Arabic can be a complex and tricky language to master, however it is fairly easy to learn some common words and phrases to help you along on your holiday.  The local people just love it when you attempt to speak their language and are keen to help you with pronunciation etc. and also help you to learn new words. 

You will find a key to pronunciation at the end of this list, which another TA member has very kindly agreed the use of.  In conjunction with this list, please also see the traveller article on Egyptian food http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g...

 

GREETINGS

Hello:  ahlan w-sahlan

(response)  ahlan bik (m) / biki (f) / bikum (pl)

More formal Hello:  assalaamu aleikum

(response) wa-aleikum assalaam

Hi:  marhaba or sa‘eeda

How are you?  izzayak (m) / izzayik (f)

To say that you are fine:  kwayyis (m) / kwayyisa (f)

What is your name?  ismak (m) / ismik (f) ey?

To say what your name is:  ismi …(your name)

Nice to meet you:  fursa sa'eeda

Good morning:  sabah il-kheer  (morning of goodness)

(response) sabah in-nur ( morning of light)

Good evening:  masa' il-kheer (evening of goodness)

(response)  masa' in-nur (evening of light)

Goodnight:  tisbah ‘ala kheer (m) / tisbahi ‘ala kheer  (f)

And to you:  wenta bikheer (m) / wenti bikheer (f)

Thanks be to God:  il-hamdu lillah

Goodbye:  ma‘a salaama

 

BASICS

Yes:  aiwa or na‘am

No:  la

Please:  min fadlak (m) / min  fadlik (f)

Thank you:  shukran

You’re welcome:  afwan

Sorry:  aasif (m) / asfa (f)

God Willing:  inshallah

Do you speak....titkallim (m) / titkallimi (f)  …

            ‘arabi? Arabic?

            ingleezi? English?

            fransawi? French?

To say that you speak English:  ana batkallim ingleezi

To say that you don’t speak Arabic:  ana ma-batkallim ‘arabi

To say that you don’t understand:  ana mush fahem (m) / ana mush fahma (f)

To say that you don’t know:  ana mush ‘aarif (m) / ana mush ‘aarfa (f)

It’s not your business:  mush shughlak

To say that you do not wish to be touched:  sibni le wadi!

Be quietuskut

Enough/Finished: Khalas

Let’s go:  yallah

Slowly:  baraahah

Never Mind:  maalesh

It doesn’t matter:  mush muhim

There’s no problem:  ma feesh mushkila

Is it possible?  mumkin?

It’s not possible:  mush mumkin

What’s the time:  issa‘a kam?


DIRECTIONS

Where is..... feyn…

            funduk (name) ? (name) hotel?

            mat'am (name)? (name) restaurant?

            mahattat il-autobees? the bus station?

            mahattat il-atr? the train station?

            el-mogaf? the service taxi depot?

            il-mataar? the airport?

            il-mustashfa? the hospital?

            il-twalet? the toilet?

Left:  Shimaal

Right:  yimeen

Straight ahead: ‘ala tool

Near: areeb

Far: Ba’eed

Here: hina

There: Hinak

 

SHOPPING

Do you have?  fi ‘andak (m) / fi ‘andik (f) … ?

            … sigaara/sagayir … cigarette(s)

            … kibreet … matches

            … gurnal … newspaper

To say that you want something: ayyiz haaga (m) / ayyza haaga (f)

             tanya else

            ahsan min da … better than this

            arkhas min da … cheaper

            zay da … like this

But:    wa-laakin 

Bigger / Smaller:  akbar/asghar

How much:  bi-kam

It’s too expensive:  da ghaali awi

That’s fine:  maashi

 

ACCOMMODATION

Do you have a room?    fi ‘andak ouda? (m) / fi ‘andik ouda? (f)

To say that you would like to see the room:  ayyiz ashuf il-owad  (m) / ayyza ashuf il-owad (f)

Is there:   fi … ?

            … mayya sukhna? … hot water?

            … doush? … a shower?

            … balcona? … a balcony?

            … takyeef hawa? … air conditioning?

            … telifoon? … a telephone?

How much is the bill? kam il-hisab?

 

MONEY

Where is the bank?  feyn il-bank?

To say that you want to change....  ayyiz aghayyar (m) /ayyza aghayyar (f)

             … floos … money

             … ginay sterlini … British pounds

             … dolar amrikani … American dollars

             … euro … euros

             … shikaat siyahiyya … traveller's cheques

 

 NUMBERS


No.

    Arabic

Symbol

0

    sifr

   ٠

1

    wahid

   ١

2

    itnayn

   ٢  

3

    talaata

   ٣ 

4

    arb‘a

   ٤

5

    khamsa

   ٥ 

6

    sitta

   ٦ 

7

    sab‘a

   ٧ 

8

    tamaanya

   ٨ 

9

    dis‘a

   ٩ 

10

    ‘ashara

   ١٠

11  

    hi-daar-shar

   ١١

12  

    it-naa-shar

   ١٢

13  

    ta-lat-taa-shar

   ١٣

14  

    arb’a-taa-shar

   ١٤

15   

    kha-mas-taa-shar

   ١٥

16   

    sit-taa-shar

   ١٦

17   

    saba-taa-shar

   ١٧

18   

    taman-taa-shar

   ١٨

19   

    dis’a-taa-shar

   ١٩

20   

    ash-reen

   ٢٠

30   

    ta-la-teen

   ٣٠

40   

    ar-ba-een

   ٤٠

50   

    kham-seen

   ٥٠

60   

    sit-teen

   ٦٠

70   

   sab-een

   ٧٠

80   

   ta-man-yeen

   ٨٠

90   

    dis-een

   ٩٠

100 

   mey-ya

   ١٠٠


 PRONUNCIATION

This phonetic guide should help you pronounce the words:

ai     as in eye

aa    as in bad but lengthened

aw   as in rose

'a     glottal stop as in bottle

‘a     as when asked to say ah by the doctor

ey/ay    as in day

ee    as in feet

gh    like the French r (back of the throat)

kh    as in Scottish loch

Note that every letter should be pronounced, and that double consonants should always be pronounced separately.