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Egyptian Revolution Day July 23: The Egypt National Day

Egypt’s national day, Egyptian Revolution Day, is considered one of the most important holidays in the country and for good reason. It marks the end of monarchy in Egypt as the result of a coup against then-King Farouk, who lost the throne as a result.

Learn more about the Egyptian Revolution and Egypt’s Revolution Day with ArabicPod101.com!

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1. Why Should You Know About Egyptian Revolution Day?

Egyptian Revolution Day is the single most important holiday in Egypt, commemorating the end of Egypt’s monarchy in 1952 and the events leading up to it. To fully grasp Egypt’s culture—and therefore its language—one must first understand the country’s origins and history, for these things also reveal the heart of Egypt and its people.

In this article, we’ll cover information about the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 as well as the holiday that centers on it. Learn about the coup of this 1952 Revolution, and the celebrations that take place on Egypt Revolution Day, July 23—and learn some valuable Arabic vocabulary while you’re at it to help you celebrate the Egypt Revolution Day holiday!

2. What is the Egyptian Revolution?

The Egyptian Revolution of 1952 marks a time in Egypt’s history that will forever hold great significance to its people. This Revolution ultimately ended Egypt’s monarchy, removing its then-King Farouk from power. This allowed the country to become an independent country, setting it on the path to becoming what it is today.

The 1952 Revolution was largely the result of the combined effort of Muhammad Naguib, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and the Free Officers Movement they took charge of. This powerful and effective coup caused King Farouk to lose power, giving Egypt the freedom to become independent.

This success had quite a domino effect in the political atmosphere of Egypt. On top of ending the country’s monarchy, it eventually managed to rid it of British occupation and began the Nasser Era.

The Egyptian Revolution of 1952, therefore, deserves its title as national day of Egypt and its widespread celebration. Read on for more information on the Revolution Day Egypt holds so dear.

3. When is Arabic Revolution Day?

January 23 is Revolution Day

The Egyptian Revolution is celebrated each year on July 23, and is considered the national day of Egypt.

4. How is the Egyptian Revolution Celebrated?

Egyptian Flag is Flown

Egyptian Revolution Day is, of course, a public holiday in Egypt; this means that most schools close and the majority of people don’t have to work.

In Egypt, the 1952 Revolution is widely celebrated. Even before the holiday officially begins, those of high status prepare and give speeches commemorating and honoring this great day in Egypt’s history. Further, there are often street celebrations taking place well before the actual holiday begins.

5. Three Attempts at New Government

Did you know that from January 27, 1952 to July 20, 1952, King Farouk attempted to revive governmental systems through three different politicians? These politicians were Ali Maher, Ahmed Naguib El-Hilali, and Hussein Sirri.

Each of their governments ultimately failed within a very short amount of time.

6. Must-know Vocab for Egyptian Revolution Day

King Farouk (al-malik fārūq)

There’s some vocabulary you should know to celebrate Egyptian Revolution Day:

  • يوليو (yūlyū) — July
  • عيد ثورة 23 من يوليو (ʿīd ṯawrat al-ṯaliṯ wal ʿišrīn min yūlyū) — Revolution Day
  • الثالث و العشرين (al-ṯāliṯ wa al-ʿišrīn) — Twenty-third
  • ثورة (ṯawrah) — Revolution
  • جمهورية (ǧumhūriyyah) — Republic
  • محمد نجيب (muḥammad naǧīb) — Mohamed Naguib
  • مملكة (mamlakah) — Kingdom
  • الملك فاروق (al-malik fārūq) — King Farouk
  • جمال عبد الناصر (ǧamal- ʿabd al-nāṣir) — Gamal Abdel Naser
  • حركة الضباط الأحرار (ḥarakah al-ḍubbāṭ al-ʾḥrār) — Free Officers Movement
  • إنقلاب (ʾinqilāb) — Coup d’état

If you want to practice your pronunciation, be sure to visit our Revolution Day vocabulary list, where you can listen to audio files alongside each word.

Conclusion

Now you know a little more about the Egyptian Revolution Day; what do you think about this holiday? We hope you found this article helpful and relevant, and learned some new vocabulary words along the way.

If you want to learn even more Arabic, be sure to visit us at ArabicPod101.com. We have insightful and fun blog posts and vocabulary lists on just about any topic! You can also download our MyTeacher app for a one-on-one learning experience, and chat with other Arabic language-learners in our online community!

We’re here to make your Arabic-learning journey an exciting one, filled with support. We wish you well as you continue deciphering Arabic and learning about its culture!

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14 Unique and Untranslatable Arabic Words and Expressions

There’s no way this is the first article about untranslatable words you’ve ever seen (maybe you’ve even seen articles about untranslatable Arabic words already).

You may even be thinking: “How can you write an article about untranslatable words without explaining, and then just translating, each word?”

You’ve got me there.

But to ease your doubt about untranslatable words in Arabic, keep in mind that there’s a progression to how this works. There’s also a progression involved in realizing what it means for a word to be “untranslatable,” which I’ll try to outline below:

First, you’re amazed at the world of languages out there, and you love the idea of certain words that have no equivalents in expressing meaning.

Then, you get a little jaded and think that no matter what the concept is, there’s always going to be some way to explain it to others.

But then, you get more involved with other cultures and really start to use a very different language in a natural way, and eventually realize—there really are some things that are extremely difficult to describe in other words.

It’s that diversity and that spark of awe for the human race that should keep you coming back to articles like these, and learning new things.

That said, here’s our list of untranslatable Arabic words! Here, you’ll find beautiful untranslatable Arabic words in Arabic language to color your conversation like a native. I’ll also be roughly converting untranslatable Arabic words to English words, so you can have an excellent grasp of how to use them.

Let’s learn some untranslatable words in Arabic vocabulary!

Table of Contents

  1. Sweet Nothings
  2. Insults and Put-Downs
  3. Describing Others
  4. Feelings and Expressing Them
  5. Conclusion

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1. Sweet Nothings

Flowers

Every language and every culture has beautiful words to express love and affection, and this is no different when it comes to Arabic phrases with no English equivalent.

But love is a feeling so uniquely shaped by one’s own culture that it’s next to impossible to truly express your love in another language.

For that reason, even the trendiest English speakers in Arab countries (and there are many) will pretty much always prefer to use their native languages to talk about love.

You just can’t quite get the words out in another way.

Here are some beautiful Arabic untranslatable words that Arabic speakers use when they can’t think of anything in another language that really captures how they feel. Hopefully, these untranslatable words in Arabic grammar also show you what the concept of love looks like in Arabic culture!

1- شو ناعمة (šū nāʿmih) - Lebanese

Kittens, warm towels, fuzzy sweaters—soft things are nice things, generally speaking.

But we don’t tend to just up and say so in English. We certainly don’t just tell people they’re soft. Worst-case scenario, people might assume you’re telling them to lose weight if you make a remark on their softness.

In Lebanon, though, it’s a high compliment. This is the sort of thing you’d hear from a wife to her husband, and back again.

2- ʿعشق (išq) - Many dialects

What about when the word “love” itself isn’t enough to show what you’re feeling?

That’s where the word ʿišq comes in. ʿišq refers to love in its purest form. The strong bond between two people that have spent a lifetime together, or the unconditional affection someone has for their sweetheart.

You wouldn’t just up and say that you haveʿišq for somebody. Instead, you’d probably read this word in a novel or hear it in the narration of a film.

3- تقبرني (teʾburnī) [you bury me] - Lebanese

Does that sound a little dark to you? It shouldn’t. In Lebanon, it’s used in a cheerful and upbeat way!

The meaning expressed by this phrase is that you hope you die before the other person, because the alternative is too sad to bear. You love them too much.

You would much rather pass away before them than bear the pain of life without them. That’s the feeling mothers have for children and husbands have for wives—and that’s something that can barely be expressed in words.


2. Insults and Put-Downs

Just as words can express love, other words may be even better for expressing hatred.

All languages can be extremely, perhaps outright disturbingly, creative with insults. And virtually all of them sound completely ridiculous when brought into another language and cultural context.

A true master translator doesn’t even try to find equivalent words—they just come up with their own crazy insults in the other language that might match.

Let’s start with what I think is one of the overall minorly insulting Arabic words with no English translation.

1- روح بلط البحر‬‎ (rūḥ balleṭ el-baḥr‬‎) - Lebanese

Literally, this is an invitation for someone to go and tile the ocean. What would possibly drive someone to say this? Let’s look at the example untranslatable words in Arabic sentences below:

A: “I’m really going to buckle down this weekend and do all my homework in two days.”
B: “Oh yeah? Go tile the ocean while you’re at it.”

In other words, suuuuuuure you are.

It’s not obscene in any way and, to be honest, isn’t particularly insulting. It’s more like casual teasing or brushing off. Someone has made some grandiose claim about what they can do, and you’re not buying it for a second.

2- خايِن (ḫāyen) - Many dialects

It’s a grave insult in many places to be called a betrayer. Even if you’re joking, it might sour the mood of the conversation pretty quick while you rush to explain yourself.

When you look in an English-Arabic dictionary for “snake,” it’s possible that ḫāyen will make an appearance. When you look it up the other way, you’re likely to find words like “traitor,” “scoundrel,” or “turncoat.”

For that reason, calling someone a ḫāyen is something that isn’t going to go over lightly. You’re talking about someone who’s got no morals at all, who would just as soon sell out his own mother to save his own skin in a lie.
Snake in the grass? Backstabber? ḫāyen!

3- طاح حظك (ṭāḥ ḥaẓẓak) - Iraqi Arabic

May luck abandon you!

This is what you say when you’re pretty annoyed at someone and you just want to be a little petty. It’s the kind of thing old men might say when they’re losing at chess in the park.

And this one is the perfect example of something that just isn’t said at all in English. As far as I’m aware, there are virtually no luck-based insults in the English language in common use today.


3. Describing Others

Man with Face Hidden

Next on our list of untranslatable Arabic words in Arabic language are those for describing people.

There are so many people in the world today, and even if we limit ourselves to the Arab world, we see people from every imaginable walk of life and every conceivable background.

It’s only natural that you would grasp for words when trying to talk about somebody else whose past experiences, or present character, are simply special in some way.

Here are some Arabic words that are untranslatable, but are perfect for describing people in certain situations!

1- نعيماً (naʿīman) - Egypt

Did your friend suddenly show up with a new haircut? Does it look pretty good?

Simply give them a smile, a nod, and a naʿīman.

It captures the feeling of “Not bad!” and “Looking sharp!” at the same time, without necessarily being an inappropriate compliment for someone you’re not close to.

It also has the connotation of cleanliness. In Islam, hygiene is very important, and therefore looking clean and fresh is something to be admired.

2- بقرة (baʾarah) - Many dialects

Okay, “cow” isn’t particularly hard to translate.

But when you call someone a cow in English, you’re almost always commenting on their physical appearance or stature.

In Arabic, what you’re really talking about is their clumsiness, particularly when they break things or give you some kind of bump or bruise. Even little kids aren’t exempt from this kind of criticism.

