A series on how to say “I love you,” terms of endearment, and similar sweet words in various NaTakallam languages.

5 Reasons Why Language Learning Boosts Your Mental Health

Reading Time: 5 minutes

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to highlight the profound impact of mental well-being practices. We know that #mentalhealthmatters  – the hashtag has over 13 million posts on Instagram! As a language learning and cultural exchange social enterprise, powered by the talents of displaced and conflict-affected individuals, we believe in the transformative power of language learning — not just as a cognitive exercise but as a vital tool for enhancing mental health. Let’s explore how learning and teaching languages can benefit both learners and educators.

The Mental Health Benefits of Language Learning

Language learning offers numerous mental health advantages. It can significantly reduce stress, alleviate social anxiety, boost self-esteem, and improve problem-solving skills. According to research, it even delays the onset of dementia, making it a powerful tool for cognitive health.

1. Enhancing Focus and Reducing Stress & Anxiety

When you’re focusing on a specific task, it relaxes the nervous system. Learning a new skill gives us a sense of purpose and growth. A team of Harvard researchers found evidence that active learning is actually a more effective stress management technique than passive relaxation.

 2. Combating Depression

Practicing a new language can help distract from negative thoughts and help you feel less isolated. The practice enables you to build social connections, and provide manageable goals, all of which are crucial in combating symptoms of depression.

3. Overcoming Social Anxiety

Language learning helps individuals deal with mistakes and learn how to respond to feedback. By practicing speaking with a language partner, you develop and strengthen social skills. In time, you will become more comfortable meeting new people. Still afraid to speak your target language? Try some of these tips

4. Boosting Self-Esteem

Achieving proficiency in a new language provides a sense of accomplishment that enhances self-worth.

5. Delaying Cognitive Decline

Language learning helps delay mental decline like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies suggest that it can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to four years!

“A different language is a different vision of life.”

Frederico Fellini

The Unique Role of Refugee Teachers

NaTakallam’s refugee tutors play a crucial role, not only in educating others but also in benefiting themselves through the process of teaching. Here’s how language teaching aids their mental health and integration:

1. Self-Confidence and Empowerment

Teaching their native language allows refugee tutors to regain a sense of agency and self-worth. They feel empowered as they share their knowledge and cultural heritage with others.

2. Building Social Connections

By engaging with learners, refugee teachers build meaningful relationships, reducing feelings of isolation and fostering a sense of community.

3. Easier Emotional Expression & More Accurate Diagnosis

Teaching offers a structured way for refugees to process their experiences and traumas, which can be therapeutic. Afaf Doumani, a behavioral health navigator, emphasizes the importance of communication in mental health. She notes that speaking in one’s mother tongue allows for better articulation of emotions and more accurate diagnoses.

4. Cultural Exchange and Integration

Teaching their language helps refugees integrate into their new communities by bridging cultural gaps and promoting mutual understanding.

5. Gainful employment and a Dignified Income

Through NaTakallam, displaced and conflict-affected individuals are able to gain economic and social access regardless of location and status. 60% of our Language Partners report NaTakallam as their sole source of income.

“Language at its core is centered around people. Language learning by its nature is opening doors to new experiences.”

Kinda, Arabic Language Partner from Syria with NaTakallam since 2021

A Conversation with Afaf Doumani

Afaf Doumani, a Palestinian mental health professional with extensive experience working with refugees, underscores the critical role of language in mental health. With a master’s degree in social work and a background in developmental studies, Afaf has dedicated her career to supporting displaced individuals. She recalls her motivation to study mental health after witnessing the trauma of refugees following the Syrian conflict’s influx into Toledo, Ohio in the United States.

Afaf highlights several challenges refugees face, including the stigma around mental health in their native regions and the significant language barriers that prevent them from seeking help. “Mental health relies heavily on communication—more than physical health. Articulating emotions and sharing personal experiences are crucial for accurate diagnoses,” Afaf explains.

“Language is the essence of mental health. Explaining your feelings in your mother tongue is always easier—you can speak your heart. It’s about having someone who understands your culture and can help you articulate your emotions accurately.”

