60 Basic Arabic Phrases You Need to Know (Common Phrases)

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

The Arabic-speaking world is full of interesting history, rich culture, delicious cuisine and beautiful landscapes. 

Therefore, it is no wonder that people want to visit Arab countries and immerse themselves in all that they have to offer. 

Of course, the best way to fully immerse yourself in any country is to speak the language.

So, before you set off on your travels to the many wonderful countries of the Arab world, it is a great idea to learn some useful words and phrases to help you get by. 

Not only is learning Arabic a good idea to help you out in daily situations, but it is also a sign of respect and courtesy since you have made the effort to learn the language. 

Although learning the whole Arabic language before you set off on a trip is slightly intense, it is easy to learn and memorize a couple of useful phrases that will allow you to engage with locals. 

This guide will take you through the most useful Arabic phrases and expressions for when you are shopping, asking for help, socializing and much more.  

Basic Arabic Phrases

The first Arabic phrases you should learn are the basic introductory questions and answers.

These phrases will come in handy for any traveler who is visiting the Arab world and shouldn’t be too difficult to learn.  

Read  7 Ways to Say You’re Welcome in Arabic

Greeting people and exchanging courteous words are the very basics of day-to-day interactions and learning these will demonstrate to native speakers that you are a polite and kind person.  

Each phrase in this guide is written in Arabic as well as a romanized version to help with pronunciation.

English Arabic Pronunciation 
What’s your name?ما اسمك؟ Ma esmuka?
My name is ______اسمي هوEsmi huwa
How are you? كيف حالك؟Kayfahaluka (M)/haluki (F)
I’m fine انا جيدAna jayyed (M)/jayyedah (F)
Please لو سمحت Law samaht
Thank youشكرا لكShukran
You’re welcomeعفوا Afwan
I’m sorry انا آسف Ana asef (M)/ Ana asefa (F)

The phrases above will allow you to initiate a conversation, introduce yourself and show friendliness in Arabic all of which will go a long way as a non-native speaker. 

There will also be situations where knowing Arabic will be very useful when you want to ask someone a question. 

Knowing the following basic phrases will help when you really need to get over a language barrier to communicate something important. 

English Arabic Pronunciation 
Where is the bathroom?أين الحمام؟ AynaAl hammam?
Where is the service station?أين محطة الخدمة؟AynaMahatat Al khedmah?
Help!مساعدة! Mosa’adah!
I don’t speak Arabicانا لا اتكلم العربية Ana la atakallamu Al arabiyyah.
Could you speak slower, please?هل يمكنك التحدث بشكل أبطأ من فضلك؟ hal yumkinuk altahaduth bishakl ‘abta min fadlika?
How do you say____ in Arabic?كيف تقول ______ بالعربية؟ KayfaTaqul ______ Belarabiyyah?

Common Arabic Greetings

Greeting people is the easiest way to use the Arabic language to interact with others

Read  Best Way to Learn Arabic - 10 Expert Tips

Learning greetings is a great way to initiate a conversation and can also be said in passing to brighten someone’s day. 

Much like in English, there are many different ways to say “hello” and “goodbye” in Arabic and it is good to know which greeting to use in what context. 

Firstly, you need to make sure you are saying your greetings at the right time of the day as it wouldn’t make sense to say a morning greeting in the afternoon. 

Also, you need to consider the level of formality of a situation as you do not want to insult someone by greeting them too casually. 

Formal Arabic Greetings

English Arabic Pronunciation 
Good morningالخيرصباح sabah alkhayr
Good afternoonمساءالخير masa’ alkhayr
Good eveningمساءالخير masa’ alkhayr
It’s a pleasure to meet youمندواعي سروري مقابلتك min dawaei sururi muqabalatuk
Have a nice dayأتمنىلك يوم سعيد ‘atamanaa lak yawm saeid

Informal Arabic Greetings

English Arabic Pronunciation 
Hiأهلا Ahlan
What’s up?ماأخبارك؟ Ma Akhbarakura?
How’s it going?كيفتجري الامور؟ Kayfa Tajri Alumur?
Nice to meet you سعيدبلقائك Ana Saeed Beliqa’ak (M) / Belqa’ak (F)

Arabic Phrases to Talk About Your Career

When you are visiting an Arabic-speaking country, you will surely want to go beyond the initial greetings and have longer conversations. 

Asking someone about their career in Arabic is a great way to connect with people since jobs are usually what people do for most of their days so they will have plenty to talk about. 

Asking these questions will also show that you are interested in other people’s lives and allow you to go beyond surface-level interactions. 

Read  Arabic Alphabet: A Complete Beginner's Guide

Learning some phrases so you can talk about your own job in Arabic is also a good idea since it will allow a conversation to flow and because the vocabulary is specific and consistent so will be relatively easy to remember. 

