share this article

What's even more enthralling than delving into a country's culture is being able to communicate in its language. You stop feeling like an outsider for just a second and begin to get a sense of belonging. Imagine being able to talk about the beauty of that fountain in Rome or the wonderful weather in France. Speaking the language of the place, no matter how poorly, just adds a whole new dimension to the experience. Now imagine being able to to so in a place as wonderful as Nubia, whose language is even different than that of Egypt itself.

Nubians are incredibly hospitable, so some of the most important words you'll need are welcome words, as well as how you like your tea – because you can't pay the Nubians a visit without having some tea.

IT-FADA-LOS

Come on in; welcome; please enter! This is normally how you'll find yourself greeted wherever you are in Nubia, because who needs hello when you can just come on in!  
In Arabic: etfadal.

INNA-FYATO

If you're going to learn how to say welcome, you should also know how to say goodbye. In all cases, you're also bound to hear this one by the end of your journey in Nubia.

MIN-A-BOOWhen asked min-a-boo, you can respond with rai-gray, which means "I'm fine." That is, unless you want to go on at length about how you're actually doing; we can't help you with that one.

AD-LAI-MA
Nubians are a very warm and loving people; as such, they'll refer to others with terms of endearment like ad-lai-ma, which means kind man. In Arabic: ya ragel ya tayeb

ASH-RE-MAAsh-re-ma is a term of endearment used between women in Nubian culture; you'll also find men saying it to younger girls. Men saying this to women is not a good idea.

ES-SE-GAYLAThis is probably the most important word you'll need to know while visiting Nubia. 

ET-SHEI-KOOLCan't very well forget the chai lovers, can we?

ES-SE
It gets pretty hot down south, so this is one of those words you don't want to forget.

Learned any other words on your Nubian adventures? Help us add to our vocabulary!