Afaf Doumani

Working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Afaf focuses on MENA populations, emphasizing the need for mental health professionals who speak the native languages of their clients. She points out that the lack of such professionals often leads to mistrust in therapy interpretation sessions, where unfamiliarity with the interpreter can hinder effective communication. “Deprivation of communication undermines their wellbeing. I’m often the only Arabic-speaking person in the mental health field helping navigate and connect them to services,” she says. 

Afaf’s efforts extend to facilitating support groups for women and children, addressing cultural barriers, and promoting the importance of seeking help. “It’s about breaking the barriers and reminding people that it’s okay to ask for help. We meet them where they are, socializing and building trust,” she emphasizes.

Restoring Dignity & Celebrating Expression Builds Trust

Language learning is a powerful tool for mental health, offering numerous benefits for learners and refugee teachers alike. As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s recognize and embrace the dual impact of language learning: fostering cognitive and emotional well-being for learners while enabling displaced and conflict-affected teachers to express themselves, become more integrated in their communities, maintain and reaffirm their sense of dignity and unique cultural identity and build trust. 

Gain more insights and learn how to Stop Being Afraid to Speak and overcome your fear of utilizing your new language skills in our blog.

NaTakallam also offers Arabic for Professionals. This unique program created in-house by qualified Language Partners from conflict-affected backgrounds is a curriculum designed specifically for students looking to apply their Arabic language skills to their careers – from medical and humanitarian work, to journalism and business – and beyond.

Learn a language, make a friend and support the livelihoods of forcibly displaced persons – from the comfort of your home.

5 Reasons Why Language Learning Boosts Your Mental Health Read More »

romantic couple with guitar

Love Songs from Across the World

Reading Time: 3 minutes
romantic couple with guitar
Photo by Andres Ayrton

Fairuz, the most celebrated singer in Lebanese history and arguably one of the most iconic singers in the entire Arab world, offers such a plethora of haunting love songs that it’s hard to pick one, but we’d like to recommend one of the happier ones: “قمرة يا قمرة” (‘amara ya ‘amara), “Moon O Moon.” The lyrics and translation are in the video, or you can read them here.


Յարը մարդուն յարա կուտա” (yareh mardu yara kuta), which means “The Lover Gives the Person Pain.” A classic Armenian love song that’s been remade a number of times. Click on the title for the version by Alla Levonyan, or try the version by Haig Yazdjian. Click here for the lyrics and a translation into English.


Congolese singer-songwriter Lokua Kanza is something of a polyglot, singing in six different languages. A beautiful and uplifting early example of his work is “C’est ma terre,” “It’s My Land.” Lyrics and translation are available here.


“Dil Kuştiyê” or “Broken Heart” was originally written by Mihemed Şêxo, and you can hear his classic version of it here. Like any classic hit, it’s been made and remade, such as this version by Diljen Ronî. See the text accompanying that second video for the lyrics, and let us know if you come across the English translation anywhere! (In the meantime, check with your Kurdish Language Partner for anything you don’t understand.)


Googoosh, a Persian diva who’s been singing since the 1970s, offers a live performance of “غریب آشنا” (gharibe ashena), meaning “Familiar Stranger.” You can view the lyrics here, and scroll to the very bottom for the English translation.


Kazakh rapper Jah Khalib sings in Russian and is one of the most popular singers across the former Soviet Union; he has made his home in Kyiv since 2019. “Лейла” or “Leila” is a relatively recent hit, and you can read the lyrics here.


Everyone knows Colombian singer Shakira, but how many of her songs can you sing in their original language? “Whenever, Wherever,” the English version of her hit “Suerte,” is far from an exact translation. Check out the lyrics to see what changed.


Rock band Okean Elzy formed in 1994 in Lviv and has been playing ever since. In their heartbreaking hit Obijmy, the singer turns to his lover for comfort in the midst of war. Lyrics and translation are here.

Got a favorite love song in a NaTakallam language? Comment and let us know? And if you prefer Spotify, we’ve collected most of these songs on a playlist there too. Pop on those headphones, prop up your feet, and put your cares behind you for a few minutes.

Love Songs from Across the World Read More »

14 Terms of Endearment in Arabic

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Have you ever struggled to express your love in Arabic beyond the word Habibi? If the answer is yes, this blog post is for you!

