The Handy List of 60 Arabic Phrases to Get By in the Arab Countries
A special thanks to our Arabic teacher, Abdelhady, for his valuable contributions to this article!
Have you ever pictured yourself lying on a Moroccan beach or climbing the imposing mountains of Jordan? Or maybe you’d prefer to walk through the street bazaars in Cairo or try the resorts in Dubai…
Well, why picture it when you can be there, speaking in Arabic!
Wait, isn’t that part of the fantasy?
Because it could be. Though you may have reasons to think it’s impossible to learn Arabic in a few months, you should be perfectly capable of memorizing a few Arabic phrases to get by.
In this post, we’ll compile the most useful Arabic expressions for socializing, shopping, asking for help, and much more. Let’s get started.
In this section, you’ll find essential Arabic phrases that every traveler should know by heart regardless of the reason why they’re traveling.
After all, whether you’re on holiday or on business, you’ll always find yourself in situations in which you need to use the Arabic language to greet people, introduce yourself, exchange courtesies and say “sorry” and “thank you.”
For every Arabic expression, you’ll find both its spelling in Arabic script and its pronunciation.
- What’s your name? = ما اسمك؟ – Ma esmuka?
- My name is ______. = اسمي هو- Esmi huwa
- How are you? = كيف حالك؟ – Kayfahaluka (M)/haluki (F)
- I’m fine = انا جيد- Ana jayyed (M)/jayyedah (F)
- Please = لو سمحت- Law samaht
- Thank you = شكرا لك- Shukran
- You’re welcome= عفوا – Afwan
- I’m sorry = انا آسف- Ana asef (M)/ Ana asefa (F)
With the Arabic phrases above, you should be able to start a conversation, introduce yourself, and show friendliness.
However, you may also find yourself in situations in which you need to use the Arabic language to ask people to do something for you. You know what situations we’re talking about. We’ve all been desperately looking for a bathroom or a service station or found ourselves staring blankly at a foreign person who spoke too fast.
Said at the right moment, the Arabic expressions below can be real life-savers.
- Where is the bathroom? = أين الحمام؟ – AynaAl hammam?
- Where is the service station? = أين محطة الخدمة؟ – AynaMahatat Al khedmah?
- Help! = مساعدة! – Mosa’adah!
- I don’t speak Arabic = انا لا اتكلم العربية- Ana la atakallamu Al arabiyyah.
- Could you speak slower, please? = هل يمكنك التحدث بشكل أبطأ من فضلك؟ – hal yumkinuk altahaduth bishakl ‘abta min fadlika?
- How do you say____ in Arabic? = كيف تقول ______ بالعربية؟ – KayfaTaqul ______ Belarabiyyah?
Just like English, the Arabic language boasts a vast repertoire of Hello’s and Goodbye’s.
How will you know which one to choose? That will depend on two factors. First, you’ll need to look at the watch. Just like it would be a bit weird to say “good morning” at 2 PM in English, similar Arabic expressions are unsuitable if said at the wrong time.
Second, you need to consider the level of formality that is expected of you in different situations. After all, you wouldn’t say “‘Sup?” the first time you meet your parents-in-law, right? Arabic phrases of this kind are no different.
- Good morning = الخيرصباح – sabah alkhayr
- Good afternoon = مساءالخير – masa’ alkhayr
- Good evening = مساءالخير – masa’ alkhayr
- It’s a pleasure to meet you = مندواعي سروري مقابلتك – min dawaei sururi muqabalatuk
- Have a nice day = أتمنىلك يوم سعيد – ‘atamanaa lak yawm saeid
- Hi = أهلا- Ahlan
- Hey = مهلا- Mahlan
- What’s up? = ماأخبارك؟ – Ma Akhbarakura?
- How’s it going? = كيفتجري الامور؟ – Kayfa Tajri Alumur?
- Nice to meet you = سعيدبلقائك – Ana Saeed Beliqa’ak (M) / Belqa’ak (F)
Now, you’re not here only to learn Arabic greetings. Why stick to “Good morning” and “Good evening” when you can have much more meaningful conversations?
If you really want to show locals that you appreciate the Arabic language, learn a few Arabic expressions to talk about your career and ask them about theirs. This way, you’ll get people to trust you and you’re much more likely to make new friends.
Who knows? You might even find a new business partner!
- What do you do for a living? = ماذاتعمل لكسب عيشك؟ – Matha Ta’amalu Likasb Ayshuka?
- Where do you work? = أينتعمل؟ – Ayna Ta’amalu (M) / Ta’amali (F)?
- What is your occupation? = ماهيمهنتك؟ – Ma heya Mehnatuka (M) / Mehnatuki (F)?
