Arabic is spoken in over 20 countries in the Middle-east and Northern Africa. Over 200 million speak the language and it’s the language the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam, was written in. There are many dialects and depending on where you are from you might not understand each dialect of Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the easiest of the dialects and it’s the most understood. Any plans on visiting any of these countries and mingling with the locals? Well, don’t go without these basic survival phrases!

Survival Arabic Phrases

Basic Phrases

Salam! سلام – Hello!

Kaifa haloka/ haloki ( female) كيف حالك؟ – How are you?

Ana bekhair, shokran! أنا بخير شكرا – I’m fine, thanks!

Wa ant? / Wa anti? (female) و أنت؟ – And you?

Jayed/ ‘aadee جيد / عادي – Good/ So-So.

Maljadeed? مالجديد؟ – What’s new?

Lashai jadeed لا شيء جديد – Nothing much

Men ayna anta/ anti (female)? من أين أنت؟ – Where are you from?

Ana men (amreeka/ almaghrib) أنا من (أمريكا/ المغرب) – I’m from (the U.S/ Morocco)

Shokran (jazeelan) (شكرا (جزيلا – Thank you (very much)!

Al’afw ألعفو – You’re welcome!

Hal beemkanek mosa’adati? هل بإمكانك مساعدتي؟ – Can you help me?

Ada’tu tareeqi! أضعت طريقي! أضعت طريقي! – I’m lost

ila al-ya-meen – إلى اليَمين – to the right

ila al-ya-saar – إلى اليَسار – to the left

leef – لف – turn!

bejanib – بجانب – next to

Ayna ajedu (al merhaad/ assaidaliah)? أين أجد (المرحاض/ الصيدلية)؟ – Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)?

Kam howa thamanoh? كم هو ثمنه؟ – How much is this?

Men fathlek/ fathleki (female) (th as in that) من فضلك – Excuse me (to ask for something)


1 – wahad : واحد

2 – tnen : إثنان

3 – tlete ثلاثة

4 – arba’a أربعة

5 – khamseh خمسة

6 – sitteh ستة

7 – sab’a سبعة

8 – tmene ثمانية

9 – tis’a تسعة

10 -‘ashra عشرة

Now try translating the following basic conversations for practice:

How did you do? Think you can learn Arabic? Could you translate these basic conversations? I’m sure you did great. Still not confident in your Arabic? No worries, it takes time and practice. See you later (Araka/ Araki (female) fi ma ba’d أراك في مابعد)!

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