While Habibi is usually a safe bet, Arabic is a linguistically rich language. Thanks to the rich body of Arabic poetry and romantic literature, a variety of terms of endearment can be found in both spoken and written forms. Ready to express your love in different ways? Read on!

You will notice most of these terms can have a superfluous ya (يا) prefix before them, as it only functions as a vocative case. It is equivalent to the less-used ‘O’ preceding a noun in English. It does not matter if you opt for Habibi (حبيبي) or ya Habibi (يا حبيبي); they are roughly the same!

Unless otherwise noted, all of these expressions can be heard across the Arab world.

  1. Habibi / Habibti (حبيبي/حبيبتي)

Starting with a classic, Habibi means “my darling,” or “my beloved.” Habibi (حبيبي) is used to address a man, whereas Habibti (حبيبتي) is used with women. This term is appropriate throughout the Arabic speaking world in a variety of contexts from platonic friends and family to the most intimate of lovers. 

  1. Hobbi (حبي)

Hobbi comes from the Arabic word for “love,” Hob (حب). This term of endearment, translated to “my love,” is very common in music and poetry, which has helped to increase its popularity across the Arab world. You might hear younger speakers also simply saying Hob, (حب), proof that language is always changing, and so is the way we speak about love!

  1. Habib / Habibat [q]albi (حبيب /  حبيبة قلبي)

Literally translating to “love of my heart” or “my beloved heart,” this phrase is pronounced differently in different parts of the Arabic-speaking world, as many Arabic-speaking countries replace the letter qaf (ق) with other sounds. For example, in the Levant (Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan), qaf (ق) is often exchanged for a glottal stop, giving the masculine Habib ‘albi (حبيب قلبي) and feminine Habibat ‘albi (حبيبة قلبي). Meanwhile in Gulf Arabic, primarily spoken in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman, the letter qaf (ق) is pronounced like the English “g,” changing the pronunciation of “qalbi” to “galbi.”. 

  1. ya [q]albi (يا قلبي)

This term of endearment means “my heart.” Its origins lie in the Arabic word for heart, qalb (قلب). Although قلب is pronounced qalb in MSA, the letter qaf (ق) is subject to the same dialectal differences as described above. For instance, in Levantine Arabic, one would say ya ‘albi, and in Gulf Arabic, one would say this as ya galbi.

  1. Hayati (حياتي)

This endearment term means “my life” (حياتي), stemming from the Arabic word for “life,” haya (حياة). This is another pet name commonly used throughout the Arab world, expressing that your love is so strong, your life would be nothing without it.

  1. ya ruHi (يا روحي)

RuHi (روحي) directly translates to “my soul,” but the term expresses something closer to “my soulmate.” The soul is a very popular metaphysical symbol in Classical Arabic prose, and this term is still commonly used in Egypt as well as parts of the Levant. 

  1. ya ˁomri (يا عمري)

The meaning of this phrase is a true combination of the previous terms mentioned. Ya ˁomri (يا عمري) translates to “my lifetime.” Literally, omr (عمر) can mean both “lifetime” and “age,” though it refers to the former in this term of endearment. The ardor of this term is undeniable; there is even a popular song called “enta ˁomri,” (“You are my life,” انت عمري), by the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

  1. ˁayuni / ˁeyuni (عيوني) 

Given the symbolic importance of the eyes in the Arab world, it is not surprising that calling someone “my eyes” is an act of love. This phrase is created from a plural form of the word for eye, ˁeyn (عين). To call someone your eyes is to say they are the “apple of your eye,” just like the English saying! This term is common in poetry and literature, especially written in Classical Arabic.

  1. ya sanadi (يا سندي)

This very particular term of endearment means “my backbone.” Used mostly in the regional dialect and communities of Lebanon, it is a unique choice to express your affection.

  1. ya [q]amar (يا قمر)

Meaning “moon,” this term is possibly the most romantic of this list. The same Levant/Gulf pronunciation rules for ق apply to this phrase. Therefore, in the Levant, people would say ya ‘amar and in the Gulf, you would hear ya gamar. Popular Lebanese singer Fairuz illustrates this term in her song, “‘amara ya ‘amara” (قمرة يا قمرة). And because the night-blooming moonflower is called zaharat al [q]amar (زهرة القمر) in Arabic, you’ll also hear people using ya [q]amar to mean “moonflower.”