- I work as a_______ = أناأعمل ك _____ – Ana A’amalu Ka _____
- Businessperson = رجل اعمال- Rajul aemaal
- Doctor = طبيب- Tabeeb
- Nurse = ممرض- Mumaredh (M) / Mumaredhah (F)
- Cook = يطبخ- Yatbukh
- Veterinarian = طبيب بيطري- Tabeeb BayTari
- Teacher = مدرس- Mudaris
- Researcher = الباحث- Albahith
- Store clerk = موظف في متجر- Muwathaf Fi Matjar
- Driver = سائق- Saa’eq
- Web developer = مطور ويب- Mutawir wib
- I’m a freelancer = أنا بالقطعة- Ana BelqeTa’ah
- I have my own business = لدي عملي- Ladayya A’amali
- I’m looking for a job = أنا ابحث عن عمل- Ana Abhathu A’n A’mal
Unfortunately, traveling to a foreign country is not always fun. Sometimes, you’re forced to communicate things like “I can’t find my passport” (ouch) or simply ask for help so you won’t take the wrong bus.
The following Arabic expressions will help you survive in difficult situations.
- I’m lost = أنا تائه. – Ana Ta’eh
- Do you speak English? = هل تتكلم بالإنجليزية؟ – HalTatakallam Beler?
- Where’s the_____? = اين ال_____؟ – Ayna Al _____?
- Train station = محطة القطار- Mahatat alqitar
- Bus station = محطة الباص- Mahatat albas
- Bathroom = حمام- hHamaam
- I can’t find______ = لا أجد- La ‘ajid
- My passport = جواز السفر الخاص بي- Jawaz alsafar alkhasi bi
- My hotel = فندقي- Funduqi
- My group = مجموعتي- Majmueati
- Does this bus go to______? = هل تذهب هذه الحافلة إلى______؟ – Hal tadhhab hadhih alhafilat ‘iilaa
- I’m allergic to______ = ______ لدىحساسيه من – Hal Tath.hab Hathehy Alhafelah ela ______.
- Shrimp =جمبري – Jumbiri
- Nuts = المكسرات- Almukasirat
- Fish = سمكة- Samaka
- Milk = حليب- Halib
- Wheat = قمح- Qamh
- Can I use your phone? It’s an emergency = هل يمكنني استخدام هاتفك؟ إنها حالة طارئة- Hal Yumkenani estekhdam Hatefak? Innaha Halah Tare’a
- Police! = شرطة! – Shurtah!
Of course, not everything has to be so dramatic all the time. Maybe you’re just cold and all you need is to ask for the price of a scarf. Or you’ve taken a vegetarian friend for dinner and want to impress them by asking the waiter if they have veggie options using Arabic phrases. No matter what situation you may find yourself in, these miscellaneous phrases are worth writing down.
- I want a ticket to ______, please. = أريد تذكرة إلى ______ من فضلك. – UriduTadhkarah ela ______ min fadlika.
- How much does this cost? = كم يكلف هذا؟ – Kam yukalif hadha?
- Can I use your Wi-Fi? = هل يمكنني استخدام شبكةWi-Fi الخاصة بك؟ – Hal yumkinuni astikhdam shabakat Al Wi-Fi Alkhasah bika (M) / biki (F)?
- Do you have any vegetarian dishes? = هل لديك أي أطباق نباتية؟ – Hal ladayk ‘ayu ‘atbaq nabateyyan?
- Can I have the bill, please? = هل يمكنني أن احصل على الفاتورة من فضلك؟ – Hal yumkinuni ‘an ahsul AlaAlfatorah min fadlika?
As we already said, your knowledge of the Arabic language might lead you to find new work opportunities.
But do you know what else might happen? You might fall in love. After all, isn’t traveling all about opening your heart to new possibilities?
We know what you’re thinking. “But I’ll only be there for a couple of weeks!”. Well, we’re not saying you’re bound to find the love of your life. But if you do, believe this: you’ll want to have a big arsenal of Arabic phrases to express your feelings.
- I love you = انا احبك- Ohebuka (M) / Ohebuki (F)
- I miss you = افتقدك- Aftaqeduka (M) / Aftaqeduki (F)
- I’m crazy about you = أنا مجنون بك- Ana Majnun Bika (M) / Biki (F)
- You take my breath away = كنت تأخذ أنفاسي بعيدا- Kunt takhudh ‘anfasi Ba’eedan
- You’re my dream come true = كنت حلمي يتحقق- Kunt hilmi yatahaqaq
- You look great today and every day = تبدو رائعًا اليوم وكل يوم- Tabdu ra’ean alyawm wakula yawm
- I want a lifetime with you = اريد العمر معك- Uridu Al Umru Ma’ak
- I’m the luckiest person in the world = أنا أسعد شخص في العالم- ‘ana ‘asead shakhs fi Ala’alam
We hope you’ve found our little list helpful.
If you want to learn Arabic in-depth, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll pair you up with the best native tutor so you can work on your pronunciation and vocabulary, and start expressing your own ideas in the Arabic language.
Do you have any questions about our methodology? Send us a message and we’ll make sure you get an immediate answer.