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When someone dear serves you a drink or a cup of tea/coffee, the recipient may offer this polite saying. It's very difficult to translate it to English. It should be something like: "From hands that I hope I will never be deprived of or that will never be taken away from me/never absent".

It's an Arabic kindhearted wish which is used mostly in the Levant.

Is there something similar said in English?

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    Is the saying said by the person who is serving the tea, or by the person who is receiving the tea, or by both? I'm not aware of an English equivalent, but someone here on EL&U may be able to help with translating the phrase more accurately, if you wish. In the U. S., we usually just say, "Thank you so much," or sometimes, "I appreciate your kindness," or, "Thank you for your hospitality," or a combination of any two or all three such phrases. "From hands, I pray, will never bereave" is beautiful! – Mark Hubbard Dec 23 '15 at 2:25
  • I tried to edit your post and please take a look. I think your question better suits in an Arabic forum than this community. – user140086 Dec 23 '15 at 4:09
  • I've never heard of a similar ceremonial saying in English. – Hot Licks Dec 23 '15 at 4:15
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    @Mark Hubbard it's usually said by the recipient. If someone kindly brought you a cup of tea, you'd say it. We use thank you and all the rest. This among others is used especially to someone dear. But it's being very nice and warm. – user151577 Dec 23 '15 at 4:24
  • Very nice! I have nothing constructive to offer on your question, for others have answered well enough, but I have to say that for all that I don't know how to speak it, Arabic strikes me as one of the most poetic languages in the world. – Cyberherbalist Feb 10 '16 at 16:11
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Under the circumstances you have shared, in American English one might say,

"With this gift from your hands, my heart is filled with gratitude and love for you, my dear one; may your loving hands forever be with me and never know sorrow or loss."

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As posted by @Mark Hubbard and @HotLicks in comments, in English, you express your gratitude by saying "Thanks". I tend to agree that the original expression is a poetic one.

Thank you very much for such a wonderful time.

But if you want to be more expressive, you can consider saying (to the host)

I can't thank you enough for hosting me/us and for such a relishing time together.

[Dictionary.com]

  • Those are all used among others. But this in Arabic is just as equally used. If my mom made a lovely dinner, I can say something similar to this when I'm done, something around the lines of 'May those hands be kept, and may I never be deprived of them'. It's just the best I can translate into English. It's not as formal or poetic, but it's sweet and loving. Like I said in the description, it's usually said to someone dear, it can be preceded by a Thank you (shukran/shukran jazeelan). – user151577 Dec 23 '15 at 9:31
  • I understand. In Hindi, words like shukriya,danyavaad come to my mind. I can also think of a similar phrase, which roughly translates to "The hands that prepared this meal deserves to be adorned with precious jewels!" in English... Showing your love and being grateful, considering this particular scenario, are two different things. You can extend your complements and shower your praise but you have to end by showing your gratitude to your host, IMO. – BiscuitBoy Dec 23 '15 at 9:50
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Aside from general phrases common to both English and Arabic ("thank you" / "I appreciate that" / "You are very kind" / etc.), I suspect that this particular Arabic phrase is unique to Arabic, and that no equally specific turn of phrase was ever established as an idiom in English. (Sadly, because it's a beautiful response.)

However, the flavor of meaning that you are looking for may be found in a phrase that is found in English, such as:

May you always be by my side.

In general, the "May you always..." construction in English is used for heart-felt statements, which seems to fit the tone you are looking for with your example. There are many sweet turns of phrase that begin with these words (see this Google image search for examples; I had to control for a song written years ago with the same title).

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This is a very good expression and deserves importing into English. Feelings of this nature could only be conveyed in English by the addition of words which expressed the depth of gratitude, accompanied by expressions and gestures. 'thank you very much, I am very grateful,' would only express depth of appreciation for the favour, by no means does it convey the thought that the recipient wishes the giver remain by his side. I think it would require at least a paragraph of words in English to include all the nuances of the phrase in Arabic.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage. Your post doesn't answer the question and reads more like a comment. Please make sure that you take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance. You can post a comment when you have more than 50 reputation points. – user140086 Jan 31 '16 at 10:59
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When receiving a very loving act or favor, one might gratefully say, "Never leave me."

However, this would be a somewhat uncommon thing to say, or even considered an overly dramatic response, something you would only really even consider saying to a spouse or maybe best friend or parent.

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