- You will watch a video and reflect on the popular dishes in Egypt and other countries.
- You will learn some culture notes about ordering in a restaurant in Egypt then test yourself on these expressions.
Warm-up: Watch this video about street food in Cairo. Engage in a discussion with your classmates about the popular dishes in Egypt, US, and different countries around the world.
As you learned in the previous section, there are a variety of ways to order foods or drinks in a restaurant/café.
- ممكن which literally means ‘possible’ can be used to begin a request as in ممكن مَيّة لو سمحت, which translates to something like ‘May I have water please?’
- The phrase لوسمحتي / لو سمحت is used interchangeably or along with من فضْلِك /من فَضْلَك in the beginning or end of the request.
- The word واحد is used to refer to an item of service and it is used for both a masculine item and a demine item such as واحد رز which means ‘one rice,’ which is masculine, and واحد سلطة خضرا which means ‘one green salad,’ which is feminine.
- The phrase هات لي /هاتي لي is most frequently used in the restaurant setting.
- عايز/عايزة can also be used in requesting food/drink, and usually combined with لو سمحت/ لو سمحتي
- Respect address forms and honoring phrases are expected from service providers towards customers. Examples include تحت أمرك and أي خدمة .
- The word حاجة, which literally means ‘a need’ is frequently used in Egyptian Arabic in different contexts to mean ‘something’ or ‘a thing’ as in عايز حاجة؟ and كُلّ حاجة .
- يا فندم is an address form borrowed from Turkish ‘efindim,’ and it is used in Egypt as an address form meaning ‘sir/madam’ to show respect for people whom we do not know well. It is usually heard in service encounters and it is used for both males and females.
Activity (14): Check the right expressions in each of the following situations.
- You can now order food and drink in Arabic. Find a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant and practice some of the expressions you learned.