One of my most popular posts is one from a while back on Dari Phrases You Need to Know. In case it’s not obvious, this is the sequel: Ten phrases that can take you beyond the “minimum essential” and into the “nice to know”…
- Mushkelnest – No problem.
- Qabelishnest – You’re welcome.
- Zhwan! – Energy/life. Soldiers will often say this after being recognized for exceptional performance. I asked a terp what it meant the other day, and he struggled a little, as it doesn’t really have an exact English translation. A different terp though, who can speak Dari, English, and Army explained, “It means ‘Hoo-ah!'”
- Drust – OK.
- Ba’le – Yes. And its counterpart…
Ne – No.
- Khub’ast – Cool (lit., “good is”). You can make it a little stronger too, as…
Besyar khub! – Very good!
- Booga booga booga – Say it, say it, say it. Kind of an all-purpose phrase, it’s sometimes used like, “Blah blah blah…” but more often as the Dari equivalent of, “You go, girl!”
- Chitur hasti? How are you? This is the informal version, used between friends (the formal version is in my previous post).
Khub hastam – I’m good.
Chuma chitur hasti? And you?
- Zenda bashi – Take care (lit., “health always”).
- Yak team wahed – One team together. I love this phrase because it speaks volumes about the challenge of serving here in Afghanistan. We have to build enduring National Security Forces in a country that, until we got here, didn’t even have a word for Team (Americans are known for being fiercely independent, but geesh, we’ve got nothing on the Afghans…). After 50,000 years of history though, the Afghans finally have a word for Team: team. Almost without exception, Afghans are quick to pick up the good ideas the Coalition has to offer. And teamwork is certainly one of our better ones!
Bottom line: Language matters. Give some Dari a try!
* Photo by SSG Gary A. Witte, US Army, from Soldiers Media Center on flikr.
** Photo by Stephon M. Sterns.