Talking about family

  • Father – ab
    Mother – oom
    Children – awlad, iyaal
    Son – walad (plural. awlad)
    Daughter – bint (pl. banaat/banayat)
    Brother – akh
    Daughter – ukht
    Paternal uncle – 3am (3 represents the guttural sound of the letter ayn)
    Paternal aunt – 3amma
    Maternal uncle – khaal
    Maternal aunt – khaala/khaalu
    Husband – zawj/rai-ali
    Wife- zawja/hurma

The word iyaal is used locally for children (as in offspring) but if a man says iyaali, it could include his wife or might even be just his wife. In conservative cultures, men often don’t refer to their wives to people outside the family and so if he says ‘I went on a trip with iyaali’ it may mean he went with his children, his children and his wife or just his wife.

  • How many children do you have? – Kam awlad 3andak (3andich for female)?
    I have one daughter – 3andi bint wahda
    I have one son – 3andi walad wahid
    I have five children – 3andi khams awlad
  • Two daughters – bintayn
    Three/four/five daughters – thalath/3arba/khams banaat
    Two sons – waladayn
    Three/four/five sons – thalath/3arba/khams awlad