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The writer with her Uncle Mohammed Ibraahim In Holland, that she is able to speak v in Somali. (Photo courtesy the Ahlaam Ibraahim)

Born and raised in the states, ns was praised because that being able come speak Somali fluently, many thanks to my parents who increased me to speak Somali before I entered school.

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Speaking the language definitely has its benefits: being able to interact with household members back home, gift multilingual in general, and also the third, i m sorry is mine favorite: talking about someone there is no them knowing. Mostly, Somali permits me to express myself there is no the whole English-speaking world understanding. As lot as ns love this, life would be much easier if the English language had similar words. For this reason I visited Twitter and also connected v Somalis around the world, asking them, ”What’s one Somali word friend wish was in the English language?” here are your top five suggestions:

1. Ciyaalsuuq — unruly youth

Ever have friends your parents don’t like since they think they’re a negative influence? Somali has a term because that that. Ciyaal literally means “kids” and suuq means “store.” It’s less offensive and a little bit funny in Somali: “Why are you hanging with those ciyaalsuuq?” just know if girlfriend have ever been called that, the time for some daqan celis.

2. Daqan celis — forgetting culture

Daqan celis (pronounced “duh-ken-AW-liss”) is the Somali expression I usage the most when speaking English. Literally interpreted as “culture back,” that is supplied in lot of contexts. Daqan celis , together in “OMG, my youngsters are going to be daqan celis,”describes the procedure of kids in the Somali diaspora forget their culture and needing to it is in sent home to acquire it back. It’s also used to describe people who can’t speak the Somali language: basically a nice method of saying did you do it gotten way too Westernized.

3. Abti/Adheer/Eedo/Habo — aunts and uncles on both sides
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From left to right, the author, her Aunt (Eedo) Fahima Ibraahim and cousins Ilhan Ali and Asma Ali. (Photo courtesy the Ahlaam Ibraahim)

The Somali language is more descriptive than English. We describe our uncles and aunts from ours maternal and paternal side differently. Abti (“ub-tee”) is what you contact your uncle from your mom’s side, while Adheer (“uh-there”) is her uncle from her dad’s side. Habaryar (“Hub-bar-yaar”) or Habo (“huh-bo”) mean either your mom’s sisters — or any Somali lady you check out on the street — whereas Eedo is one aunt from your dad’s side. It’s easy to mix these up, however really advantageous at times. Because that example: If i’m speaking to my sister in English and state “Aunt Faduma obtained me flowers,” mine sister wouldn’t recognize which aunt Faduma I’m talking about, however using Somali, I have the right to specify what side of the family members she’s on.

4. Kullaha — “says” or “said” to mock
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VIne and also YouTube celebrity “Sadia Arabia” has actually made a career the end of making fun of the Somali generational division in America. (Screenshot from Vine)

Kullaha (pronounced “koo-luh-ha”) method “said” or “says.” It’s simply 10 times better in Somali! If you space mad and also want to imitate someone, you will certainly roll her eyes and add kullaha, repeating what castle said. (Somalis can be a small feisty, you know). Because that example, once someone states something yes, really annoying, I will certainly say, “Kullaha ‘no institution tomorrow’ (rolls eyes). Friend think you smart?‘ or “Kullaha ‘I finished your cookies.’ space you serious?” Obviously, in Somali it provides much much more sense and is a little bit feistier, but this expression definitely adds the spice.

5. Wallahi — swearing come God

Wallahi (pronounced “wah-luh-hee”) is Arabic however we Somalis have our own version adding the “i” at the end. This has to be the most generally used Somali expression. Numerous classmates and non-Somali friends at Rainier coast High institution started utilizing this word because of the variety of times they’ve heard Somali students speak it. It means “I swear to God”. Somalis swear come God a lot.

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If you ever hear someone speak wallahi, they no lying, they are trying to present that they’re being honest by swearing to God!

Our “Somali 101” course is sadly coming to an end. Let’s end things off by listening come my favourite Somali artist Maxamed BK informing us to welcome the new life.