It’s pretty hard to get that feeling across in English. “You have a certain…bovine finesse about you.” Doesn’t quite seem right, does it?

3- مدعوك (madʿūk) - Many dialects

Somebody who’s been through the wringer, someone who’s learned from the school of hard knocks—that person is madʿūk.

This single word captures the unique, and sometimes contradictory, concepts of “world-weary” and “street-smart.” It literally means “rubbed soft” and it’s not too hard to see the imagery there. If you’ve spent your life a wanderer, you’ve been rubbed and pummeled and beaten down before.

At the same time, though, a person who’s madʿūk knows their way around. They’d better—otherwise they might not have made it this far. Therefore, the word also captures the meaning of “street smart,” for better or for worse.


4. Feelings and Expressing Them

Jumping Girl

Perhaps in this section more than any other, cultural background is paramount.

In many cultures, for instance, there’s no word for “bless you” after a sneeze. That’s something in the West that we’ve gotten used to using, while in other places there are completely different traditions for speaking about what goes on in daily life.

1- حشومة (ḥšūmah) - Morocco

You could try translating this as “shame” or “taboo” but that misses the subtle connotations by a long shot. To really understand ḥšūmah, you’ve got to be part of a society which is way less okay with losing face in public than a lot of Western cultures are.

In Morocco, it’s very important to fit in culturally with everything around you. Not doing so is, well, taboo.

You can say that a particular act is ḥšūmah when it makes you feel a little guilty, because you know doing it was wrong religiously or culturally. For instance, it’s ḥšūmah to walk on people’s carpets with your shoes. That’s their house, that’s where they pray, and that’s where they need it to be clean.

2- بتموني (betmūnī) - Many dialects

Betmūnī is a phrase that takes the concept of “don’t worry about it” and elevates it to new heights.

It’s kind of like a way to instantly show that you’re okay with whatever someone is asking you to do.

But be careful. With that kind of influence, you’re also open to manipulation. It’s possible that you do so many favors that they may be taken for granted.

3- يعطيك العافية (yeʿṭīk el-ʿāfyeh) - Lebanon

You see a cleaner, a builder, and a ditch digger hard at work. Or you see a good friend or family member come home tired after a long, long day. What can you say to them to show your respect for their labor?

In English, not much; maybe something like “Really nice work,” or “Wow, that’s impressive!” But in Lebanese Arabic, yeʿṭīk el-ʿāfyeh is the perfect fit. It’s something respectful and gracious that lets others know that you appreciate the effort they’re putting in.

It means: “May God give you power.”

4- ٱلْحَمْدُ للهِ (Al-hamdulillah) & إن شاء الله‎ (Inshallah)

Yeah, these get their own special section. If you read an English book with Arabic speakers in it, the authors are likely to sprinkle their dialogue with these words about every other line or so.

But if the author didn’t clearly understand what these mean, it’s blindingly obvious in the text.

Inshallah is a Romanized contraction of in sha allah, which literally means “if God wills” or “God willing.”

You’d use it to express the sense of “hopefully (something will happen).” Oftentimes, it’s tagged on to the end of a sentence to sort of temper the strength of a desire or wish, as the speaker reminds themselves that nothing is guaranteed in life.

And it has another sense, too. You know when young kids ask their parents for things and the parent replies, “We’ll see,” instead of outright saying “no?” Same thing with Arabic-speaking parents and inshallah.

You may already be using this phrase without knowing it. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words ojalá and oxalá, respectively, both come directly from Arabic and are used all the time to say “I hope.”

Alhamdulillah is another religious expression that has entered the Arabic speech of virtually everyone. When you give good news, you add al-hamdullilah to give your thanks to God for the blessing.

Literally, it means something like: “Thanks/praise to the God.” By using the definite article, it’s implied in the very grammar of the expression that there’s just one God. Therefore, alongside inshallah, al-hamdulillah is used by all adherents to monotheistic religions—Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike—all over the Arabic-speaking world.

These two words, then, turn out to be pretty understandable in English. What’s not quite as translatable about them is the frequency with which they’re used.

Religion enters speech significantly more in Arabic than in many other languages, and if you simply translate the words without paying attention to when people tend to use them, it’ll come off as clumsy and stilted.


5. Conclusion

Just because there are lots of Arabic words that don’t translate well into English doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty that go the other way.

For instance, the word “access” in English is difficult to get across in Arabic—the best equivalent is وصول (wusul), meaning “arrival.”

Languages are funny like that.

Human experiences all over the world just don’t line up quite right. Neither do the words that we use to describe them.

Before you go, drop us a comment and let us know which of these Arabic untranslatable words is your favorite! Were our untranslatable words in Arabic phrases helpful to you? Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing, & more. You can learn more about Yassir at his website YassirSahnoun.com.

Nailing the Arabic Introduction: “Hi” in Arabic and More

Why are you learning Arabic in the first place?

To talk with people, right?

The thing is, people want to get to know the people they meet. It’s only natural, really.

Interestingly enough, if you spend enough time introducing yourself to new people, you’ll realize that you’re answering the same questions over and over.

Whether you’ve just started learning Arabic or you’ve already got the basics down, it never hurts to go over a list of common situations to make sure you’re linguistically prepared for what’s coming.

So, let’s learn “hi” in Arabic, and go over how to introduce yourself in Arabic language, as well as how to write self introduction in Arabic.

Table of Contents

  1. It Started with Hello
  2. Name
  3. Where are You From?
  4. Why are You Learning Arabic?
  5. Are You Here on Vacation?
  6. What Do You Do?
  7. What Do You Like to Do?
  8. How is Your Family?
  9. Conclusion

Log


1. It Started with Hello

When you’re making an introduction in Arabic, you’ve got to start with the very basics of how to introduce yourself in correct Arabic grammar. Slipping up here on the simplest of words isn’t the end of the world, but it’s certainly a tough crash to come back from.

When introducing yourself in Arabic language, there are two great ways to say hello to somebody else, and a third way to say hello to a group of people. Let’s dive in.

  • أهلا وسهلا
    ‘ahlan wa-sahlan
    Welcome / How do you do?
  • مرحبا
    marḥaban
    Hello

There are several different ways to say hello, depending on where you are, how formal the conversation is, and other factors. These two will get the job done every time, though, when making a self-introduction in Arabic.

  • السلام عليكم
    as-salāmu ʿalaykum
    Peace be upon you!

Assalam alaykum is a particularly formal greeting, and it’s often used to greet a whole group of people at the same time. Imagine a student giving a speech—he’ll definitely start with as-salāmu ʿalaykum.

When you hear this, the proper (and, in fact, obligatory) response is to say:

  • وعليكم السلام
    waʿalaykum as-salām
    And peace be upon you.


2. Name

Why not exchange names right here at the beginning of the conversation? Talking about your name in Arabic, or any language, is an important step in forming a relationship.

Getting someone’s name correct makes an excellent impression. One excellent way to remember names is to make an excuse to use it again almost immediately after hearing it.

That could be during a lull in the conversation, for instance. Your attention is drawn away for a moment, and then coming back, you say “So, Fu’ad, I heard they’re building a new…”

So how do you exchange names in Arabic?

As you should know already, Arabic strongly differentiates between masculine and feminine in its grammar.

Therefore, there are two ways to say most of the questions in this article. In order to save on space, we’ll just stick to the masculine form in the future, as it’s what you’re likely to encounter in other learning materials and even dictionaries. Here’s how to introduce yourself in Egyptian Arabic:

  • ما اِسْمُك؟
    mā ismuk?
    What’s your name? [To a man]
  • ما اِسْمُكِ؟
    ma ismuki?
    What’s your name? [To a woman]

And now to answer:

  • اِسمي
    ismi…
    My name is…

Note that the word “name” is simply ism, and the different suffixes add the meanings of “my/your/his/hers.”


3. Where are You From?

When you introduce yourself in Arabic phrases, definitely expect to hear this question.

Did you know that around ninety percent of Dubai residents are expats? When you think “expat,” you might think of Westerners moving abroad. But actually, the majority of foreigners living in Dubai are from other nearby Arab countries.

The same is true for most other Arabic-speaking countries. Most people not from there are from somewhere nearby. That means that in cosmopolitan areas, you’ll frequently ask and hear the question: “Where are you from?”

  • من أي بلد أنت؟
    min ayyi baladin ‘ant?
    Where are you from?

Here’s a sample answer.

  • أنا من كندا
    ‘ana min kanada.
    I’m from Canada.

In English, most countries aren’t written or said with the definite article. A few examples off the top of my head are: “The Netherlands,” “The Ivory Coast,” and “The Philippines.”

In Arabic, though, close to half of all countries get the definite article: اليابان (al-yābān) meaning “The Japan,” اليونان (al-yūnān) meaning “The Greece,” and so on.

  • منذ متى وأنت تعيش هنا؟
    munḏu matā wa ʾanta taʿīšu hunā?
    How long have you been living here?

There’s a useful little phrase hidden here; منذ متى (munḏu matā) means “since when” and it’s a great building block to drop onto other related questions.

You’ll probably get this question if you happen to speak Arabic particularly well. People are always curious about the motivations of others learning different languages.

  • عشت هنا لمدة أربع سنوات
    ʿištu hunā limuddaẗi ʾarbaʿi sanawat
    I’ve lived here for four years.

No matter how long you say you’ve lived in an Arabic-speaking country, prepare for a compliment on your language skills!


4. Why are You Learning Arabic?

Woman Writing Notes

This is a common question that language learners get asked, particularly those learning Arabic—a language that many people consider to be impossible. If you’re wondering, “How do I talk about myself in Arabic words?” answering this question is a good place to start.

What would possess you to learn it?

You might hear this question phrased literally, like so:

  • ما سبب دراستك للغة العربية؟
    mā sababu dirāsatika lilluġaẗi al-ʿarabiyyah?
    What is your reason for learning the Arabic language?

The word سبب (sabab) means “reason.” Asking “what is your reason for ___” is a typical way to ask why someone is doing something. Here’s an example answer you can give:

  • أتعلم العربية لكي أتكلم بها مع أولاد عمي
    ʾataʿallam al-ʿarabiyyah likay ʾatakallama bihā maʿ ʾawlād ʿammī
    I’m learning Arabic so I can speak it with my cousins.

Sometimes, though, people will want more of a personal answer. This question especially gets asked in overseas Arab communities:

  • من يعلمك العربية؟
    man yuʿallimuka al-ʿarabiyyah?
    Who teaches you Arabic?

Perhaps they know your tutor? Perhaps they can do a better job? There are a few different answers, of course.

  • أتعلم العربية مع أمين
    ʾataʿallamu al-ʿarabiyyah maʿ ʾamīn
    I’m learning Arabic with Amin.
  • أتعلم العربية من المنزل
    ʾataʿallam al-ʿarabiyyah min al-manzil
    I learn Arabic from home.

That’ll catch them off guard! All around the world, even though more and more people are learning other languages, very few have the nerve to teach themselves. Someone who has taught themselves well enough that they can have a conversation with a native speaker is rare, indeed.

