Both of these words, which can be used interchangeably, translate as “I mean/it means” in Arabic. They are used as interjections in common speech as one would use “like,” “I mean,” “that is to say,” or “in other words” in English. As they are Arabic in origin, many users try to accentuate the “ayin” sound where the apostrophe appears to make it sound more authentic.


  • I really need to do this myself, ya’ani, thanks anyway, but I don’t need your help.
  • My birthday is April 15, ya’ani it almost always falls on Pesach and so I rarely have a proper birthday cake.
  • Hi Galit, I want to, ya’ani, invite you, ya’ani for a cup of coffee, ya’ani on a date. OK?
  • Your lifeline on your palm is very long and clear, ya’anu, you’re going to live a long life.

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