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.
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.)
- You can download a vocabulary list of words and phrases used in this article.