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Learning Arabic - Greetings and Introductions

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 3/2/2012

This article looks at some basic Arabic vocabulary and phrases you might use for greetings and introductions. Arabic is spoken as a first language in over a dozen countries and has many regional dialects. Knowing Arabic can help you get along well in all these regions.

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    If you are a beginner to the Arabic language, here's some basic information about the Arabic language that you might like to know -

    • Arabic is a Semitic language.
    • Formal Arabic has two types - Classical Arabic of the Koran and Modern Standard Arabic used in the news media, speeches and publishing.
    • Colloquial Arabic has many different regional variations. If you know formal Arabic, however, you should be able to make yourself understood anywhere.
    • There are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet.
    • Arabic letters are written connected to each other.
    • The Arabic script is written and read from right to left and horizontally.
    • Arabic numerals are written from left to right.
    • Arabic is widely spoken in the Middle-East and a number of other areas around the world. Some countries where Arabic is spoken in are Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Niger, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Libya, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Cyprus, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

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    Arabic Phrases

    Correct etiquette is important in Arabic culture and people exchange several greetings before getting down to further matters. Here is how you would go about introducing yourself in Arabic -

    Hello - Salam!

    Hello - Ahlan wa Sahlan (to one person) / Ahlan wa Sahlan bekum (several people)

    Hi - Ahlan (informal, one person)/ Ahlan bekum (informal, several people)

    Hello (in response) - Ahlan beek (m.) / Ahlan beeke (f.)

    Welcome - Marhaban

    Peace be upon you - As-salaamu Alaikum

    And on you be peace - Wa `Alaykum As-Salām

    Good Morning - Sabah el Khayr

    Good Morning to you too - Sabah in Noor

    Good Afternoon - Misa’ il Kheer / Nahar ukum Sareed

    Good Afternoon to you too - Misa’ in Noor

    Good Evening - Masaa el Khayr

    Good Evening to you too - Masa in Noor

    Goodnight - Leilatak Sareeda

    How are you? - Kheifa haluka? (m.) / Kheifa haluki? (f.)

    I am fine - Ana bekhair

    I am very well - Taman, bekhair

    Thank you - Shukran / Mashkour

    I thank you - Ashkurak (m.) / Askkurach (f.)

    And you - Wa ant? (m.) / Wa anti? (f.)

    Who are you? - Meen enta? (m.) / Meen enti? (f.)

    What is your name? - Shinhu ismek? (m.) / Shinhu ismech? (f.)

    Mr - Assaiyyad

    Mrs. - Assaiyyida

    Miss - Al-aniseh

    May I introduce myself - Tismahli agaddem nafsi

    My name is XYZ - Ismi XYZ

    This is Mr... - Isma holi anokhat dimalakum assaiyyad...

    This is Mrs... - Isma holi anokhat dimalakum assaiyyida...

    I am a high school/college student - Ana taalibun (m.) / Ana taalibatun (f.)

    I am from the University of XYZ - Ana min jaami'ati XYZ.

    Where are you from? - Min ayna anta? (m.) / Min ayna anti? (f.)

    Which country are you from? - Inti min ayy balad?

    I am from XYZ - Ana min XYZ.

    I am from XYZ city - Ana min madiinati XYZ.

    I do not speak Arabic very well - May tekallam arabi zain.

    Excuse me, do you speak English? - Men fathlek tatakalam Inglesi? (m.) / Men fathleki tatakalam Inglesi? (f.)

    Yes - Na'am.

    No, sorry - Laa, aasif.

    I did not understand - Ma fahamt.

    Can you understand me? - Tifham ley? (m.) / Tifhmeen ley? (f.)

    What did you say? - Mahda kolt?

    Nice to meet you - Tasharrafna.

    See you later - Araka fi ma ba'd. (m.) / Araki fi ma ba'd . (f.)

    Good bye - Ma’a salama.

    Good night - Tosbeho ‘ala khair (m.) / Tosbeheena ‘ala khair (f.)