Be well!

Languages of Life had post recently entitled “The verb سلم/يسلم” all about, as you might guess if you read Arabic script, the verb silem and it’s various uses.

If you’re studying Arabic make sure to check out the original post as it’s very worthwhile, but I want to pull out a couple of points that will be of interest to people who are learning or who speak Greek or Arabic.

تسلم/تسلمي (tislam/tislami), which translates to “be well” is one of the many expressions for “thank you” that you’ll hear in the Levant. I’ve heard this expression used more frequently than شكرا (shukran) when indicating thanks.

There’s a phrase used to mean both thank you, and as a response to thank you in Greek: να’σαι/να’στε καλά (nase/naste kala…from να + είσαι/είστε + καλά) which means, just like its Levantine counterpart “Be well”.

يسلمو إيديك//إيديكي (yislamu yidayk/yidayki) is also an expression that’s often used when purchasing something. The literal translation would be “may your hands be well”. After the vendor hands you the item that you’ve purchased, you can simply reply “يسلمو إيديك” or “يسلمو إيديكي” to express your gratitude for the service.

In Greek the phrase γεια στα χέρια σου/σας (ya sta xeria su/sas), which literally means “health to your hands,” is used when thanking someone for, and complimenting them on, a meal they’ve prepared.  Not identical but close enough to be intriguing.

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