If there is one thing you’ll learn once you’re in the Kingdom, is how Saudis carefully handle conversations. Within the Arabic language, there are certain phrases that are used very highly and are so common, that those would be the first phrases a person outside of the Kingdom would learn. Want to know a secret? Saudis don’t really mean what they say. That’s the truth that you’ll have to grip to once you join in a conversation with a Saudi. Here are a few phrases that are commonly said, but not meant.[irp]
In Sha Allah (If God is willing): When you have asked for a favor or extended an invite saying and the reply comes in as Insha Allah you would think that the invite has been accepted. Though, that is not the case. Your invitation or proposal has been politely declined. By the time you realize what they really meant, it’ll be too late. Now the Saudi just has an excuse if you ask them why they didn’t show up or weren’t able to help you since they would say that perhaps God didn’t will it. Recommended: Plz don’t get puzzled if Saudis say “Insha Allah”
Akhbarak Eih/ Shlonak / Kifek/ Labes? (How are you?): If you have found yourself in a conversation that has gone awkwardly silent, this is the phrase that will get you out of it and might re-motivate the gathering that you have been sitting in. This is a good gesture, but in reality, it is just to break the silence.
Y Katar khirek (God Bless You): You’ll find waiters and other sorts of service workers using this tone once you hand then a tip. Don’t be fooled that their tone is a gesture of gratitude or appreciation, but instead, they’ve used sarcasm to “thank” you for the tip you handed which according to them is quite less.
Tafaddal (Come in): If you’ve heard this phrase and spotted a deep sigh from the one, who said it, understand the very minute that you are not welcome and they wanted you to stay out. You might see that they would talk to you, but you’ll just be at unease while talking to them. Instead, you’ll find yourself leaving within a few minutes.
Bgad? (Really?): If you’ve been putting up stories and lies that the hearer has gotten tired of hearing, he’ll put this question up which indirectly means that he’s had it with your exaggerations!
Yalla! (Come On!): If they’ve said this in a polite tone, means they really want you to stay, but if they have yelled this at you consider the time to leave immediately because now your presence has begun to bother them.[irp]
Mish Fahiim (I don’t understand): Now this phrase might hurt you. We often tend to go on about a story or incident, at times ask for advice from someone. If they have put up this question after you’re done make sure you note the tone they’ve said it in. Sometimes they would really mean it, but at other instances, they don’t really care what they said and they don’t even want to hear it again. Only repeat the question or incident if you feel that the person said it genuinely.