English Arabic Pronunciation 
What do you do for a living?ماذاتعمل لكسب عيشك؟Matha Ta’amalu Likasb Ayshuka?
Where do you work? أينتعمل؟ Ayna Ta’amalu (M) / Ta’amali (F)?
What is your occupation?  ماهيمهنتك؟ Ma heya Mehnatuka (M) / Mehnatuki (F)?
I have my own business   لدي عمليLadayya A’amali
I’m a freelancerأنا بالقطعة Ana BelqeTa’ah
I’m looking for a job أنا ابحث عن عملAna Abhathu A’n A’mal
I work as a_______أناأعمل ك _____ Ana A’amalu Ka _____
Businessperson  رجل اعمال Rajul aemaal
Doctor طبيبTabeeb
Nurse ممرضMumaredh (M) / Mumaredhah (F)
Cookيطبخ Yatbukh
Veterinarianطبيب بيطريTabeeb BayTari
Teacher مدرس Mudaris
Researcherالباحث Albahith
Store clerk موظف في متجرMuwathaf Fi Matjar
Web developerمطور ويبMutawir wib

Survival Arabic Phrases for Your Next Trip

There are certain phrases that are vital to know in Arabic when you want to travel between places or need help finding your way around. 

When you can’t find your bus, hotel or even passport, being able to communicate in Arabic will certainly help you out. 

These phrases will ensure your survival in those stressful situations where things just aren’t going your way and you need a bit of local wisdom. 

English Arabic Pronunciation
I’m lostأنا تائه Ana Ta’eh
Do you speak English? هل تتكلم بالإنجليزية؟  HalTatakallam Beler?
Where’s the_____?اين ال_____؟ Ayna Al _____?
Train station محطة القطارMahatat alqitar
Bus station محطة الباص Mahatat albas
Bathroom حمامHamaam
I can’t find______ لا أجدLa ‘ajid
My passport  جواز السفر الخاص بيJawaz alsafar alkhasi bi
My hotel فندقيFunduqi
My groupمجموعتي Majmueati
Does this bus go to______? هل تذهب هذه الحافلة إلى______؟ Hal tadhhab hadhih alhafilat ‘iilaa
I’m allergic to______ ____ لدي حساسية منLadaya hasasia tan min
Nuts  المكسراتAlmukasirat
Shrimp  جمبريJumbiri
Milk  حليبHalib
Wheatقمح Qamh
Can I use your phone? It’s an emergencyهل يمكنني استخدام هاتفك؟ إنها حالة طارئةHal Yumkenani estekhdam Hatefak? Innaha Halah Tare’a
Police!شرطة! Shurtah!

Not all phrases that you learn in Arabic will need to be so serious and it is good to have a mix of different phrases including those for more casual situations as well. 

Sometimes you will want to ask a question in Arabic simply to make life easier and because you are in a life-or-death situation. 

There are countless situations where knowing Arabic can be useful and we have listed some different phrases for these miscellaneous moments below. 

English Arabic Pronunciation
I want a ticket to ______, please.أريد تذكرة إلى ______ من فضلك. UriduTadhkarah ela ______ min fadlika.
How much does this cost? كم يكلف هذا؟ Kam yukalif hadha?
Can I use your Wi-Fi? هل يمكنني استخدام شبكةWi-Fi الخاصة بك؟  Hal yumkinuni astikhdam shabakat Al Wi-Fi Alkhasah bika (M) / biki (F)?
Do you have any vegetarian dishes?هل لديك أي أطباق نباتية؟  Hal ladayk ‘ayu ‘atbaq nabateyyan?
Can I have the bill, please? هل يمكنني أن احصل على الفاتورة من فضلك؟ Hal yumkinuni ‘an ahsul AlaAlfatorah min fadlika?

Arabic Phrases to Express Your Love

Opening yourself up to new people across the Arabic-speaking world by learning the language will ensure you that are able to have memorable experiences in countless beautiful countries. 

Aside from the scenery, who knows, you may also fall in love with someone that you meet while on your travels! 

If you do end up opening your heart to someone in the process of opening yourself to this new language and culture, you are going to want to express your love properly. 

Of course, you may think that you won’t need these phrases, but imagine how useful they will be if you do ever need them. 

English Arabic Pronunciation 
I love youانا احبكOhebuka (M) / Ohebuki (F)
I miss you افتقدكAftaqeduka (M) / Aftaqeduki (F)
I’m crazy about youأنا مجنون بكAna Majnun Bika (M) / Biki (F)
You take my breath away كنت تأخذ أنفاسي بعيدا Kunt takhudh ‘anfasi Ba’eedan
You’re my dream come trueكنت حلمي يتحققKunt hilmi yatahaqaq
You look great today and every day تبدو رائعًا اليوم وكل يومTabdu ra’ean alyawm wakula yawm
I want a lifetime with you  اريد العمر معكUridu Al Umru Ma’ak
I’m the luckiest person in the world أنا أسعد شخص في العالم‘ana ‘asead shakhs fi Ala’alam


All that is left to do now is learn these phrases fully and set off on a trip to one of the many Arabic speaking countries to practice what you have learnt. 

With these phrases, you will be able to show respect for the language and culture of an Arabic-speaking country by using some basic words and greetings. 

Hopefully, you will be able to go beyond this and have small conversations with people too and who knows where that could lead! 

Make sure to continue your study of the Arabic language so you can build greater connections with others and communicate with ease when abroad.

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