Arabic does too. Nom. Aywa. Ay. And this clicking noise you do with the side of your mouth. I like it. I use it a lot.
Recently some friends came back from a trip to Ethiopia. They were saying that there instead of the click for yes that Ethiopians do this like small gasp with their throat. I said, “Wait, do Eritreans do that too??”
See, we have a lady who is an Eritrean refugee who comes and cleans for us once a week. She’s the sweetest lady. Maybe not the best cleaner in the whole world, and unintentionally hides stuff in the kitchen sometimes (the day after she comes usually involves a bit of hide and seek in the kitchen trying to find certain things). But she is a delightful lady and goes around singing as she cleans.
My housemate and I both had been noticing for awhile that when we talk with her she does these little gasps a lot. We were starting to get a little worried about it and had discussed with each other offering to pay for a doctors visit for her.
Well, as it turns out, Eritreans do the little gasp to mean “yes” as well. My housemate and I laughed and laughed when we learned this and were happy we hadn’t expressed our concerns about her health just yet.