Thank-you. Thanks. Thanks so much. Wow, awesome, really great.

Merci beaucoup. Danke Schön.

Xièxiè nǐ in Chinese

Every language that I know has one.

And it’s amazing what a smile you can get from a native speaker with that phrase properly executed in their home tongue.

My favorite for some tine has been the Amharic


which gets a surprised look out of all the Ethiopian students here in Fairfield, Iowa at

But it’s good that I looked it up just now, because I have been slightly butchering it for some years as


Today I had a thank-you lesson in the Tigrinya/Eritrean word from a very patient clerk at the Golden Dome Market grocery store, as he demonstrated the phrase:


That X in the middle stands for a click sound, which is challenge for English speakers.

Clicks (like every other consonant) are defined by the location of the closure of the airway needed to make the sound, by the part of the oral tract making the closure (lips, teeth, tongue, pharynx), by the presence or absence of vocal chord vibration (voicing), and by whether the airstream is going in or out.

The way to do the click in yaXanyale is to start saying a “K” but add no puff of air, but rather placing the tongue in the same place as you would to make a “K” sound to stop the outgoing airflow.

All  click languages are found in Africa (except for one specialized case in Australia)

If you do are an average American and you can say thanks to someone from Eritrea in Tigrinya complete with that click, you will get a happy look of astonishment, which will be worth every second of reading this article.