A•ni means “I,” ma•a•rich means “appreciate,” and ot•cha means “you” (for male) and o•tach is “you” (for female). The root word is e•rech (value).
Although you don’t hear this expression too often in Israel, it is a great feeling to hear it. In Israel, just like in the US, we are becoming less generous with compliments. It is clear why this expression may be rare in the corporate work environment. Compliments to employees have an immediate implication – how would the management manifest its appreciation? By what means? There is a very clear answer to this question that needs no words. The problem is that corporations tend to refrain from sharing more of this appreciation with employees. The results: hearing fewer and fewer words that are so essential to our wellbeing, e.g., “I appreciate you.” How about co-workers? Well, here comes the difficulty in uttering these words in a competitive environment.
Perhaps the interpersonal setting would be the easiest place to use words of appreciation more freely. It is so in your life? Do you say these words often? Do you hear it when you feel you deserve it?
Since it is so important to each one of us, why not be the first to say it today to someone who deserves it. Generosity means qualifying someone to hear a compliment from you for doing a good deed that may not be as big as conquering the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro or buying you a new car for your birthday. Very few people will scorn you for appreciating their small-scale deeds and achievements. Yes, you may try it at any time, anywhere, with no age limits and no known adverse side effects.
If you are humble enough to admit that this applies to you too, and even better, willing to practice giving a compliment, then a•ni ma•a•rich ot•cha, my friend (if you are a male) and a•ni ma•a•rich o•tach (if you are a female).
To wrap it up in a clear way:
If a female speaks to a male, she says: a•ni ma•a•ri•cha ot•cha
If a female speaks to a female, she says: a•ni ma•a•ri•cha o•tach
If a male speaks to a female, he says: a•ni ma•a•rich o•tach
If a male speaks to a male, he says: a•ni ma•a•rich ot•cha
All say the same thing: I appreciate you!
And I, appreciate you (plural) for taking the time to learn these words: a•ni ma•a•rich et•chem (et•chem is ‘you’ for plural males and females together).