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In the last lesson, we learned how to make a reservation in a restaurant. Now that you know how to get a table, you have another big issue to tackle. If you want to enjoy your meal, the smoking issue is very important. If you are a smoker in a non-smoking establishment, or a non-smoker in a smoking establishment, this could ruin your meal.
In this lesson, we'll cover how to ask for a smoking or non-smoking table.
First, we will imagine that you are a smoker. Before entering a restaurant, you need to ask, “Excuse me, is smoking allowed here?”:
el tadḫeen masmooḥ hena?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) el tadḫeen masmooḥ hena?
Once more:
el tadḫeen masmooḥ hena?
التدخين مسموح هنا؟
el tadḫeen means “smoking”
(slow) el tadḫeen
el tadḫeen
We follow this with masmooḥ, which means “allowed”.
(slow) masmooḥ
And next is hena, which means “here”.
(slow) hena
Here’s the whole sentence:
el tadḫeen masmooḥ hena?
(slow) el tadḫeen masmooḥ hena?
The answer to this question is simple: aywa meaning “Yes” or la’a meaning “No”.
Let’s break those down:
aywa (natural speed)
(slow) aywa.
la’a (natural speed)
(slow) la’a.
Now let’s imagine you don’t smoke. In this case, when you come to Egypt, you should ask: “Do you have tables for non-smokers?”
fi tarabezaat non smoking?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) fih tarabezaat non smoking?
Once more at natural speed:
fih tarabezaat non smoking?
في ترابيزات نان سموكينج؟
fih means “is there..”
(slow) fih.
tarabezaat means “tables”
(slow) tarabezaat
And non smoking is pronounced with a slight Egyptian Arabic accent.
(slow) non smoking
non smoking
The whole question is:
(slow) fih tarabezaat non smoking?
fih tarabezaat non smoking?
Now let’s go over the possible answers to this question. If it’s a positive answer, you might hear
aywa, fih, and if the answer is negative - la’a, mafish.
In these expressions:
aywa means “yes”
fih, as we said before, means “there is”.
(slow) fih.
la’a means “no” and mafish is the negative form of fih. It means “there isn’t”.
(slow) Mafish
Let’s hear these expressions again:
aywa fih.
la’a mafish.
أيوة, فية
لأ, مفيش
When the answer is negative, you will also hear “we are sorry” attached to mafish. The phrase will sound like this: Sorry, mafish.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) Sorry, mafish.
Once more at natural speed:
Sorry, mafish.