  1. ˁazizi / ˁazizati (عزيزي / عزيزتي)

This word means “my treasure.” While ˁAziz (عزيز) is a common male name throughout the Arabic-speaking world, meaning “strong” or “powerful,” the masculine ˁazizi (عزيزي) and feminine ˁazizati (عزيزتي) adjective forms are a sweet term of endearment that are especially useful in formal affairs of the heart.

  1. ya Helo/Helwa (يا حلو/ حلوى

Most popularly used as a term of endearment in the Levant, this phrase roughly translates to “sweet one.” You may know of the dessert Halva, or Helwa (حلوى), a thick fudge-like concoction made from a sweetened seed or nut butter, like tahini. This comes from the same root!

  1. ya ˁasal (يا عسل)

Just like the English equivalent, this term means “honey.” The love for all things sugary and sweet seems to transcend all language and cultural borders.

  1. ya fo‘aadi (يا فؤادي)

Trying your hand at poetry? While more proper in context, ya fo‘aadi (يا فؤادي) is the formal synonym of [q]albi (قلبي), meaning “my heart” in Arabic. Though less common in colloquial and everyday language, this is a handy term for the next time you are thinking of expressing your love in an Arabic poem or sonnet!

Whether you are expressing your affection to a significant other, a friend, or a family member, this list in Arabic will be guaranteed to impress! Do you have any other Arabic terms of endearment that you use? Let us know in the comments!


Looking to practice your Arabic with native-speaking tutors? NaTakallam is a language experience like none other! Choose from 1.) language sessions in your choice of dialect, available for all levels, 2.) our unique Integrated Arabic Curriculum, suitable for committed learners, or 3.) our short Arabic for Professionals courses, perfect for advanced students. Yalla!

14 Terms of Endearment in Arabic Read More »

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Persian

Reading Time: 2 minutes


As we count down to Valentine’s Day, did you know that another celebration of love – of women and earth – is just around the corner: the ancient Persian festival of  Sepandār-mazgān (سپندارمذگان), which is celebrated on February 18th this year?!

Although it was only recently that the festival gained popularity among Persian communities worldwide, Sepandār-mazgān was historically marked on the 5th of ‘Esfand’ (the 12th month in the Persian calendar) and dates back to the 20th century BC! Today, in Iran, this day is observed a week earlier, on 29th of ‘Bahman’ (the 11th month in the Persian calendar) due to changes in the calendar with time.

This Valentine’s Day through to Sepandār-mazgān (and beyond!), express your affection for a loved one with these Persian phrases.

1. Doostet daram (دوستت دارم)

It literally translates to “I like you” but is a common and widely recognized way to say “I love you” to a loved one, family or friends in Persian!

2. Asheghetam (عاشقتم)

From the word eshghعشق” (love), it literally translates to: “I’m in love with you.” It’s a much more intense expression of love used in both romantic and close platonic relationships alike!

3. Jigar tala (جیگر طلا)

Now this Persian expression is a truly unique way to address a loved one – it literally means “golden liver”! It conveys how vital you think they are to your existence.

4. Fadat besham (فدات بشم)

The ultimate expression of affection, this phrase means “I am willing to sacrifice myself for you.” Use this expression the next time someone says something super adorable that makes your heart melt. This expression is purely metaphorical and not to be taken literally in any case!

5. Eshghe mani (عشق منی)

Translating to “you are my love”, this phrase can be used in response to a lovely comment by a loved one. Derived from the word eshghعشق” (love), you can flip the expression around and add the possessive pronoun “my”, or suffix “-am” in Persian: “eshgh” + “am” = eshgham (عشقم) to mean ‘‘my love’’.

Other common terms of endearment include: azizam (عزیزم, my dear), asalam (عسلم, my honey), khoshgelam (خوشگلم, my beautiful), nafasam (نفسم, my breath), jigaram (جیگرم, my liver).


This February (and beyond), give the Gift of Language in Persian to your jigar tala (جیگر طلا) or take your love expressions to the next level with NaTakallam’s Persian sessions! At NaTakallam, every language session contributes to the livelihoods of our skilled tutors from refugee/displaced backgrounds. What says “doostet daram” more than that?

