- Rōmaji transcription of
From Arabic أَنَا (ʾanā) with expressive lengthening of the first syllable (*ʾānā) as generally in Maghrebi dialects; compare Tunisian Arabic آنا (ʾāna), Moroccan Arabic آنا (ʾāna). Eventually from Proto-Semitic *ʾanāku. Prefixed j- occurs more often in Maltese (compare jew); in this case perhaps generalised from a position after the personal suffixes -i, -ni, as in dari jien(a) (“my own house”). Compare Moroccan Arabic يانا (yāna, “I”). This construction is not very common anymore in Maltese, but it is throughout Arabic.
- In a standalone context absent of a conjugated verb, this takes on the present tense first person singular meaning of "to be".