakallam 6 Must-Try Easter Delicacies From Around The World

6 Must-Try Easter Delicacies From Around The World

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Easter is celebrated by millions around the world and it is not a surprise that food is at the heart of these festivities. Join us as we delve into the Easter delicacies from around the world – from Ukraine to Argentina, Armenia to Egypt.

Paska (пáска)1. Paska (Ukraine)


Paska
(пáска) is a bread traditionally made at Easter in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe. It is made with milk, butter, eggs, flour and sugar. In Ukraine, it forms an important part of the Easter basket also known as the “basket of blessed food” (свячене, “svyachene”) alongside Easter eggs (писанки, “pysanky”) and sausage (ковбаса, “kovbasa”).

Variations of this bread are also made in Armenian and Assyrian communities of Iran, Iraq, Armenia and the diaspora.

Kaek and Ma’amoul2. Kaek and Ma’amoul (Egypt and the Levant)


Kaek (كعك) and Ma’amoul (معمول) are two cookies at the heart of all Egyptian and Levantine celebrations (read about ma’amoul in our Ramadan blog). These cookies are made with semolina flour and butter. They are stuffed with dates, pistachios, walnuts and flavoured with rosewater, orange blossom, mastic and mahlab. Each cookie is formed by hand or by using wooden moulds and each shape symbolizes an event associated with the Holy Week and Easter.


Egyptian Fattah3. Fattah (Egypt)


Among the Coptic Christians of Egypt,
fattah (فتّة) is a popular dish eaten at Easter and other feasts. It is a quintessentially Egyptian dish that dates back to the time of the pharaohs. It is made with rice, (lots of) garlic, crispy pita bread and a protein of choice – commonly, lamb. 

The word fatteh comes from the Arabic root verb meaning “to break up” or “crush”, referring to the pita bread crumbs that form the bases of all fatteh recipes. 

A similar but distinct dish is found in southern Levant. This Levantine counterpart (fetteh, فتّة), includes ingredients such as chickpea, strained yoghurt and other regional variations, and is a popular breakfast dish.


Rosca de Pascua4. Rosca de Pascua (Argentina)


This is a sweet bread enjoyed at Easter in Argentina. The name literally translates to “ring or bagel of Easter”. Like the name, the bread is shaped into a ring and decorated with cream, fruits, nuts and often, chocolate eggs. 

It is similar to Rosca de Reyes and Galette des Rois, cakes enjoyed at Epiphany in several Spanish and French-speaking countries, respectively (read more about Galette des Rois, “Kings’ cake”, in our New Year traditions blog).

Choreg5. Choreg (Armenia)


Choreg
(չորեկ), also spelled as “chorek”, “cheoreg”, or “choereg” is an Armenian sweet yeasted bread made at Easter. It is made with flour, butter, yeast, eggs, milk and sugar, and flavoured commonly with mahlab (cherry-based spice), mastic or orange zest. It is often braided using three strands to represent the Holy Spirit

Variations of this bread are found in Greece (τσουρέκι, “tsoureki), Turkey (paskalya çöreği), Romania (cozonac) and Bulgaria (козунак, “kozunak).

Petits Nids de Pâques6. Petits Nids de Pâques (France)


Literally translating to “little Easter nests”, this is a popular delicacy from France. It is a chocolate-based, nest-shaped pastry that brings together the symbolism of eggs at Easter with the decadence of chocolate. It is made with flour, sugar, a raising agent, butter, eggs and cocoa, and is served with chocolate Easter eggs nestled on the top.

 

Learn more about these delicacies, people and languages with NaTakallam, today! Book a session with one of our Ukrainian, Arabic, Persian, Spanish, French or Armenian language partners from displaced backgrounds, and delve deeper into the world of languages and everything sweet! 

To all learners, language partners, and friends observing this festival Happy Easter – Shchaslyvoho Velykodnya (щасливого Великодня), Eid Fasih Sa’eid (عيد فصح سعيد), Shnorhavor Surb Zatik (Շնորհավոր Սուրբ Զատիկ), Felices Pascuas, Joyeuses Pâques!

 

CREDITS
– Copywriting: Maria Thomas is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in art history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, powerlifting and going on hikes.
– Copyediting: Emmy Plaschy is a volunteer content writer and editor at NaTakallam. She currently works in communications in Switzerland. In her spare time, she enjoys polishing her Arabic skills, writing and gazing at the stars.

7 Traditional Ramadan Delicacies You Must Try

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer and self-reflection, observed by millions around the world. It is a time for practicing self-discipline, empathy and compassion. 

Those who observe it, fast from dawn to dusk. These fasts are broken by a meal after sunset called iftar (إفطار) or ftoor (فطور) and reinitiated by dawn with a meal called suhur (Arabic:سحور) or sahari/sehri (Persian/Urdu: سحری). The iftar table particularly is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds, enjoyed by Muslims and their guests from all walks of life. 