  • هل اللغة العربية صعبة؟
    hal al-luġaẗu al-ʿarabiyyaẗu ṣaʿbah?
    Is Arabic difficult?

That question is up to you to answer! If you’re in a place like Algeria or Morocco where French is widely spoken, you can reply this way for a guaranteed laugh:

  • العربية أسهل من الفرنسية
    al-ʿarabiyyaẗu ʾashal min al-firinsiyyah
    Arabic is easier than French!

You can see here that the words for different languages, like the words for different countries, all take the definite article as well. Thus, اليونانية (al-yūnāniyyah) means “the Greek language,” and الصينية (as-ṣīniyyah) means “the Chinese language.”


5. Are You Here on Vacation?

Tourism is absolutely huge in many Arabic-speaking countries, and in others, it’s still a respectable portion of the economy.

A foreign face in an area without too many expats is still something of a curiosity in many parts of the Arab world.

For the Arabic learner, that’s an amazing opportunity. Lots of people are friendly and curious, and every interaction or transaction has the potential to become a real conversation—assuming your language level is up to the challenge!

You might get a simple question like this as an opener:

  • ما غرض زيارتك؟
    mā ġaraḍu ziyaratik?
    Why are you visiting?

After which,the conversation may go:

  • أنا سائح
    ʾanā sāʾiḥ
    I’m a tourist.
  • هل هذه زيارتك الأولى لـ … ؟
    hal haḏihi ziyaratuk al-ʾūlā li … ?
    Is this your first visit to…?

Answering in the negative will almost invariably prompt a quick recounting of places that you’ve been. Make sure that you’re familiar with the names in Arabic of whatever places you’ve been to—this is a step that slips past a lot of learners!


6. What Do You Do?

Here’s an interesting thought. If you’re studying or working abroad in an Arabic-speaking country, it’s possible that you may not get this question very much.

Why? Well, a lot of people who move abroad end up not going out to socialize as much with locals as they imagined—their social lives end up revolving around work.

And although Arabs are famously hospitable, there’s an element of conservatism in some places that might present an obstacle to small talk, particularly across gender lines.

But let’s go ahead and assume that these are non-issues. After all, you can speak Arabic with all kinds of different people from all kinds of different backgrounds. The question is: What do you do?

  • ماذا تعمل؟
    māḏā taʿmal?
    What do you do for work?
  • أعمل في مكتبة
    ʾaʿmalu fī maktabah
    I work at a library.

Good for you! In addition to giving your job title, it’s also a good idea to mention where you actually work if there’s a chance your interlocutor might know it. You never know when you can make a new connection!

  • …أنا أعمل في
    ana ʾaʿmalu fi…
    I work at…
  • …عملت هناك لـ
    ʿamiltu hunāka li…
    I’ve worked there for…

Both of these sentences are pretty “plug and play.” You simply add the appropriate company name or length of time, and you immediately have a correct—and pretty idiomatic—sentence.

This, incidentally, is how I like to approach language learning. By learning a couple of key sentence patterns to cover the different communicative scenarios I expect to find myself in, I can use whatever new vocabulary comes my way with the knowledge that I’m saying the right thing.


7. What Do You Like to Do?

This is a different question for a lot of people than the one above! Finding someone who answers, “I really wish I spent more time at the office,” is probably not going to happen.

Here, we’re going to chat a tiny bit about different hobbies, and using them to introduce yourself in Arabic words.

If you’ve never visited any of them, the big cities of the Arab world have the same— or, in some cases, much crazier—kinds of things to do as big cities everywhere else.

People go to concerts, read fiction, and scroll past memes in Arabic just like anybody else. Whatever you’re interested in already, you’re almost certain to find groups of enthusiasts in the Arab world, too.

From here, I can’t quite see what you’re interested in, but let’s say you like travel, music, and reading. Those are safe options for pretty much everybody.

  • أنا أسافر كثيرا
    ʾanā ʾusāfiru kaṯīran
    I travel a lot.
  • أنا أحب الغناء
    ʾanā ʾuḥibbu al-ġināʾ
    I like singing.

Don’t just say this without meaning it. Arab music is complex and expressive, and if you haven’t already, take the time to check out some artists who sing in Arabic. You’ll have more to talk about with locals, and you can improve your language skills, too!

  • من مؤلفك المفضل؟
    man muʾuallifuka al-mufaḍḍal?
    Who’s your favorite author?
  • …كتابي المفضل هو
    kitābī al-mufaḍḍal huwa…
    My favorite book is…


8. How is Your Family?

Talking about your family in Arabic can be a good topic for forming deeper connections, but be careful. Asking about family is a phrase with some cultural baggage attached, if there ever was one.

This is what you absolutely want to say instead of something like: “How is your wife?”

Really, that’s only a natural question for many people in the West. You’re hanging out with a friend from work, and you remember that your wife wanted to ask something about his wife.

Unless you’ve practically grown up together, this question is simply considered too forward to ask in Arabic-speaking countries.

That element of social conservatism mentioned earlier absolutely carries through, even if two men or two women are talking privately.

  • كيف حال عائلتك؟
    kayfa ḥalu ʿāʾilatik?
    How is your family?
  • بخير، الحمد لله
    biḫayr, al-ḥamdu lillah
    Very well, thank you.

Family is important in Arab culture. Even businesses make a real effort to become the second families of their employees.

Therefore, when somebody asks this, it’s more than just a polite courtesy. This is your chance to mention anything interesting—particularly something positive—that’s happened recently to your family members.


9. Conclusion

We hope that ArabicPod101.com helped you learn Arabic and introduce yourself in this complex language! To test your knowledge and practice you Arabic skills, why not write an “introduce yourself” essay in Arabic? Just a couple of paragraphs where you tell about yourself in Arabic. We really want to hear from you!

Plenty of people who are experts at learning languages in classrooms rate natural conversation as the most challenging aspect of learning.

The frustrating thing about reading articles like this is that they give you a great snapshot of how to start a conversation, but out of necessity, they simply can’t walk you through the whole thing.

What helps with that, then?

You already know the answer: More Arabic in your life, even if you’re already traveling or living in an Arabic-speaking country.

You simply have to make the choice to watch, read, or listen to Arabic more and more frequently. The more you put it off, the longer it takes for it to become natural, and the harder it is to make that choice every time.

Remember, the more you get around and the more people you chat with, the more you get asked the same questions! Eventually, there will come a time when you can have conversations entirely in Arabic without even noticing—and that’s a feeling truly like no other.

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

Log

Watching Arabic Movies: Learn Arabic through Arab Cinema

When you want to go beyond your textbook and your classroom, you’ve got two basic escape routes.

The first is the written word. You could read blogs, newspapers, or books in Arabic. Not a bad idea—but it still sounds suspiciously like work.

What if you just relaxed your way into Arabic in a way that let you become more fluent with the language, more educated about the culture, and more knowledgeable about art in general?

What if you watched a bunch of Arabic movies?

If you’ve never watched Arabic movies before, well, of course you’re missing out. But you’re probably also misinformed.

Cinema around the world is not, generally speaking, kind to Arabs on screen. It’s not hard to think of examples. That’s why it’s important to open your mind beyond stereotypes and understand what cinema looks like when it’s made by and for Arab people.

Fortunately, in recent years more and more festivals are promoting Arabic-language films. That’s even happening outside Cairo, long considered one of the focal points of Arab cinema.

So in this article you’ll be introduced not only to the classic films that shaped the art form, but you’ll also find some modern favorites that have gained international acclaim. After all, quality learning and fun are what we strive for at ArabicPod101.com. Let’s get started with our Arabic movies list!

Note: If you’re wondering where to watch Arabic movies, there’s a chance you’ll find some Arabic movies on Netflix or YouTube. You can also try searching for these Arabic movies online. Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Arabic.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. The Sin
  2. The Mummy
  3. Kandisha
  4. Solitare
  5. West Beirut
  6. The Worthy
  7. Omar
  8. Blessed Benefit
  9. Far from Men
  10. Theeb
  11. Dubbed Disney Films
  12. Conclusion

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Movie genres


1. The Sin (الحرام‎ Al-Haram) — Modern Standard Arabic, 1965

The sin poster

Maybe you thought all Arabic cinema was happy and upbeat? Nah.

The Sin is a grim and moving portrait of peasant oppression in Egypt. Faten Hamama plays Azizah, a young farmer’s wife, who’s forced to not only bear terrible injustice but also to keep it secret lest it tear apart her family. That’s a simple summary, though the film pulls this narrative thread in a way that makes it clear it wasn’t an isolated incident at that time.

It’s the type of film that makes you stop and think about the world, and it certainly had that effect upon its release. The French newspaper Le Monde described the film as “a reflection of everything around one individual, from people to culture.”

As was common in the middle of the 20th century, the film was released in Modern Standard Arabic. This decision was seen as only natural because of the prestige of Modern Standard Arabic in literature and formal discourse. Later, of course, cinema in vernacular Arabic became the norm, particularly in Egypt.


2. The Mummy (المومياء Al-Mummia) — Modern Standard Arabic, 1969

The mummy poster

No, this isn’t a dub of that action movie with the bad CGI. Instead, it’s a slow-moving and eerie piece about grave robbing in the late 1800s.

The film is about searching for an Egyptian national identity among colonialism, war, and antiquity. The band of grave robbers, an Upper Egyptian tribe, has a dissenter who goes to the police and helps the authorities find the cache of ancient treasure.

It’s considered one of, if not the most, important film(s) in Egypt, though as it’s more methodical and pensive, it’s not most people’s first choice.

But for you as an Arabic learner, this is a great opportunity to hear relatively slow and clear Modern Standard Arabic even in a relatively conversational context. You can even find subtitles in Arabic and English for the whole film!


3. Kandisha (قنديشة Qandisha) — Moroccan Arabic, 2008

Lawyers are considered to be clear and logical thinkers. They’re the last people you would expect to be wrapped up in a supernatural mystery.

Nyla Jade (played by Amira Casar) is a defense attorney for a woman accused of murdering her husband. Her client firmly alleges that her husband was killed by the vengeful spirit Kandisha.

Kandisha is actually a medieval Moroccan legend, and in the film she’s far more than just a myth. Nyla becomes convinced as well, and must work to make everyone in the courtroom, her colleagues, and her own husband believe that Kandisha was responsible for the murder.

The film has dialogue in French, Moroccan Arabic, and English, accurately reflecting the multilingualism present in modern-day Morocco.


4. Solitare (محبس‎ Mahbas) — Lebanese Arabic, Syrian Arabic, 2016

The timeless tale of a mother disappointed in her daughter’s choice of husband is honed to razor perfection in this comedy from Lebanon.

Therese (Julia Kassar) has borne a grudge against Syrians for decades when her daughter Ghada (Serena Chami) turns out to be engaged to Samer (Jabar Jokhadar), a Syrian man. Nobody wants to tell Therese, but the truth comes out when Samer greets her with his Syrian Arabic.