Ps. Thinking of Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Go beyond chocolates & flowers… surprise your loved one with the Gift of Language! Meaningful, impactful AND shipping-free! 😉

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Persian Read More »

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Arabic

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The month of love is upon us! This Valentine’s Day, or for that matter, any day of the year, show your love to that special someone in your life with one of these Arabic love expressions.

From our قلب ❤️  (heart) to yours:

1. Ahebbak/Ahebbik (أحبك)
This is the most common and widely recognized way to say “I love you” in Arabic.

2. ‘Ala raasii (على راسي)
This phrase literally translates to ‘‘on my head’’ and expresses your commitment to accomplish the hardest of tasks for the one you love. When a loved one asks you a favor, this Arabic reply allows you to assure them that you would walk across hot coals, move mountains, in short, do anything humanly possible for their happiness.

3. Ya rouhi (يا روحي)

If you know Arabic, chances are you’ve heard of the commonly used term ‘‘habibi/habibti’’, literally meaning “my dear”. Similarly, this sweet little phrase which literally means ‘‘my soul’’ also implies “my dear/beloved”.

4. Kalamak/ik ‘asal ‘ala qalbi (كلامك عسل على قلبي)

Make sure to add a wink after this phrase ;). Literally meaning, “Your words are honey on my heart,” this expression is the perfect response for when a special someone says something especially sweet.

5. Tuqburnii (تقبرني)

Although this phrase literally means “you bury me”, it’s used commonly to say “I love you so much.” Someone saying this is expressing that they would rather die and be buried than lose you. It’s actually quite sweet!

Hubb (حب), Shaghaf (شغف), ’Ishq (عشق)… Arabic is known for its poetic expressions & beautiful ways of expressing love. Learn them with NaTakallam! Or give the unique Gift of Language to a loved one, available in 7 offerings: Egyptian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Syrian, Yemeni, or Modern Standard Arabic.

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Arabic Read More »

6 Ways to Say “Mother’’ in Arabic

Reading Time: 4 minutesMother’s Day in the Arabic-speaking world is celebrated on March 21 every year. This date was chosen to coincide with the beginning of spring. This Mother’s Day, join us as we take a look at a few different ways one can say “mother” in Arabic*!

*Please note, this list includes only some of the ways to say “mother” in the region, and by no means exhaustive. There are certainly more terms and variations across the region, countries and even within countries.

* * * * *

1. Omm (أم) or Ommi (أمي)

From Modern Standard Arabic, or FusHa (فصحى‎), both terms are commonly used throughout the Arabic-speaking world to refer to mothers. Literally, Omm (أم) means “mother”, and Ommi (أمي) as “my mother”. Note that depending on the region and dialect, pronunciation will slightly different; for example, in parts of Syria, one may hear Emmi (إِمِّيْ), too.

Fairuz, a music icon from Lebanon uses this term in her famous song “Ommi el-Habiba” (أمي الحبيبة, My beloved mother).

2. Yumma (يُمّه) or Ommah (أماه)

In Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, parts of Saudi Arabia, and neighbouring Gulf countries, one often hears the term yumma (يُمّه) for mother. It is also common to use ommah (أماه) in Omani dialect, a shortened form of ya ommah (يا أماه), meaning “oh mother”.

3. Mama (ماما) or Mami (مامي)

In the Levantine dialect, and increasingly across the Gulf and North Africa, two of the terms used for mother are mama (ماما) or mami (مامي). Overall, mama or mami is common across the region and different languages – read more here on why words for “Mom” and “Dad” sound similar across the world!

4. Youm (يوم)

In Aleppo, Syria, one encounters the term youm (يوم) for mother.

5. Yamo (يامو)

In Damascus, Syria, a slightly varied term, yamo (يامو) is used for mothers. 

Popular Damascene actor and director, Duraid Lahham, pays tribute to mothers in his song titled “Yamo Yamo“.

6. Lwalida (لوالدة) or Walida (والدة)

In the Moroccan dialect, one of the terms for mother is lwalida (لوالدة), with variations such as walida in neighbouring countries, or Lwalda in some parts of Tunis. Please note, there are many more variations in and within Arabic-speaking communities in North Africa.

