Arabish……..and I don’t mean the writing style


When I talk about arabish, I don’t mean the arabic english writing form we’ve all become too familiar with – the arabic chat alphabet. No, I’m talking about when people speak a mix of arabic and english.

Just this morning, I was enjoying my traditional saturday waffle and pancake at Dean & Deluca and the table – not far enough from me – were having casual conversations mixing and matching arabic and english words. Oh man how annoying it was to hear! each time they threw in an english word it was ear rap! Mind you, the english these type of people most often use is always heavy tongued with each vowel, consonant – and whatever other grammatically malarkey – over emphasised.

The problem is that it’s becoming more and more prevalent in Kuwait. For some reason, it’s perceived to be more cool or somehow to show that you’re more educated. Even scarier, these people may think that it shows they’re rich or something – meaning they can afford private schools or prolonged western vacations. Whatever it is it’s so irritating and it makes me cringe almost every time I hear it.

I do have some exceptions. One would be if that person has a flawless english accent or if it’s not english (which i’ve never heard) or if its a hot girl with a perfect accent arabishing.

Be on the look out and you’ll notice how impinging it can be.

P.S. I’ve become one of them, by the way………at least one of my own exceptions.


Here’s an example of the chat alphabet taken from 

NOTE: Feature image and top image taken from where you can find a wealth of information about the arabic language – no  copyright infringement intended.


2 responses to “Arabish……..and I don’t mean the writing style

  1. I am one of them too … and one of these ‘exception’ in my opinion LOL.

    My English is not that great but I use it all the time at work and in my latest masters studies so I get to use it a lot in practical life and actually, mix it with Arabic sometimes. When I want to explain something related to work or studies, in Arabic, I struggle.. On the other hand, my English is not as fluent as a native speaker. You can say I am something between these two. When I want to express something to a friend, I say it in the language that comes to my head !

    But I know what you meant about people who fake it.. Its bad..


    • Once you start mixing it’s hard to go back. Sometimes arabic words are much better for emphasis or expressing a thought or feeling qnd vis-versa.
      I used to think what ever language i think in would be the prevalent – which was predominantly english, but even my thoughts have now become invaded with arabish!


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