Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mafi malum

From yesterday's Times of Oman:

"Mafi malum, ustad. This is the one Arabic expression that teachers of English language dread to hear from their students because it effectively means that all their efforts have gone down the drain."

Is mafi malum an Arabic expression? Once again I found myself wishing I could just reach out and bitch slap one of their editors.


illogicist said...

lol :D

Just one query though, most english teachers here probably wouldnt know what 'mafi malum, ustad' means. Try 'I dont know, sir?'

NiGhTFaCe said...

Seriosuly! Are they making this up?!! I dont believe any of the students will say that!

Then as you pointed to Muscati, since when that is Arabic?! :S

Sowhat said...

yep next time they would said student are saying Kaysahi instead of how are you .. walla i feel that they are talkign about another coutnry whenever i read their paper ...

AkaRound Peg said...

I hope this does not make you reach out and bitch slap me but isn't Mafi Malum an Arabic expression?

I thought "mafi' means 'dont'or'isn't'. Another expression I hear is 'Mafi Mushkil'. When people speak to me in Arabic as they are wont,I say Arabi Mafi. Is that wrong?

muscati said...

roundpeg, mafi malum is badly grammatized hindianized arabic. Isn't malum a hindi word with arabic origin?

Same with mafi mushkil. The arabic word for prob;em is mushkila not mushkil. And while "mafi mushkila" would be an accepatable arabic phrase, "mafi malum" isn't.

Kamakazy said...

maybe they are refering to what students would say to Indian teachers... :s

A. Woman in black said...

Khali Vuli ..... I soo want to puke every time i hear this....used at inappropriate places and times ( never mind the V).

Yeah its cute and impressive and all to use arabic phrases when you dont speak the language but (and I am sorry to say this) dont use them if you dont know what you're saying(also if you speak Arabic and hear mistakes such as these
politely tell them their mistakes so they arent embarrased at another time ( i've had an experience with this :-P )

My husband was telling me a story about a dutch guy that works with him . They were in a meeting and they guy said something like ...

"There are many "insha'Allah" issues we have to keep in mind while planning the next stage ...."


P.S. Just read the piece in The Week :-) Nice comments.

A. Woman in black said...

I agree with Kamakazy ...I always hear Arabic speakers "hindianize" their Arabic while speaking to Indians.
However, it's not a good idea to mention in the article that it is an "Arabic expression " when it is definately not.

Nameless said...

I feel exactly what muscati feels. It isn't arabic and it's the lingo Indians use to communicate with Omanis - I don't know of any Omani who uses such lingo.

Malum is Indian, not Arabic.

It seems like the paper has run out of things to say. Now they're spreading information that isn't factual. Good credibility they have! bloody fools.

Mindazi said...

They should've said it was an Omani expression... just like "No problemo" is an American expression with Meixacn Spanish influence.

You won't see Indians using the expression in India.

A. Woman in black said...

I get your point Mindazi,but is it an Omani expression? Ive never had an Omani student use that expression. I have had, however, and Indian use the expression with me even when I wasn't using Arabic.

I think it is an Indian's idea of an Arabic "when an Arabic speaker uses a dumbed down version of Arabic so that an Indian who may or may not know Arabic will understand " expression.


John B. Chilton said...

Muscatis -

Have any opinion on this?:
Gulfnews: Thoughts on Arabizi

Saleh Saud Al-Tamami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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