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Useful Phrases To Know in Arabic

Useful Phrases To Know in Arabic

Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Those who learn Arabic will better understand the culture. Learning some phrases can help you connect with native speakers. Here are some of the most useful phrases to know in Arabic:

Greeting Phrases

There are many different ways to say greet someone in Arabic. The phrase السلام عليكم (as-salām alaykum), or “peace be upon you,” is a respectful greeting used in every Arabic-speaking country. If this phrase is said to you, the traditional response is وعليكم السلام (wa ʿalaykum as-salām), which means “and peace be upon you.”

Here are some less formal ways to say hello:

  • Hello: مرحبا: (Marhaba)
  • Hi: أهلا – (ahlan)
  • Welcome/How do you do: أهلا وسهلا (ʿahlan wa-sahlan)

In many parts of the Arab world, صباح الخير (sabāh ul-hayr) is the most common way to say “good morning.” You will often hear the response صباح النور (sabāh an-nūr)which literally means “good light!”

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A universal way to say goodbye is مع السلامة (ma’a salama). The literal meaning translates to “with peace”, but is used the same way as goodbye in English. If you won’t see the person again (or if you won’t see them for a while), you should use وداعاً (wadaa’an), which means “farewell.”

Asking for Help

Any person traveling should know how to ask for help. Here are some common phrases and questions:

Excuse me: عَفواً (Afwan)

Could you help me: هَل يُمكِنُكَ مُساعَدَتي (Hal yumkinuka musāʿadatī)

  • What is your name: ما اسمك (ma ismuka)
  • What time is it: كم الساع (kam as-saa)
  • Where: أين (ayna)
  • North: شَمال (aamal)
  • South: جَنوب (ganūb)
  • East: شَرق (sarq)
  • West: غَرب (garb)


The Basics: Counting from 1-10

Here are the numbers in Arabic that you should to memorize first:

  • One – واحد (waahid)
  • Two – إثنان (ithnaan)
  • Three – ثلاثة (thalatha)
  • Four – أربعة (arbaa)
  • Five – خمسة (khamsa)
  • Six – ستة (sitta)
  • Seven – سبعة (saba`a)
  • Eight – ثمانية (thamaaniya)
  • Nine – تسعة (tis’a)
  • Ten – عشرة (ashra)

Numbers 11-20 + Dozens and Hundreds

The numbers beyond ten follow a pattern. Eleven is الحادي عشر‎ (al-hādī asr),  which literally means “one and ten.” Twelve is الثاني عشر‎ (ath-thaani ashr), or “two and ten.” Thirteen is الثالث عشر‎ (ath-thaalith ashr), or “two and ten” etc.

If you want to say “dozen,” you would say الدقيقة (ad-daqiiqa) or الجمعية (al-jamiyya). To say hundred or hundredth, you say المائة (al-ma’a) or المئوي (al-mu’awwiyya).

Conversation Phrases

You should learn how express your feelings in Arabic. These phrases will help you with small talk:

  • I like you: انا معجب بك (Ana muejab bik)
  • I don’t like it: أنا لا أحب ذلك (Ana la ‘uhibu dhalik )
  • I am very impressed: أنا منبهر جدا’ (Ana munbhir jidana)
  • I am interested: ‘أنا مهتم Ana muhtamun)
  • What do you like doing best: ايه اكتر حاجة بتحب تعملها (ayih aktir hajatan bitahbi taemaluha)

Learn Arabic Phrases

Learning phrases in Arabic can go a long way in building rapport with native speakers and demonstrating your commitment to cultural competence. While on your journey to learn Arabic, you may find many different dialects and variations of the language. With increasing exposure and practice, you may become more comfortable understanding and speaking Arabic fluently in no time.



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