December 10, 2007


Not long ago, in a Q and A on the Web site of The New York Times, an Iraqi translator was asked to explain the points of difference he saw between his own people and the Americans he encountered in Iraq. He brought up the Arabic phrase "inshallah." The Americans, he said, "have respect for time"; Iraqis, in contrast, "use the word inshallah, which means `if God wishes,' to postpone things."

The short article at the link is really interesting... such a large group of Americans are spending such a large amount of time in the company of Iraqis that our cultures are surely rubbing off on each other. The author says that the use of the word "inshallah" among the military and State Department is growing by leaps and bounds.

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