Arab weddings are far more than personal affairs. Whole families are involved in every aspect, and a disapproving parent on one (or both) sides can spell disaster for the couple.

The film shines light on Lebanese-Syrian relations through the mirror of baseless prejudices held by individuals. For the learner of Arabic, the snappy dialogue and fast exchanges between two similar yet distinct varieties of Arabic are a goldmine of authentic experience.

If you’re interested in watching Arabic comedy movies, we highly recommend this one.


5. West Beirut (بيروت الغربية‎ Bayrut Algharbiat ) — Lebanese Arabic, 1998

When a civil war happens in your country, it may not seem real at first. Especially if you’re just beginning to enter the adult world.

That’s how Tarek (Rami Doueiri) and Omar (Mohamed Chamas) find themselves feeling in the year 1975 when Beirut erupts into war. No school! No rules! But it’s not a vacation that ends in September.

It’s a new and uncertain era for them and everyone they know. The film is about how young people can discover for themselves what’s most important in their lives when the system that held them in place for all their lives begins to crumble.

Truly breathtaking cinematography lends the scenes of conflict a gripping realism that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And, of course, the Lebanese Arabic spoken throughout is as authentic as can be, pulled straight from the memories of the director himself.


6. The Worthy ( المختارون Almukhtarun) — Many dialects, 2016

The worthy poster

For some reason, nobody ever thinks of post-apocalyptic dramas in the Middle East. And yet in a region plagued by drought, the question of who should get water as civilization crumbles becomes magnified.

Director Ali F. Mostafa expertly uses his limited budget to build an intense, gripping character drama about mysterious and smooth-talking newcomers to a small band of survivors guarding the only water source for miles around.

As the film goes on, it turns more into horror as the group starts to turn against itself, deciding who should live and who should die. In other words, who counts as “worthy.”

There are twelve main characters, and since borders have collapsed in the world of the film, they come from across the Middle East—Syria, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. They all speak in their own dialects, which are similar enough to be understood by native speakers or advanced learners.


7. Omar (عمر Umar) — Palestinian Arabic, 2014

They say that war pits brother against brother and friend against friend.

That concept is explored against the backdrop of Israeli-Palestinian conflict—with a love triangle thrown in to boot.

When Omar (Adam Bakri) is captured by Israeli security forces, he’s made to inform against his childhood friends Tarek and Amjad. This is made all the more excruciating by the fact that he and Amjad are both deeply in love with Tarek’s sister Nadeen.

The feeling of being trapped, the feeling of being forced to choose between terrible outcomes—those are everyday feelings in zones of conflict. The film was shot on location: Omar was born in Nazareth and the film was mostly shot there. So what you see on screen is as authentic as it gets.

You may not know that many Israelis speak Palestinian Arabic natively or as a fluent second language. In this film you’ll hear bits of Hebrew, but mainly Palestinian Arabic from the principal characters.


8. Blessed Benefit (انشالله استفدت inshallah istafadet) — Jordanian Arabic, 2016

How about a comedy to lighten things up? A prison film might sound like a recipe for a dark drama full of brutality and terror, but not if the film depicts prison life as saner than life on the outside.

Ahmad (Ahmad Taher) is an unlucky contractor thrown in jail for three months for failing to deliver on a project. The people he meets inside turn out to be from all levels of Jordanian society, and they share with him their own life philosophies.

Gradually, Ahmad comes to ask himself: If all of my needs are taken care of in prison, what good is being free?

The dialogue and editing is fast-paced and quick-witted. Some jokes are international, but others might go over your head if you haven’t spent time in or around Jordan—or in a prison.


9. Far from Men — Algerian Arabic, 2015

Algerian Arabic isn’t the only language in this movie, but it’s a very important one.

Viggo Mortensen plays Daru, a schoolteacher in rural Algeria. Right at the start of the revolution against the French, he’s assigned the duty of escorting a murderer (Reda Kateb) across the desert to his trial.

Their long journey is speckled with thoughtful discussion about the nature of guilt and innocence, and over the course of the film you may not be certain what either character is headed toward.

Viggo Mortensen is a talented language learner, and for this particular role he learned to speak Algerian Arabic, which he uses along with French and Spanish in the film.

He’s the type of person to throw himself into a film role, and therefore he actually went so far as to translate all of his lines into Arabic just in case the director changed his mind about the language that should be used for a particular scene.


10. Theeb (ذيب‎ Theeb) — Bedouin Jordanian Arabic, 2014

This is a beautiful period piece set during the First World War, though that’s only a backdrop to the dramatic events that unfold in the desert between a relatively small cast of characters.

Theeb (Jacir Eid Al-Hweitat) is a young Bedouin boy living in a remote part of what was then the Ottoman Empire. His older brother agrees to lead a British officer across the desert, and Theeb sneaks along for the adventure.

But there’s more danger in the desert than sand and sun. Tribes of bandits lurk in the (stunningly beautiful) canyons, and before long, Theeb and his brother Hussein are living off their wits alone.

The film was purposefully made in the local Bedouin dialect of a particular part of Jordan. In fact, the filmmakers were so dedicated to authenticity that they were forced to write all the women out of the story—local women weren’t willing to act, and professional actresses wouldn’t know the dialect.


11. Dubbed Disney Films — Egyptian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Movie

The Walt Disney Company has released films drawing inspiration from all over the world. In the interest of sharing the stories as widely as possible (and making money), Disney films have traditionally been dubbed into many languages for international release.

The Disney films of the 1990s were dubbed into Egyptian Arabic. By that time, Egyptian Arabic was already well-established as a widely-understood dialect all around the Arab world. It was amazing to hear Disney characters speak authentic and hilarious slang with voices of some of the best-known Egyptian actors and comedians.

In the early 2010s, however, Disney made the decision to dub films in Modern Standard Arabic for the Arabic market. Some people supported this, but the reaction on social media—in Egypt particularly—was overwhelmingly negative. No matter how hard the translators and voice actors worked to breathe life into the characters, the fact remained that it just felt strange to hear people quipping and joking in Modern Standard Arabic when nobody did that in real life.

They even went so far as to re-release their classic films in Modern Standard Arabic. That is, until the social media pressure and the poor box office performance of some Modern Standard Arabic films finally worked. In 2017, the company began to reverse their decision, and now Egyptian Arabic is back to being the dubbing dialect of choice.

Donald Duck with Thumb Up


12. Conclusion

Taking on a language like Arabic, spoken in so many countries by people from so many backgrounds, can seem like an insurmountable challenge. It may be a good idea to watch Arabic movies with English subtitles if you’re a beginner.

But the way people grow up in those countries is shaped by movies as well. Film is an indispensable part of anyone’s cultural consciousness these days. By seeing how stories play out through the lens of other cultures, you can start to see what they think of as “normal,” “strange,” or “right and wrong.”

And that knowledge will go incredibly far toward making you competent with the language.

So if you’ve never even seen a single Arabic-language film, why not start with these? They’re the perfect start to an incredible world. We hope that ArabicPod101 helped you find just the Arabic movie you need to increase your learning power and have fun in doing so!

If you found this article helpful and want to learn even more about Arabic culture, you can check out our other insightful blog posts, study with our free vocabulary lists, and even upgrade to use our MyTeacher program and learn with your own personal Arabic teacher. We wish you all the best and some uninterrupted Arabic-language movie watching time!

We truly hope you’ll start watching Arabic movies in 2019!

Man in Deep Thought

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

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9 Arabic TV Shows You Won’t be Able to Live Without

One of the most compelling reasons to learn another language is to be able to enjoy entertainment from around the world.

And if you’ve come this far without dipping your toes into the wellspring of Arabic television, prepare to be amazed.

Because the Arab world is enormous.

In addition to several thriving film industries, Arabic-speaking people have enjoyed television programs of every sort for generations.

From sprawling battle scenes to nail-biting game shows to thrilling political dramas, there truly is something for everyone. So let ArabicPod101.com help you find your new favorite Arab show! (And in case you’re wondering where to watch Arabic TV shows, keep in mind that YouTube and Netflix are good places to start.)

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Table of Contents

  1. Ramadan Historical Epics in Modern Standard Arabic
  2. Learn Like a Child with this Pan-Arabic Classic
  3. Watch Stories Unfold in the Language of the Streets
  4. Reality Shows: More Fun than Fiction?
  5. Bonus
  6. Conclusion

1. Ramadan Historical Epics in Modern Standard Arabic

At some point in the past, some genius marketing executive realized that the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, with its thirty days of fasting during daylight, was the perfect market for a thirty-episode evening TV special.

Some of the most popular and big-budgeted Ramadan dramas have been sweeping historical epics retelling passion, betrayal, and intrigue of medieval times.

And in keeping with the grandiose scale, quite a few of these epics have actually been produced entirely in Modern Standard Arabic!

The reaction to that has been amazing. As much as people love hearing their own dialects on screen, it can be a really otherworldly experience to be thrust back in time and hear people speak beautiful fusha (the Arabic language of long ago) as if it was their native tongue.

If you want to start watching a quality, exciting TV show in Arabic, check out these MSA epics and see what you think!

1- أوركيديا (Orkidia)

The English title gets spelled in a number of different ways—I saw it as Orchidea, Orkadea, and Orcadia while researching this article.

However you’d like to spell it, Orkidia was massively hyped in the months leading up to Ramadan in 2017. It’s about the political intrigue, passionate romance, and flashing tempers between leaders of three ancient kingdoms.

Syrian director Hatem Ali spearheaded this project, which reportedly cost five-million US dollars to shoot. Most of the shooting was done in Romania. Southern Europe here stands in for the battlefields of the war between the Kingdoms of Samara, Assyria, and Orkidia, with more than 500 extras used for some epic battle scenes.

If this happens to remind you of a certain Western TV series about thrones and games of intrigue, you’re not alone. Quite a few people have drawn parallels to Game of Thrones, only this Arabic version comes without the gratuitous nudity.

We understand, though, if you want to get a taste of this exciting Arab TV show before immersing yourself in it.

2- عُمَرْ (Omar)

Omar

Omar (or The Omar Series) could be considered one of the most ambitious Arabic TV projects ever made, and some even consider it the best Arabic TV show.

It depicts the life of Omar ibn Al-Khattab, a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad and the second caliph of the Islamic Empire.

For this, it received huge criticism from some Muslim leaders who saw it as blasphemous to have an actor play the role of Omar. However, other religious leaders approved of the depiction and felt that this new way of storytelling could be a great help for people who might not read much history anymore.

And the fans? Whether they were drawn in by the gorgeous cinematography, the rich historical detail, or the controversy itself, they loved it.

It’s one of the highest-rated Arabic miniseries ever, and that’s just perfect for you, the learner.

Why? Because like Orkidia, it’s all in beautifully spoken MSA!

And perhaps in anticipation of religious protests against the show, the producers also created two daily educational segments that explore the problems of governing an empire and the moral choices that Omar had to make in life.

