Hassaniya

 

is an Arabic dialect, and it’s the most common in Mauritania. Almost ninety per cent ofour people, though ethnic our society is, speak or/and understand it. In this page, we’ll try to provide you with the basic conversational skills that will allow you to greet, reply to greetings, ask about prices, bargain, compliment, etc, during your visit to Mauritania. The fact that Arabic Hassaniya is a whole different dialect from yours will causea bunch of difficulties pronouncing or hearing it, but you can try it anyway. People of any country would love and respect seeing a foreigner trying to communicate with their mother tongue, and they would definitely easily get what you mean helped by a certain context.

Let’s start off right away our Basic Hassaniya tags.

To greet someone, start by saying:  

  • ASSALAMU ALAYKUM (Peace be with you)

Then he/she should reply by saying:

  • WA ALAY-KUM ASSALAM! (And also with you.)

That’s how you can greet or reply to greeting in Mauritania. To further greetings, one should say:

  • IYAAK LABAAS? (I hope you’re well)

Reply with:

LEBASS EL HAMDU LILAH! (I’m well, praise is to God)

It’s notable, at this phase, that the local greeting can sometimes take up to three –four minutes because of repetition especially, but not necessarily, if there is a big age gap between the two (or more) people saying hi to each other.
Now let’s move on with the rest of normal daily greeting conversation.

-IYYAK IL KHAYR? (I hope everything is good!)

To reply:

-ELLA EL KHAYR EL HAMDU LILAH. (Everything is good praise is to God!)

The following is the big and most common one locally:

-ISH-TAARI? (What’s up/What’s new)

Reply:

-MA TAARI BASS! (Nothing new/special)

 Now let’s see how to introduce or ask someone to introduce themselves.

  • NTE ASMAK? (What’s your name?) To a single male
  • NTY ASMIK? (What’s your name?) To a single female

To reply:

-ANA ISMI PATRICK! WA NTE? (My name’s Patrick, and you?)

 

Now, let’s ask about directions:

DAR MNEYN? (Where is home?)

LIMSSID MNEYN? (Where is the mosque?)

LBOUTIQ MNEYN? (Where is the boutique?)

 

Now let’s talk a bit about shopping and prices:

HADA BACH? (How much is this?)

HADA ZEIN? (This is nice)

HADA WA IR: (This is expensive)

NGISS CHWEY: (Reduce –the price- a bit)

CHOUKRAN: (Thanks you)

MA ‘A SALAMA! (Good bye)

 

Do you have some words that you think are must for a visitor/tourist, gently comment with them in the bellow section, and we’ll make sure to update the post to include them. CHOUKRAN!

 

 

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