I was learning Japanese a few years ago and a phrase I picked up (I think from the Pimsleur program) was "Yee ka ka desu ka" (or maybe the "Yee" was written as "ii" to pronounce as a short form of "ee"), to mean "how are you?"
I then said this to some Japanese people I met. Some say it can mean "how are you", but some showed a "what is it?" facial expression and when I tell them what I meant to say, told me it can't mean "how are you". Can this phrase mean it? Or perhaps only in a certain context or between really close friends who saw each other recently?