2. Learn Like a Child with this Pan-Arabic Classic

1- افتح يا سمسم (Iftah Ya SimSim)

Iftah Ya SimSim

When Sesame Street first premiered in 1969, it was conceived as a perfectly American program. Little did the producers know, its characters and messages had wide-reaching international appeal.

Iftah Ya SimSim was a Kuwaiti production from the late 1970s until the Gulf War in 1990. It was beloved by millions and was massively successful in bringing literacy and basic education to the underserved population.

Sesame Street

This is in no way a translation or copycat of Sesame Street—it was developed by and for Arabs and designed to help young kids all over the Arab world grow into educated and moral adults.

Early on in its development, the decision was even made to produce the entire show in Modern Standard Arabic in order to promote cultural literacy and pan-Arab collaboration.

This was a big gamble, but it paid off. Linguistic purists worried that MSA would either confuse kids or start devolving into a slangier form of itself, but that never happened. Even the young kids invited to take part were able to speak MSA with only a handful of regional colloquialisms.

In 2015, the show was revived with the same educational and language goals, and put on YouTube for all to see. This really is a great TV show to learn Arabic with, especially for beginners due to its simple yet far-reaching nature.

3. Watch Stories Unfold in the Language of the Streets

1- Grand Hotel / Secret of the NIle

As I mentioned above, Ramadan television is so highly anticipated by viewers and networks alike that it’s known as “super-primetime.”

Secret of the Nile was the first Egyptian show on Netflix, released for Ramadan 2016, and it did really well. Really well.

It’s about a man who infiltrates the staff at the Grand Hotel to find out about his missing sister. He ends up learning quite a bit more—about romance, deception, and secrets kept by the highest levels of Egyptian society.

The stunning period cinematography was so gorgeous and the plot so thick with twists, people from all over the world who had never even considered Arabic TV fell in love. It was described as “bingeworthy” by more than one media source.

2- Shankaboot

Shankaboot

Have you ever fantasized about gliding on a Vespa through the streets of Milan?

How about being a delivery boy on a rickety scooter on the streets of Beirut? Practically the same thing, right?

This Lebanese series was actually one of the first Arabic-language web series ever created, and certainly the most well-known at the time.

It ran for five seasons with 52 total episodes of around five minutes each. But that’s plenty of time to watch Suleiman the delivery boy meet with strange and surreal slices of life around the streets of Beirut.

The producers actually purposefully cast actors with little or no experience to save on cost and get more realistic portrayals of everyday people.

They also came up with the neat idea of having fans of the series write in and suggest plot points or lines of dialogue. You can’t get that level of audience interaction anywhere else!

4. Reality Shows: More Fun than Fiction?

Fictionalized series and dramas are wonderful escapes from daily life, but they’re far from the only great genre of TV.

Reality shows can be perfect for language learners because they expose the learner to ordinary people speaking spontaneously—or at least not reading directly from a script.

Watch these Arabic TV shows for an immersive and insightful look at the language.

1- MBC Top Chef

Fifteen contestants from around the Middle East gather together for a grueling thirteen-week competition. Following the Top Chef format that has been tried and tested around the world, at the end of each week one chef is eliminated from the competition.

Every meal is judged based on flavor and presentation by three internationally renowned chefs: Chinese-Egyptian Bobby Chinn, Saudi Mona Mosly, and Lebanese Maroun Chedid.

In the first season, contestants came from pretty much every Arabic-speaking country: Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, and Oman among others.

That means you’ll get a nice mix of dialectal Arabic as well as Modern Standard Arabic in the more formal moments.

And since this is an international show based off of an American format, don’t be surprised to hear quite a bit of English as well.

During each episode, you’ll see the cooking action play out on screen, you’ll hear the contestants explain what they were doing, and you’ll hear the judges’ interpretations of the final dish.

Those are all great opportunities to learn words for food, ingredients, and how to prepare them. And since they’re repeated in different contexts, they’ll really stick in your mind way more than others.

Go ahead and see for yourself what this show is all about!

2- Minute To Win It Egypt

Minute To Win It Egypt

Have you ever idly rolled a coin between your fingers or batted a balloon around in the air?

What if millions of people were watching and a life-changing amount of money was on the line?

That’s the premise behind Minute To Win It, a reality game show where contestants try to accomplish unusual tasks with everyday objects inside of 60 seconds.

The show was created in the United States and became immediately popular worldwide, eventually being broadcast to more than fifty countries.

But why this show for language learners? Simple: the style of language used.

I’m not even talking about MSA vs Egyptian Arabic – I mean what the people are saying.

For every game, the host and the announcer both describe the task that has to be performed, and while the contestant is stacking bottles or balancing toothpicks, the commentary is describing the action.

“Watch it now, it’s about to tip over!” “Hurry now, ten seconds left!”

That’s a whole lot of repetitive, descriptive language that makes it a cinch to follow for learners. If you miss a word or phrase, you’ll probably hear it again in the replay.

In addition, that kind of vocabulary isn’t often seen in language books. But every native speaker knows how to use words like stack up, balance, fall, arrange, find… and if you want to speak Arabic well, you’ll have to learn them too.

If this kind of television seems up your alley, go ahead and check it out on YouTube.

3- Stars of Science

Unlike the two reality shows above which are direct copies of Western show formats, Stars of Science is a homegrown show from Qatar, where engineer-entrepreneurs pitch and create new inventions in front of expert judges.

It makes a lot of sense, too—reach far back into the history of the world, and it’s easy to see that the scientific tradition has its roots in Arab cultures.

More than 7,000 applicants apply for each season, from which sixteen are selected. They need to prove not only that their products—such as a remote power source for pipeline robots or a rapid-action clothes steamer—work well, but that they’ll be cost-effective and profitable for investors.

Contestants speak to each other in dialects when they can understand, and MSA when they can’t. This is a very realistic (it’s reality TV, of course) depiction of how Arabs from different language backgrounds might communicate when working together on a project.

You’ll hear people speak their dialects with added MSA words, speak pure dialect, and “modify” their dialects toward one another to achieve an understandable, if fluid, common ground.

Interested in learning more about this show, its contestants, and the inventions they present? Find out for yourself if this is the show for you.

5. Bonus

1- Jinn (Netflix Original)

Maybe you’ve seen Aladdin? Remember Robin Williams as the Genie?

Well, a Jinn is just about the polar opposite of that.

In Islam, a Jinn is a creature that dwells in a parallel spirit world and has the power to haunt, influence, and even possess people in our world.

There are some pretty spooky videos out there on YouTube that purport to show Jinns caught on camera, and Islamic religious leaders regularly issue warnings about the dangerous influence of the Jinns on modern everyday life.

The upcoming Netflix series has only just started production in Jordan, but it’s received considerable press as the American streaming company’s first Arabic-language original. Netflix has produced Arabic series before, but never from scratch as with this one.

It’s being billed as a “supernatural teenage coming-of-age drama” which is unique in itself, not least because there aren’t too many Arabic-language shows focused on teenagers.

Plot details are sketchy right now, though we do know it’ll revolve around the thrilling relationships between human teenagers, Jinns, and the guardian Jinn who’s tasked with keeping an eye on rogue Jinns.

As of October 2018, the show is being marketed as “Arabic-language” so it’s not clear how much will be in Jordanian Arabic and how much in MSA.

Nevertheless, it’ll be an amazing chance for classical Arabic storytelling to reach millions of viewers around the world with a new face.

This really is an Arabic TV series with promise and potential!

6. Conclusion

One of the best reasons to watch TV programs or series to learn a language is that you get used to the same actors talking about the same types of things across dozens of hours.

Two-hour movies are great for their production value and contained stories, but sometimes a plotline just needs ten or twenty hours to get going.

Thank goodness for TV shows, and may the Arab world never stop making excellent dramas!

We hope that you gained some valuable insight into the world of Arab shows with ArabicPod101.com. If so, please feel free to explore our site and learn even more about your target language! Here you’ll find invaluable resources for fun yet effective learning, from vocabulary lists to our MyTeacher app which offers you one-on-one guidance as you learn Arabic.

We wish you well in your language-learning journey, and several hours of enjoyment watching Arab TV shows.

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Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

Sinai Liberation Day & The Sinai Peninsula’s Significance

We’re going to talk now about an important day in Egyptian history: Sinai Liberation Day (or just Sinai Day). On this day, Egypt regained the land of Sinai and the last Israeli soldier left it after Camp David agreement. The liberation of Egypt’s Sinai put a large mark of victory on Egypt’s history.

In learning about this holiday, you’re delving into some of Egypt’s most significant history, particularly involving the Sinai Peninsula. This will give you a deeper knowledge of the country’s culture and its people. At ArabicPod101.com, we hope to make this learning adventure both fun and informative. So let’s get started!

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1. What is the Arabic Day of Liberation?

Sinai Liberation Day is the day when all the land of Sinai, except Taba, was liberated from Israeli occupation. This was in 1982 and we regained Taba later in 1988 during the reign of the former president Hosni Mubarak. Sinai was occupied since 1967, but the Egyptian army kept struggling by all means in order to regain it.

The land of Sinai became the symbol of peace because it was regained after a peace treaty. The land of Sinai is distinguished by its beauty, charm, and scenic nature. Sinai is also characterized by its golden sands, great sea, and high mountains. Sinai and Taba are among the most beautiful places frequented by tourists from all over the world where they enjoy many water sports.

2. When is Sinai Liberation Day?

Liberation Day in April

On 25th April, the Day of Liberation in Egypt is observed. For Egypt, Sinai Liberation Day takes place on the day it gained back the land of Sinai after the Camp David agreement.

3. How Does Egypt Celebrate Liberation Day?

Flag of Egypt

This day is a public holiday in Egypt; in other words, all government departments are closed. On Sinai Liberation Day, Egypt doesn’t usually hold elaborate festivities, but it’s still a day of immense significance for its observers.

Egypt uses this day to remember and honor those who sacrificed themselves for Sinai’s liberation. Further, they pause for a while on this holiday to think about Sinai’s lovely nature and its place in the world today. We’ll go more into this below.

4. Additional Information: About the Sinai Peninsula

Want to learn more about the land of Sinai for Egyptian Sinai Liberation Day? Read the Arabic text below for more information (and find the English translation directly below it).

تتميز منطقة سينا بالسياحه العلاجيه ,فهنلاقي كتير من السياح بييجوا من انحاء العالم بغرض الاستشفاء من امراض زي الصدفيه و ده لأنهم اكتشفوا ان مية البحر الاحمر و الشعب المرجانيه اللي فيه بتساعد على الاستشفاء من بعض الامراض الجلديه

سينا ليها اسماء كتيرة زي مثلا أرض الفيروز ودا لأن بحرها بيتمتع بلون فيروزي رائع , سينا برده بيطلق عليها ارض
الزيتون و دا لأن فيها أجود أنواع شجر الزيتون اللي بينتج ألذ انواع الزيتون و زيت الزيتون.