* * * * *

Mothers are an epitome of love, warmth and selflessness. In their embrace, one finds hope, strength and protection. These sentiments are beautifully encapsulated in the award-winning Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish’s (1941-2008) poem titled, “To My Mother” (إلى أمي). Here is an excerpt:

Dearly I yearn for my mother’s bread,
My mother’s coffee,
Mother’s brushing touch.
Childhood is raised in me,
Day upon day in me.
And I so cherish life
Because if I died
My mother’s tears would shame me.

Set me, if I return one day,
As a shawl on your eyelashes, let your hand
Spread grass out over my bones,
Christened by your immaculate footsteps
As on holy land.
Fasten us with a lock of hair,
With thread strung from the back of your dress.
I could grow into godhood
Commend my spirit into godhood
If I but touch your heart’s deep breadth.

أحنُ إلى خبز أمي
وقهوةِ أمي
ولمسةِ أمي ..
وتكبر فيَّ الطفولةُ
يوماً على صدر يومِ
و أعشق عمري لأني
إذا متُّ
أخجل من دمع أمي !

خذيني .. إذا عدتُ يوماً
وشاحاً لهدبكْ
وغطي عظامي بعشبٍ
تعمَّد من طهر كعبكْ
وشدِّي وثاقي..
بخصلة شعرٍ ..
بخيطٍ يلوِّح في ذيل ثوبك..
عساني أصيرُ إلهًا
إلهًا أصير ..
إذا ما لمستُ قرارة قلبك !

To all mothers and mother figures out there, عيد ام سعيد, Happy Mother’s Day! 

Are you a heritage language learner or perhaps, you are looking for ways to make the mother figures in your life feel a little extra special this Mother’s Day? Gift a NaTakallam Language Experience session to a loved one today, or treat yourself to a session!

Learn Arabic authentically with our native language partners from displaced backgrounds. Besides Modern Standard Arabic, NaTakallam offers Arabic in more than 7 dialects: Egyptian, Iraqi, Sudanese, Yemeni, and Levantine – Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese.

P.S. Write to us and let us know if you use another term to refer to your mother in an Arabic dialect!

Credits: We would like to thank our Language Partner community for helping with the content, and Maria Thomas for copywriting the piece. Maria is a copywriter at NaTakallam and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in art history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, powerlifting and going on hikes.

6 Ways to Say “Mother’’ in Arabic Read More »

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Western Armenian

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blog contributors: Nairy Kouyoumjian, Lucy Davis, and Maria Thomas.

The month of love may be well behind us but everyday is a new opportunity to spread love! Armenian has two main dialects – Eastern and Western – and even more ways to say “I love you”. Though the two main dialects are mutually intelligible, they have been evolving separately over the last 100 years in their own unique ways.

Here are our top 5 phrases to spread the love with Western-speaking Armenians around the world!

1. Դուն իմ աշխարհն ես (Toun im ashkharhnes)
Meaning “you are my world,” this is also the name of a famous song by Armenian-American singer Paul Baghdadlian, known as the King of Love Songs.

2. Սիրելիս (Sirelis)
This word, meaning “my darling” or “my beloved,” is a simple one to memorize and use with your loved ones! Use this expression (and the others listed!) to tell someone how much you care for them.

3. Կեանքս (Gyankes)
This more figurative way of expressing love, meaning “my life,” uses the same word as you would use to talk about life in a general sense.

4. Սիրտս (Sirdes)
To round out our list we have Սիրտս meaning “my heart.” It is commonly used when talking with a lover, friend or family member with affection.

5. Քեզ կը սիրեմ (Kez geh seerem)
This is the most straightforward way to express your adoration of someone in Eastern Armenian, translating directly to “I love you.”

Here’s another bonus expression: Սէրս Քեզ Կու տամ (Seres kez gou dam). This phrase translates to “I give you my love,” which you might use interchangeably with Քեզ կը սիրեմ (Kez geh seerem) i.e. “I love you.”

Interested in learning more Western Armenian? Sign up for NaTakallam Sessions today, or give the Gift of Language to a loved one! At NaTakallam, every language session contributes to the livelihoods of our skilled tutors from displaced backgrounds.

Join a session today, learn a language and make an impact!


