Common Arabic Phrases

Learning a few common Arabic phrases is important before you arrive in a nation that speaks this language. You'll pick up some of the commonly used phrases as you go, but you may want to take an Arabic class before your trip.

Basic Tips For Learning Arabic
When you set out to learn a foreign language, even the basics of the language, you'll want to find a way to use the new words and phrases you are learning. A class will afford you the opportunity to hear the words spoken and to practice speaking with a decent accent and pronunciation. If you can't squeeze in an Arabic class, try using an online class, audio CDs or an Arabic online forum to learn some basic phrases before you travel.

Arabic characters are especially difficult for English-speakers because of the interesting pronunciations of the characters. For example, the letters S, T, D and Z have two very different pronunciations: One is a light, short sound, and the other is a heavier, thicker sound.

Words To Memorize Before Your Trip
Ah-lan: Hello

Sa-bah il kheer: Good morning!
When you greet someone, you will want to breathe hard when you pronounce the "h" in this word at the end of "bah" so that you linger for an extra millisecond on that part of the greeting.

Maa-sa-lae-ma: Goodbye!
Emphasize the "lae," which should sound like the word "lair," without the "r" tacked on the end.

Shuk-ran: Thank you.
It is important to be gracious and thank people for even small courtesies when you are a guest in a country and do not speak the language well. Be sure to use this phrase liberally.

La shuk-ran: No, thank you.
You can say this with the "la" cut very short, like a sharp "no," or you can actually leave off the "la" and just use a different emphasis on the word "shuk-ran." You will need to listen to natives to hear the difference in emphasis, but this is a common refusal in Arabic countries.

Min fad-lak: Please when speaking to a man

Min fad-lik: Please when speaking to a woman
Arabic is gender-sensitive, so use the proper form with the proper gender.

Hal Tat-ka-lam Al En-glea-ziah?: Do you speak English?

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