Abigail Klein Leichman
June 21, 2023

All the slang you’ll need in Israel may come down to three essential words: sababa, achla and yalla.

Before launching its Priceless.com curated travel experiences lifestyle platform in Israel this month, Mastercard asked Israelis what words they’d teach tourists first.

It’s interesting to note that all three top vote-getters are derived from Arabic, not Hebrew.

Sababa, which translates loosely to “okay,” “it’s all good” or “sure, cool” was chosen by 48 percent of respondents.

Achla, an expression meaning “great” or “awesome,”came in second. It was mentioned by 15% of those surveyed.

Yalla, chosen by 13% of those surveyed, is used like “let’s go!” or “c’mon!” It’s often combined with “bye” at the end of phone conversations, as in “Yalla, bye.”

Mastercard introduced Priceless.com at a launch party in Tel Aviv-Jaffa on June 12, accompanied by a new song, “The Sounds of Israel,” in collaboration with Israeli composer/visual artist Ophir Kutiel (Kutiman).

“Priceless.com brings people together for bespoke moments built around their universal passions,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer for Mastercard.

“By creating these experiences, we have been able to build stronger, more memorable and longer lasting connections with our consumers, and we’re delighted to add Israel to the 35-plus destinations available on priceless.com.”

Among the possibilities: a street art tour in Tel Aviv, a wine tasting in the Northern Galilee, a personal VIP tour of the Uri Geller Museum, and digital yoga classes at the Dead Sea.

Before you book your next trip, learn more achla Israeli slang here.

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