This piece was contributed by Nairy Kouyoumjian, Lucy Davis, and Maria Thomas:
Content support: Nairy Kouyoumjian is a Syrian-Armenian Language Partner with NaTakallam teaching Arabic and Western Armenian. She loves teaching her native languages in a fun and engaging way! During her sessions, she combines the basic rules of the language with discussions about her life and her culture! In her free time, she enjoys reading and doing voluntary social work.
Copywriting: Lucy Davis is a Communications and PR Officer with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing a dual Bachelor’s degree in economics and literature. She loves cooking, doing puzzles, and traveling to new places.
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.

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Western Armenian Read More »

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Eastern Armenian

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Blog contributors: Anahid Jouljian, Lucy Davis, and Maria Thomas.

The month of love is coming to an end, but that’s no reason to stop celebrating love! Armenian communities around the world mark the holiday of Trndez, also known as Candlemas Day in some parts of the world, in February. What’s more, these celebrations are followed by another Armenian festival, St. Sargis Day – providing even more reasons and ways to share love.

Learn 5 phrases about love in Eastern Armenian with NaTakallam and find out more about these unique holidays!

1. Իմ պաշտելիս (Im bashdelis)
This phrase, meaning “my adorable,” might be used on Trndez, when it is customary for newlyweds to help build a large bonfire in the church courtyard and leap over it together.

2. Իմ մի հատիկս (Meg hadiges)
This is a beautiful way to tell someone you love them, meaning, “my one and only.” On Trndez, celebrating love is not just for newlyweds but for families and people in all stages of life. During the bonfire, people light candles to bring the fire back to their own households.

3. Թանկագինս (Tangakeenes)
This translates to “my precious” but don’t worry, it’s not a reference to the Lord of the Rings! You can use this expression to tell someone how much you care for them.

4. Սիրելիս (Sirelis)
This one word phrase meaning “my darling” or “my beloved” can be added into any phrase to make it loving. According to tradition on St. Sargis Day, young people should eat a small salty snack called aghi blit before going to sleep, and in their dreams, they will see their future soulmate offering a glass of water.

5. Սիրում եմ քեզ (Seeroum em kez)
This is the most straightforward way to express your adoration of someone in Eastern Armenian, translating directly to “I love you.”

Interested in learning more Eastern Armenian? Sign up for NaTakallam Sessions today, or give the Gift of Language to a loved one! At NaTakallam, every language session contributes to the livelihoods of our skilled tutors from displaced backgrounds.

Join a session today, learn a language and make an impact!

This piece was contributed by Anahid Jouljian, Lucy Davis, and Maria Thomas:
Content support: Anahid Jouljian is a Lebanese-Armenian Language Partner with NaTakallam teaching Western Armenian. As a result of the pandemic and Lebanon port blast, Anahid moved to Yerevan with her family in March 2020. In her 25 years of teaching, Anahid’s lessons have helped the Armenian diaspora around the world get back in touch with their roots. Today, she is also an editor in the Memory Documentation Project of The Armenian Program of the Gulbenkian Foundation.
Copywriting: Lucy Davis is a Communications and PR Officer with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing a dual Bachelor’s degree in economics and literature. She loves cooking, doing puzzles, and traveling to new places.
Copyediting support: 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.

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Eastern Armenian Read More »

One story of cross-border love from our Afghan tutor, Sadiqa

Reading Time: 2 minutesSince February is the month of love, we put out a call to our conversation partner community to tell us their stories of love and romance. Sadiqa, one of our tutors from Afghanistan, shared the story below

Sadiqa Sultani, one of NaTakallam’s Dari instructors, is originally from Afghanistan. She had moved to Quetta, Pakistan with her family when she was young to escape the Taliban rule, but soon after, they were forced to leave Pakistan due to persecution based on their ethnic and religious identities, rendering her double displaced.

Now living as a refugee in Bogor, Indonesia, Sadiqa is a volunteer teacher within the local refugee community. She tries to give her refugee students something meaningful to do as they wait out the resettlement process. She also teaches students on the other side of the world online through NaTakallam. 

One morning in October 2018, Sadiqa saw she had received a message from a man named Naeem Royan, a long-lost classmate of hers from her days in Quetta. In his love letter, Naeem wrote that he had loved her since primary school and had searched for her for eight years.

At first, she didn’t believe him! 

Sadiqa was waiting to go back to Pakistan, but she was still in Indonesia because of the slow resettlement process. She began chatting with Naeem online, getting to know each other after so many years apart and slowly falling in love…

When Naeem proposed, Sadiqa had a big decision to make.

