EA: يا optional?

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Pathawi, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    I did a search through existing threads, but يا occurs so frequently that it was hard to figure out if my question had already been asked. I have been under the impression, since I began learning Arabic, that the word يا was necessary in terms of address. However, I have a friend from Upper Egypt who quite consistently omits يا before my name, terms of endearment (حبيبى، صديقى), &c. I'm not about to start copying his style of speech, but how should I understand his usage? Does it sound casual to native Egyptian Arabic-speakers? Uneducated? Slangy? Just plain wrong? Is this geographically specific, or can it be heard elsewhere in the Arabic-speaking world?

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    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    It's essentially optional, often we can omit it.
     
  3. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I almost never use يا when calling someone. But it's hard to drop it in the middle of a sentence.

    So, for example, when I'm calling my mom (from a distance, or to get her attention to something) I say ماما, but when I'm addressing her, I use يا , like:لو سمحتي يا ماما or شكرًا يا ماما . It would be difficult to drop يا in similar instances.

    I think this is the same with all Egyptians, and it doesn't say anything about education, regional or social status.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  4. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    Thanks, both of you.

    ---
    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     

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