ارض سينا تمتلك موقع استراتيجي ودا لأنها حلقة الوصل بين قارة اسيا وقارة افريقيا ….بين مصر و الشام .. بين المشرق العربي و المغرب العربي

Sinai region is famous for medical tourism. Tourists the world over come to visit it seeking treatment from diseases such as psoriasis because it was discovered that the water and coral reefs of the Red Sea help in treating some skin diseases.

Sinai has many names. It is called the land of turquoise because of the magnificent turquoise color of its sea. Sinai is also called the land of olives because it contains the best quality of olive trees which produce the most delicious olives and olive oil.

The land of Sinai has a strategic location because it is a liaison between the continents of Asia and Africa…between Egypt and the Levant…between the Arab Mashreq and the Arab Maghreb.

5. Must-know Vocab

Birds-Eye View of Land

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Day of Liberation in Israel!

  • أبريل (ʾibrīl) — April
  • أرض (ʾarḍ) — land
  • إسرائيل (ʾisrāʾīl) — Israel
  • البحر الأَحمر (al-baḥr al-ʾaḥmar) — Red Sea
  • عيد تحرير سيناء (ʿīd taḥrīr sīnāʾ) — Day of Liberation
  • الخامس و العشرين (al-ḫāmis wa al-ʿišrīn) — twenty-fifth
  • شبه جزيرة سيناء (šebh ǧazīrat sīnāʾ) — Sinai Peninsula
  • قوات (quwwāt) — troop
  • معاهدة (muʿāhadah) — treaty
  • إنسحاب (ʾinsiḥāb) — withdrawal
  • تحرير (taḥrīr) — liberation

To hear each word pronounced, check out our Day of Liberation vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about Sinai’s Day of Liberation with us! Is there a similar holiday in your own country? How do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on Egyptian culture and the Arabic language, visit us at ArabicPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow students. By creating a Premium Plus account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program and learn Arabic with your own personal teacher!

Learning a language can be a difficult journey, but know that all of your hard work and determination will pay off! Soon you’ll be speaking Arabic like a native, and ArabicPod101.com will be here every step of your journey there with effective lesson materials and tons of support!

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Arabic Jobs: Jobs for Arabic Speakers (Even Beginners!)

Learn Arabic, they said. You’ll get a better job, they said.

The single biggest motivation for people learning a foreign language worldwide is employment.

And people have been watching with eyes wider and wider as Middle Eastern countries keep developing faster and faster.

Arabic, though? It’s supposed to be really hard!

You’d think that countries like those with such strong and vibrant local cultures would be totally closed off to outsiders, especially those that can’t speak the language.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Aside from Arabic jobs, there are job opportunities for everyone in Arab countries, whether or not you speak Arabic!

How can you get your foot in the door? Read on.

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Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to find a job in Arabic-speaking places.

Table of Contents

  1. Jobs For When You Can’t Speak Arabic Yet
  2. Jobs For When You Can Speak Arabic
  3. Four Hotspots You Might Not Have Considered
  4. How To Look For Jobs in the Middle East
  5. Four Job Boards You Should Be Checking Out
  6. Expat Communities
  7. Are You Sure You’re Done Learning Arabic?

1. Jobs For When You Can’t Speak Arabic Yet

You can’t speak Arabic yet, or you don’t know more than a few words or phrases? Join the club – the club is made up of the literally hundreds of thousands of expats in thriving Middle Eastern cosmopolitan cities, expats who can’t tell the Arabic alphabet from a plate of spaghetti.

With populations like that, there are definitely going to be services catered to the needs of English speakers instead of Arabic speakers.

In general, the skilled trades you can take advantage of in your home country are also in demand in others. If you’re really good at something pretty difficult, you can expect that local and foreign companies alike will be willing to sponsor your work visa.

What is “something pretty difficult?”

Medicine, for one. Let’s say you’re in Australia, and you’ve been working your fingers to the bone as a nurse but barely making ends meet.

Those skills you have are actually in high demand in, say, Saudi Arabia.

Medicine is the kind of thing that requires a strong tradition of expertise, and in fast-growing economies, the educational background just isn’t there yet. For that reason, international hospitals in Saudi Arabia are constantly hiring foreign talent whether or not they speak Arabic.

And outside of medicine, you’ll find opportunities in finance, tech, engineering, and more with the same characteristics. Big firms know that not everybody is willing to take on the challenge of a new language. That’s why they’ll go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable in English.
However, if you can speak Arabic, you open yourself up to all the monolingual jobs plus more.

2. Jobs For When You Can Speak Arabic

The most obvious job for a speaker of two languages has traditionally been translation or interpretation. However, making the big bucks in either of these fields takes experience and training.

Considering a career in Arabic translation? Why not specialize in medical or legal translation? As mentioned above, medicine is a booming industry. Carving out a niche for yourself means that you can relatively easily build up a portfolio of satisfied clients.

And just because executives speak English and other languages doesn’t mean there’s no use for Arabic. People publish market research and other industry information in Arabic all the time, and if you’re the one who can interpret and summarize it for somebody else, you’ll make yourself extremely valuable.

Perhaps one of the most frequently overlooked jobs for multilinguals is that of cultural liaison. Someone who really understands and can articulate the different needs, wants, and motivations of many different cultures is someone who can make any multinational business function ten times better.

Imagine that you’re managing a hotel in Bahrain and you have American tourists and local desk staff upset at one another over perceived slights. It would be a nightmare for any other manager – but you are confidently multilingual and have taken the time to understand just what everybody is mad about.

It’s not a job you can just up and apply for, but by highlighting your intercultural communication skills in your resume, you can play up this strength and feel satisfied knowing you helped people get along.

Multitasking

3. Four Hotspots You Might Not Have Considered

If you have a particular skill and the desire to relocate, chances are you can find a job. But suppose you’re one of those multi-talented types, with five years of experience here and seven years of experience there.

There might be fields you’re qualified for but overlooking. Here’s just a small sample of sectors in four Arab countries that are growing with remarkable speed.

Telecommunication

1- Algeria: Telecommunications

The telecom industry in Algeria is wide open for investment, and that investment is coming like a tidal wave. Just this year, contracts were signed to push 5G coverage into the remotest provinces as well as expand fiber-optic communications lines across the country.

If you have any experience in telecom system management or information technology infrastructure development, Algeria wants you.

Will You Need Arabic?

Probably, or some French at the least. Algeria is not a country that ranks particularly highly when it comes to English ability among the general population. However, lots of people are multilingual in French, Amazigh, and Algerian Arabic. Much of the investment is coming from China, so some knowledge of Mandarin can’t hurt either.

make up one's mind to start something

2- UAE: Tech startups

The UAE, most prominently Dubai, is growing like crazy when it comes to tech. Investments in startups increased by a staggering seventeen times in just two years between 2014 and 2016. If you know something about data analysis, machine learning, or user interface design, your skills are going to be in high demand for sure.

Will You Need Arabic?

Probably not. All over the world, tech startups are increasingly being started-up by young and cosmopolitan people who grew up watching TV and surfing the Internet in English.

manmade islands

3- Dubai: Tourism and Hospitality

Here’s a fun little exercise for getting an Idea of the popularity of a particular place’s tourism industry.

Go on YouTube and search for that city, for example “Santa Monica” or “Dubai.” Just that one name. Then see where the results are from. Who’s shooting their vlogs there?

When it comes to Dubai, the answer is “everyone.” Taiwan, Poland, South Africa, Australia, Germany… it’s a worldwide tourist destination.

Will You Need Arabic?

Probably not. International hotel and resort chains frequently use English as the language of business. However, knowing how to speak the language or languages of your staff makes an enormous difference when it comes to management. There’s a chance that will be Arabic in Dubai, but knowledge of South or Southeast Asian languages might go a little farther.

Building Construction

4- Saudi Arabia: Real Estate

Construction and development is absolutely soaring in Saudi Arabia.

And just as in the medical sector, real estate companies are searching for top talent. You need to be someone with years of experience, even better if your career spans multiple levels of real estate management.

Will You Need Arabic?

It depends on the market that you end up in. It’s entirely possible that you can secure a position in which you’re not expected to interact with monolingual clients, or if absolutely necessary you can use an interpreter.

If you happen to speak truly excellent Arabic, you may be tasked with the all-important job of negotiation – in which case your cultural knowledge had better be at least as good as your language knowledge.

4. How To Look For Jobs in the Middle East

A very important concept when talking about business in the Middle East is connections.

Do you have them? Even if you think you don’t, is it possible someone you used to know ended up working in an Arab country or even has relatives there?

There’s your connection. Even something as tenuous as “a good friend of my high school girlfriend’s uncle” is a possible lead, and believe it or not it carries as much or more weight than an impressive cold call.

But don’t think of the whole Arab world as a place stifled by nepotism. Thousands of people can and regularly do get jobs just by posting their resumes on job boards or cold-emailing a company representative.

One thing you’ll definitely need for this is a tailored CV. (If you think that’s obvious, congratulations – you’re already well ahead of the curve.)

HR departments and recruiters in the Middle East tend to like fancier, lengthier CVs than people do in the west. Put some thought into the design, and don’t shy away from flowery language to spice up the details of your work experience.

You’ll also want to include personal information like age, gender, and nationality. Photos are important too. Plenty of people will rule out applicants if they don’t fit the exact physical description mentioned in the job posting.

Where exactly can you find all these job postings?

Job Search

5. Four Job Boards You Should Be Checking Out

1- Expat.com

Expat.com is a very valuable resource for people looking to move anywhere, not just the Middle East. In addition to a thriving job board, there’s also an active forum with advice from people who have seen and done it all before.

2- Bayt

Bayt bills itself as “The Middle East’s Leading Job Site,” and it certainly has the numbers to back that up. Tens of thousands of jobs are posted and filled every month! There’s also a very helpful advice blog and CV resource center – both full of advice on putting your best face forward to a very different culture.

3- Naukrigulf

This job site might not be as slick as Bayt, but Naukrigulf has just as big a presence. It’s extremely easy to hop on and browse all kinds of different categories, sorting by more than a dozen different requirements. At the time of this writing, five thousand jobs were added in the last seven days alone!

4- Wuzzuf

Are you looking specifically for an Egyptian job? Wuzzuf is the largest job board in Egypt, though of course it also has listings for nearby countries. The advantage of a more local board like this is that you can directly apply to Egyptian companies specifically instead of larger multinational corporations that might be more willing to hire internally.

Whatever you do, don’t turn to Craigslist as you might be tempted to. Craigslist, even in big cities of the Middle East, just isn’t used that much, and what you find on there is likely to be under-the-table at best and an outright scam at worst.

6. Expat Communities

There’s an interesting trend I’ve noticed about people living abroad. Lots of people don’t like the idea of being an expat, though they certainly like the idea of enjoying its benefits.

Lots of Westerners simply walk past each other without trying to make eye contact on the street, even in a place where they are clearly the only non-locals around. It can be kind of alienating!

Fortunately, that’s not always the case. Social media is a fantastic place these days for connecting with other foreigners in your land, and you will almost certainly be welcomed with open arms.

After all, as expats you’re facing a unique set of circumstances in the country that locals really can’t comprehend.