Was he serious? Sadiqa wasn’t sure. She discussed the proposal with her parents. She spent more time talking to Naeem before making any decision, as she still didn’t know him very well. Naeem was trying very hard to make her feel his love and respect for her, never missing a single chance to express his feelings and thoughts. 

Finally, Sadiqa said YES and accepted his proposal. 

However, there were many challenges in store for the two lovers. As Sadiqa could not go back to Pakistan, Naeem decided to come to Indonesia. Just as he was planning his trip, the coronavirus pandemic struck, and the world went on lockdown. By this time, Sadiqa and Naeem had been in a relationship for more than three years and were still unable to be together. Last month, they were Nikahfied (married) in an online ceremony. 

They love each other dearly and unconditionally. These two lovers have been able to stand and be together through so many ups and downs. They are still searching for any possible way to start living together and bridge the forced divide between them, just praying and hoping to be together soon.

One story of cross-border love from our Afghan tutor, Sadiqa Read More »

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Kurmanji Kurdish

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blog contributors: Hadiya Ahmed, Maria Thomas, and Baran Hasso.

Valentine’s Day may have just passed but why run out of words to say how much you love someone? This week, we bring you five sweet words and expressions in Kurmanji Kurdish!

1. Dilê min
This expression literally translates to ‘‘my heart’’ and is used to address a loved one – a romantic partner, a friend or a family member – endearingly.

2. Ji te hez dikim
What better way to express your love and affection for a loved one than to say those magical three words – ‘‘I love you’’? In Kurmanji Kurdish, that would be Ji te hez dikim.

3. Kezeba min
Literally translating to ‘‘my liver’’, this phrase is an expression of endearment much like جیگر طلا ‘‘jigar tala’’ in Persian. It conveys their significance to your life!

4. Ronîya çavê min
This expression literally translates to ‘‘light of my eyes’’. It is commonly used to refer to a beloved family member, friend or significant other.

5. Hevalrêya min
Literally translating to ‘‘my way mate’’, this heartwarming phrase encapsulates what love is all about – companionship, a sense of belonging, and warmth! It refers to someone who is your “traveling companion” through life’s journey. Use this expression (and the others listed above!) to tell someone how much you care for them.

Learn how to express words of love, endearment and more in Kurmanji Kurdish with NaTakallam’s native Language Partners, today! At NaTakallam, every language session contributes to the livelihoods of our skilled tutors from refugee/displaced backgrounds.

Join a session today, learn a language and make an impact!



This piece was contributed by Hadiya Ahmed, Maria Thomas, and Baran Hasso:
– Content support: Hadiya Ahmed is a Language Partner with NaTakallam specializing in Kurmanji Kurdish and Arabic. Originally from Qamishli in Syria, she has a degree in English literature and loves spending her spare time reading, playing basketball and practicing Zumba.
– 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.
– Proofreading support: Baran Hasso is a Language Partner with NaTakallam specializing in Kurmanji Kurdish and Arabic. He graduated from Aleppo University with a degree in Philosophy before going on to study Philosophy for Children in Turkey. Baran enjoys playing music, reading and traveling for recreation.

5 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Kurmanji Kurdish Read More »

loading gif

Available Coupon


Spanish is one of the fastest growing foreign languages in the world. Get access to the Spanish business world with our native tutors – tailored to your needs.

Improve your proficiency in Farsi or Dari & contextualize your learning with cultural insights from our native tutors. Language & culture go hand-in-hand at NaTakallam.

Looking to do business with Kurdish businesses? Learn with NaTakallam’s native speakers & reach new language (& business) goals – tailored to your professional needs.

Gain an edge with contextualized French learning by native tutors from displaced backgrounds. Flexible, with cultural & business insights, tailored to your needs.

Choose from Eastern Armenian or Western Armenian. Get quality teaching & unique insights from native tutors. Gain an edge with Armenian language skills.

Offer your team a smoother integration or transition with our customized English lessons delivered by bilingual tutors with extensive English instruction experience.

Choose from Modern Standard Arabic or any of our 7+ dialects offered by native tutors across the region. Take your proficiency to the next level & connect with the Arab business world.