Here are 7 traditional delicacies from the Middle East that you can spot on iftar/suhur tables around the world.

 

Ma'amoul1. Ma’amoul (معمول)


Ma’amoul is a filled semolina cookie popular in the Middle East particularly in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. It is often filled with dates, figs and nuts such as pistachios, almonds and walnuts. It is also prepared in Egypt and Turkey where it is called kahk and kombe, respectively. The word ma’amoul is derived from the Arabic root ‘amila (عَمِلَ) meaning “to do”.

Basbousa2. Basbousa (بسبوسة)


Basbousa is a semolina cake, soaked in syrup, originally from Egypt. Today, it (or a version of it) is found throughout the Middle East (in Levant: harissa “هريسة”), the Caucasus (Armenian: shamali “Շամալի”), and in countries like Greece (ravani “ραβανί”), Turkey (“revani”), Bulgaria (revane “реване”) and Ethiopia (basbousa “ባስቦሳ”).

Qatayef3. Qatayef (قطايف) (also pronounced as ‘atayef)


Qatayef is a sweet dumpling made from yeasted batter and filled with cheese and nuts, enjoyed throughout the Levant and Gulf region. A recipe for it is found in the earliest known Arabic cookbook – the 10th century, Kitab al Tabikh (كتاب الطبيخ, “The Book of Dishes”) by Ibn Sayyar al Warraq. The word qatayef is derived from the Arabic root qtf (قطف) meaning to pick or pluck.

Om Ali4. Om Ali (أم علي)


Literally translating to ‘mother of Ali’, this is a traditional Egyptian dessert. Some call it the national dessert of Egypt.
Legend has it that it was first prepared in the 13th century at the behest of Om Ali, the first wife of Mamluk Sultan Izz al Din Aybak. It is a speciality at most Egyptian iftar feasts. 

A variant of this dish is found in the Jordanian and Iraqi delicacy called “khumaiaa”.

Luqaimat5. Luqaimat (لقيمات) or Zalabiya (زلابية)


Luqaimat
literally translates to “morsel” or “mouthful” and refers to deep fried dough balls, soaked in syrup or honey. This delicacy, sometimes also known as zalabiya (زلابية), is mentioned in several medieval sources such as Ibn Batuta’s travelogue, the famous ‘Thousand One and Nights’ (in the story of the porter and the three ladies of Baghdad), and in the 13th-century writer, al-Baghdadi’s cookbook Kitab al Tabikh (كتاب الطبيخ, “The Book of Dishes”) – where it is called luqmat al-qādi (لقمة القاضي), “the judge’s morsel”.

Variations of this delicacy are found in Iran (bamiyeh, “بامیه”), Cyprus (loukoumádes “λουκουμάδες” or lokmádes “λοκμάδες”), Greece (zvingoi  “σβίγγοι” or tsirichta “τσιριχτά”), and in Turkey (Saray lokması).

Zoolbia6. Zoolbia (زولبیا)


It is a sweet and crunchy Iranian fritter prepared with fermented batter, saffron, sugar and syrup. At
iftar tables, they are often found alongside bamiyeh (بامیه), the small donut-shaped bites. The Iranian zoolbia is closely related to the Arab zalabiya (زلابية), another delicacy prepared at Ramadan using fermented batter, sugar and syrup. Recipes for the latter are recorded in both al Warraq’s and al Baghdadi’s cookbooks from the 10th and 13th centuries respectively. 

Varieties of this delicacy are also found in South Asia (jalebi), North Africa (zlabia) and the Caucasus (zulbiya or zilviya).

 

Goosh-e fil7. Goosh-e fil (گُوش فيل)


Literally meaning “elephant’s ears”,
goosh-e fil is a deep fried pastry prepared in Iran and Afghanistan. They often come topped with powdered sugar and crushed pistachios and are in many ways similar to the Italian dessert named crostoli or chiacchiere. They are particularly enjoyed around Nowruz (Persian new year) and Ramadan.


Learn more about these delicacies and their cultural histories with NaTakallam! Book a session with one of our Arabic, Persian or Kurdish language partners today to delve deeper into the world of languages and everything sweet! 

To all learners, language partners, and friends observing this month, Ramadan Kareem (رمضان كريم, “[have a] blessed Ramadan”), remezan pîroz be!

 

CREDITS
– Copywriting: Maria Thomas is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in art history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, powerlifting and going on hikes.
– Copyediting: Emmy Plaschy is a volunteer content writer and editor at NaTakallam. She currently works in communications in Switzerland. In her spare time, she enjoys polishing her Arabic skills, writing and gazing at the stars.

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