Facebook is by far the biggest place to make these connections. Simply search for “expats in X” and you’ll find lively groups that post anything from coping advice to job offers to upcoming events. Don’t be afraid to join national expat groups too if your local city group is small or nonexistent.

The more connections you can make, the better. When everybody is a stranger in a strange land, they’re all willing to help.

7. Are You Sure You’re Done Learning Arabic?

You know, even if you’re quite comfortable working in Arabic, there’s always room to improve.

And although many people speak other languages, the fact is that knowing the local language wherever you go is a huge advantage, even just psychologically speaking.

It eventually takes a bit of a mental toll to constantly block out the incomprehensible stream of noise or text you see all around you and constantly look for whatever you can understand.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

ArabicPod101 offers a comprehensive self-study program for the Arabic language. Although pod is in the name, it’s really far more than just a podcast. It’s an entire course delivered in the form of audio lessons, vocabulary resources, and written materials available on the website.

It’s totally painless to try out. Get started today, and give yourself the best leg up on a job in an Arab country!

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

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Give and Take: Secrets of Gift-Giving in Arabic Cultures

Give and Take in Arab Countries

1. Introduction

In the Arabic language, there are two words for a “gift.”

  • هدية (hadieh) is the type of gift that you would give for a birthday or Eid al-Fitr—a gift to celebrate a special occasion.
  • هبة (hiba) is a gift that truly comes from the heart—a donation, a sponsorship, even a sacrifice of some sort.

The language itself tells you how important the concept of gift-giving is in Arab culture. And as anyone who’s done business in the Arab world or experienced Arab hospitality knows, it’s an aspect that’s impossible to ignore.

So whether you’re preparing for a trip to Saudi Arabia or welcoming new Iraqi neighbors, check out the guide below to make sure you’re checking all the right boxes.

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2. Outstanding Gifts for All Occasions

Obviously, anything can be a gift when it’s among friends.

When you know someone well, you know what they like and dislike, and it’s not hard to figure out what kind of thing to get them.

But when it comes to strangers, you can just keep three things in mind: Food, Business, Hospitality.

  • Food: Gifts of food are safe, easy, and always welcome—though during the fasting month of Ramadan, it’s best to wait until after sundown to present someone with a gift of this sort. Offer packaged and easily shared foods such as dates, cookies, and sweets, particularly if the receiver has a family.
  • Business: The business-minded professional will always appreciate a tasteful personal organizer or business card holder, particularly in black or silver if it’s for a man.
  • Hospitality: Finally, treating someone to a business lunch or a friendly dinner—or a home-cooked meal, if possible—is truly going above and beyond. Refusing such an invitation might be perceived as rude, so a polite way to decline is to shift the blame to your company’s policy or something you have to do with your family.

Is there anything you should avoid giving? Certainly.

If your gift was given with friendly, sincere intentions, you’re unlikely to actually offend most people. Usually, they’ll politely put it aside and forgive you for your faux pas.

But of course, you never want to put anyone in that situation, so there are a couple of things you probably ought to leave off the shopping list.

Most everybody that knows about Muslim culture knows that pork and alcohol are forbidden, or حَرَام (haram).

However, did you know that many Muslims also prefer to stay away from dogs? This doesn’t apply to every follower of Islam, nor does it apply to every Arab, but unless you’re told otherwise, assume that gifts with dog motifs might not be so warmly accepted.

Art of Giving

3. The Art of Giving

Just as every culture has norms about gifts themselves, there are plenty of things to consider when actually exchanging the items. In Western culture, for instance, some personal gifts are inappropriate for men to give women or vice-versa.

But in Arab culture, gift-giving itself is considered too intimate of an act to be shared by men and women who aren’t husband and wife. If a man must give a gift to a woman, it’s more modest (and therefore more polite) to say that it came from his own mother or sister.

Even the act of handing over the gift is important. You wouldn’t like it if someone casually tossed an unwrapped gift at your feet—and in the Arab world, giving a gift with the left hand is a similarly-sized mistake.

As the left hand is considered unclean and associated with bathing, always use both hands or your right hand alone to give and receive presents. The most common thing you’ll likely receive is a business card—make sure you get this one right!

And lastly, keep in mind that giving gifts out of the blue carries an unspoken expectation that they will be repaid in kind later.

Gift

4. Conclusion

To say “Thank you for the gift,” in Arabic, use the phrase شكرا لك على الهدية. (shukran lak 3alaa al-hadiyya). A couple of well-chosen phrases in Arabic go a long way.

But it’s how you act when you give or get a gift that makes the most difference, not the language you use.
In Arab culture, just like in the West, you need to be sincere. Be generous. Be thoughtful.

If you picked out something cheap because you think it’ll help you land a business deal, the other person is going to see through that in a second.

So pay attention to the guidelines above, and remember the most important lesson: Give from the heart, and the rest will follow.

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

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A Handshake is Worth 1000 Words: Body Language in Dubai Business Culture

Body Language in Dubai Business Culture

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela gave some solid advice. Your words, and the language they’re spoken in, can make a powerful impact.

But what about what you’re not saying?

What are you communicating without even realizing it?

Is your message, “I’m confident, trustworthy, and capable,” or something more like “Watch out!”?

In this article, we’re going to take a holistic look at the nonverbal signals you might be giving your business partner.

When you’re in another culture, you can’t expect your body language to stay the same. In Dubai, you might accidentally be sending messages that tip the scales in the other guy’s favor—and not even know it!

Everything from your head to your feet matters in the business culture of Dubai, where personal relationships are the foundation of any successful venture.

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1. Your Face and Eyes

1- Smile Like You Mean It

A lot of people tend to go one of two ways when it comes to smiles.

They might avoid it entirely in the hopes that they’ll be taken seriously. Or they go too far, grinning like mad even past the point of burning cheeks.

Neither of these options flies particularly well in most countries in the world.

And in Dubai, you’ll need to tone it down even more.

Laughing too much at others’ jokes or always smiling without good reason makes you come off as an oddball at best—and untrustworthy at worst. If nobody understands what’s so funny, they’ll wonder what you know about the situation that they don’t.

If you’re at a trade show, for instance, you’ll see people on both ends of the spectrum trying to get your attention.

Watch and see—the ones in the middle, giving gentle and authentic smiles, are the ones who make the most connections.

Eye Contact

2- Eye Contact

Eye contact is the type of thing that really differs from person to person.

Some people in Dubai prefer strong eye contact as a show of respect, while others would prefer that you politely avert your gaze when speaking to them.

If you can, take a look at how other people around you—especially the successful ones—use eye contact.

Are they looking down into their teacups, over their partner’s shoulder, or directly into their eyes?

Follow their cues, and remember not to overthink things.

As a foreigner, you will be given a certain amount of leeway on these subtle issues. Just remember to stay focused and respectful when spoken to; don’t let your attention wander.

One more thing to note here: Men shouldn’t make prolonged eye contact with women, especially in public. It comes across as leery or even threatening and makes both parties uncomfortable before long.

3- Speech

Language

Dubai is an incredibly cosmopolitan city already, and becoming more international by the day.

You’re likely to hear a dozen languages on the street every time you go out.

Many firms even prefer to do business in English rather than hire an interpreter. If you’re experienced in international business, you’ll already know that English is widely spoken all around the world already.

Be that as it may, the fact is that Arabic is the de facto and de jure language of the UAE.

Native Emiratis speak Gulf Arabic from childhood and learn to read and write in the formal written language.

This Modern Standard Arabic differs in several key ways from the Gulf Arabic of the street. Pronouns are different, the grammar rules are more complex, and the written language preserves more classical vocabulary.

That means that learning to speak, read, and write in Arabic is a pretty big task. The U.S. Foreign Service Institute rates it as one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers.

With that effort, though, comes great reward.

By law, all contracts and regulations in Dubai must be in Modern Standard Arabic.

Knowing the language will make you more confident that what you’re signing matches the translation you’re given.

And it also gives you an enormous status boost.

Even by learning a few polite phrases you’ll separate yourself from the foreign expats who couldn’t care less about the local culture. You wouldn’t believe how many people live for years in a foreign country, expecting everyone to speak English whenever they go out.

People will notice the effort you’ve made to connect with them, and it won’t be forgotten.

Etiquette

No matter what language you speak, there are a couple of notes you should pay attention to for conversation etiquette as well.

Whenever you’re meeting with a local, you should avoid dominating the conversation.

Give them time to think, and don’t interpret short silences as awkward. In the negotiation-laden Arabian Gulf, people often take a while to think things over.

It may take quite a few sips of tea or scratches of the chin before the time comes to give an answer.

In addition, steer away from rude language and asking about a man’s wife.

Bawdy language in the some countries can be a mark of camaraderie, but in the Arab world it’s far too forward for a formal meeting.

And though it’s important to pay attention to business partners’ personal lives, it’s also a little bit out of bounds to ask directly about a man’s wife—so ask about his family as a whole instead.

4- Out to Lunch

Dining etiquette and table manners are complicated enough to deserve an entire article on their own.

Fortunately, a lot of the things that are polite or rude in other countries have the same connotation in Dubai.

And that’s great! When you’re looking at an array of amazing al-machboos, shawarma, and al-harees, you don’t want to have to think too hard before you eat!

The basic rules are easy to remember. Don’t talk with your mouth full, don’t gorge yourself, don’t make loud eating noises—the usual stuff.

However, you should also make sure that you’re one of the last to begin eating unless invited otherwise. This shows great respect for all present.

If bread is a part of the meal—and it’s likely to be—don’t cut it with a knife. Instead, tear it with your hands and eat small pieces.

Lastly, don’t order any alcohol when you’re out at a restaurant.

Most Muslims don’t drink alcohol, and you don’t want to be the only one at the table drinking, even if nobody says anything.

If you happen to be dining with someone who does drink alcohol, wait for them to suggest it.

Hand and Shoulder

2. Your Shoulders and Hands

1- Physical Affection

Physical affection between male friends is more common in Dubai than in some other countries.

For example, you might see two men holding hands in the street—think nothing of it. In the same vein, don’t be surprised if a local friend of yours holds onto your handshake longer than you’re expecting him to.

In many countries, it’s not particularly common for men to show each other much, if any, physical affection.

Emirati men, in contrast, are used to clapping each other on the back or throwing their arms around each other’s shoulders to physically express their close friendship.

If this makes you uncomfortable, then you do have the right to hold back a little.

This is another thing that foreigners aren’t expected to master straight away. In fact, anyone used to dealing with business people in other countries is likely aware of the preference for less physical contact.

But again, the more you approach this cultural gap with an open mind, the less of an obstacle you’ll find it to be.

Handshake

2- Handshakes

In the Arab world, handshakes are often less firm than you may be used to.

How many ‘80s business seminars went over the importance of a firm, manly handshake? Something about showing your dominance in the room or your physical strength?

Forget it. In rapidly-advancing Dubai, that ideal is far behind.

A powerful handshake can come off as pugnacious and aggressive—far from your intended effect.

Don’t take offense if you’re offered a “limp” handshake at a meeting or introduction. The handshake in Dubai is more of a show of respect than power.

Speaking of respect, it’s important to greet people by using their official titles.

If you’re meeting someone with a PhD, call them Doctor. If you have the opportunity to meet a sheikh, use Sheikh as the title and then their full name.

By the way, just as with eye contact, men should also avoid offering Muslim women handshakes.

The opportunity may never even come up, but you should keep it in mind. If a woman offers her hand to you, don’t refuse and instead give the same light but respectful handshake discussed above.

Women should be prepared for Emirati men to refuse a handshake on religious grounds.

If this happens, don’t take it as a snub and instead place your right hand over your heart with a small nod of your head and a smile.

The reasoning behind this is simple.

In conservative Muslim cultures, men are expected to respect a woman’s comfort zone. In Dubai, this takes the form of refraining from all forms of physical contact.

3- Hand Etiquette & More

It’s the age-old question in any new situation: “What am I supposed to do with my hands?”

The same tactics that work in other countries work in Dubai too.

Don’t clench your fists, don’t cross your arms tightly, don’t fiddle with your clothes. If you’re nervous, adopt a relaxed yet upright posture with your right hand holding your left wrist.

There’s just one extra general rule to remember:

In Dubai, as in many Muslim cultures, it’s considered rude to offer things with the left hand.

Traditionally, the left hand is used for cleaning after using the bathroom. That may or may not be the case for you, but keep in mind the cultural association.

That’s what native Emiratis think of when you offer them your left hand. Is that where you want their mind to go in a business meeting?

Whether you’re a lefty or a righty, you need to shake hands with your right hand, open doors for people with your right hand, and hand things to others with—you guessed it—your right hand.

And what’s one of the most important handoffs you’re going to make?

The business card.

When you exchange business cards, take the other person’s with both hands and examine it carefully before putting it away.

Hand over your own card with your right hand, naturally, and make sure that the Arabic side is facing up.

Surely you remembered to have your cards printed in Arabic and English, right?

One more thing to note:

During a meeting, you may notice that people look down at their phones more often than you’d like.

But this isn’t seen as rude or intrusive in Dubai.

Rather—depending on whom you’re meeting, of course—a meeting is more of an extension of someone’s regular work day instead of special time set aside to connect one-on-one.

Unfortunately, as a foreigner you may be held to a bit of a higher standard here.

You’re expected to show a very high degree of respect to your hosts, and that may mean sacrificing the freedom of checking your emails while someone else is talking.

Smile Like You Mean It

3. Your Legs and Feet

1- Confident Posture

When your business associate comes into the room, they want to see a confident businessperson.

And you want to control the room as much as you can from your own position.

You can achieve this, in part, by widening your frame slightly and simply taking up a little more space in the room.

Stand with your feet slightly apart to project an image of powerful confidence without intimidation.

Slouching is frowned upon in most cultures already, but in the stricter and more formal business culture of Dubai, it’s seen as even more negative.

Slouching when sitting or walking implies that you’re either lazy, uncomfortable, or have something to hide.

In contrast, if you pull the old trick of leaning back in your chair with your hands behind your head to intimidate others, you’ll come off as trying way too hard.

Avoid this outdated tactic, and instead go for a friendly, genuine slight lean forward over the desk. You’ll appear eager to listen to what the other party has to say, which can only lead to a smoother relationship.

2- Bottom of the Feet

Be sure not to step on anyone’s toes—literally or figuratively!

Similar to the left hand, many more conservative people in Dubai find the bottom of the feet unclean.

Resting with your feet pointed at someone else or accidentally kicking someone under the table might not get you in trouble directly, but it sends a subconscious message that you don’t respect them.

Pay attention to how you’re crossing your legs and feet in a meeting. Are your feet pointed toward somebody you’re trying to impress, or worse yet, toward someone with higher status than you? They’d better not be.

Don’t jiggle your legs when you’re sitting down, either.

It’s a sign of nervousness, and it shows your conversation partner that something else is on your mind. And at a business lunch, there’s the added danger of knocking over the tea!

After reading this list, you might be thinking, “Are these little things really what’s going to make or break my business deal?”

But put yourself in the other person’s shoes. (As an expat, that’s an exercise you should be doing daily anyway.)

Suppose someone came into your office with a sullen look on his face, gave you a sweaty, limp handshake, fiddled with his phone during your conversation, and slammed the door behind him on the way out.

Each of these things individually could be explained away with the context or easily brushed aside.

But together, they’re practically unforgivable. You probably hate that guy just from the description!

That’s the same kind of cultural friction that can happen when you hold on to all your previous body language norms in a new environment.

In doing business in a different culture, you’ve made an unspoken commitment to respect the local people and their way of life. If you can’t back that up with your actions, you’re not going to meet with a whole lot of success.

4. Conclusion

Dubai is a rapidly growing cosmopolitan city. Local businesspeople are used to dealing with foreigners from all over the world.

It’s completely natural that they’ll have dealt with cultural misunderstandings before.

That high tolerance, however, only makes it that much more valuable to be aware of and respectful of the local culture.

If you’re used to people making mistakes, someone who’s sensitive to what you find offensive is going to be a breath of fresh air.

Your task is simple and yet endless. Culture runs far deeper than can be described in a simple article. These simple outward differences between body language in other countries and body language in Dubai are rooted in millennia of tradition.

All you have to do to conquer this is to see the world with an open mind.

You have to understand that what you find offensive or grating might not matter at all to others. Conversely, they might find themselves subconsciously annoyed because of something you don’t even think about.

You just need to keep one basic principle in mind. If you can pay attention to how others act and react, you’ll be on the right track to mastering your body language no matter where you go.

And Dubai is waiting for you to take that first step.

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

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How to Say I Love You in Arabic - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Arabic could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Arabic partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At ArabicPod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Arabic lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Arabic dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. Arabic Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. Arabic Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Arabic Faster?

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your Arabic love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Arabic word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Arabic date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

Arabic Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • تخرجي تتعشي معايا؟
  • toḫrogī tetʿaššī maʿāyā?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Arabic is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • عندك وقت في أجازة نهاية الأُسبوع؟
  • ʿandek waʾt fī ʾagāzeẗ nehāyeẗ el-ʾosbūʿ?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • عاوز نخرج سوا؟
  • ʿāwez noḫrog sawā?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • هنتقابل بكرة إمتى؟
  • hanetʾābel bokrah ʾemtā?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • هنتقابل فين؟
  • hanetʾābel feīn?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • شكلك رائع.
  • šaklek rāʾeʿ.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • أنت جميلة جداً.
  • ʾanti ǧamīlaẗun ǧidan.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • رأيك إية في المكان ده؟
  • raʾyak ʾeīh fī el-makān dah?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your Arabic language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • ممكن أشوفك تاني؟
  • momken ʾašūfek tānī?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • نروح مكان تاني؟
  • nerūḥ makān tānī?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • أنا عارف مكان لطيف.
  • ʾanā ʿāref makān laṭīf.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • هوصلك بيتك.
  • hawaṣṣalek beītek.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • كانت ليلة رائعة.
  • kānat laylaẗan rāʾiʿah.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • أشوفك تاني إمتى؟
  • ʾašūfek tānī ʾemtā?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • هتصل بيك.
  • hatteṣel bīk.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the Arabic phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Arabic below!

Date Ideas in Arabic

museum

  • متحف
  • mutḥaf

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • عشاء على ضوء الشموع
  • ʿašāʾ ʿalā ḍawʾ al-šumūʿ

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • رحلة إلى حديقة الحيوان
  • riḥlah ʾilā ḥadīqah al-ḥayawān

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • الذهاب في نزهة طويلة
  • al-ḏahāb fī nuzhaẗin ṭawīlah

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • الذهاب إلى الأوبرا
  • al-ḏahābu ʾilā al-ʾūbirā

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • الذهاب إلى حديقة الأسماك
  • al-ḏahābu ʾilā ḥadīqaẗi al-ʾasmāk

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • السير على الشاطئ
  • al-sayr ʿalā al-šāṭiʾ

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • القيام بنزهة
  • al-qiyām binuzhah

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • طهي وجبة معا
  • ṭahī waǧbah maʿan

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • تناول العشاء ومشاهدة فيلم
  • tanāwul al-ʿašāʾ ūmušāhadah fīlm

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Arabic

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Arabic - think how impressed your date will be!

4. Arabic Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Arabic yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Arabic? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Arabic love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in Arabic

I love you.

  • أنا أحبك.
  • ʾanā ʾuḥibbuka.

Saying ‘I love you’ in Arabic carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • أنت تعني الكثير بالنسبة لي.
  • ʾanta taʿnī al-kaṯiīra bilnisbaẗi liī.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • هل يمكنك أن تكون رفيقي في عيد الحب؟
  • hal yumkinuka an takuna rafiqi fiī ʿiīdi al-ḥubb?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • أنت جميلة جداً.
  • ʾanti ǧamīlah ǧiddan.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Arabic, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • أعتبرك أكثر من صديق.
  • ʾaʿtabiruki ʾakṯar min ṣadiīq.

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Arabic dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • مئة قلب لن يكونوا كافيين لحمل حبي لكي.
  • miʾaẗu qalbin lan yakūnūā kaāfiīīn liḥamli ḥubī lakī.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • الحب هو الحب. لا يمكن أبدا تفسيره.
  • al-ḥubbu huwa al-ḥubbu. laā yumkinu ʾabadan tafsiīruhu.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • أنت وسيم جداً.
  • ʾanta wasīmun ǧiddan.

Ladies, this phrase lets your Arabic love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • أنا معجب بك.
  • ʾanā muʿǧabun biki.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • أنت تجعليني أريد أن أكون رجلا أفضل.
  • ʾanti taǧʿaliīnī ʾurīdu ʾan ʾakūna raǧulan ʾafḍal.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Arabic girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • إجعل كل شيئ تفعله مفعماً بالحب.
  • ʾiǧʿal kulla šaīʾin tafʿaluhu mufʿaman bilḥubbi.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • أنت لي شروق الشمس، يا حبي.
  • ʾanti lī šurūqa al-ššamsi, yaā ḥubbī.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • لا يمكن الكلمات أن تصف حبي لك.
  • laā yumkinu lilkalimāti ʾan taṣifa ḥubbī laki.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • كان مقدراً لنا أن نكون معاً.
  • kāna muqaddaran lanā ʾan nakūna maʿan.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • إذا كنت تفكر بشخص ما في أثناء قراءة هذا، فأنت بالتأكيد واقع في الحب.
  • ʾiḏā kunta tufakkiru bišaḫṣin maā fiī ʾaṯnāʾi qarāʾaẗi haḏā, faʾnta bal-ttaʾkiīd waāqiʿun fiī al-ḥunb.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. Arabic Quotes about Love

Arabic Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your Arabic lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Arabic that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Arabic Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your Arabic lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Arabic custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Arabic Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • نحتاج إلى أن نتحدث
    • naḥtāǧu ʾilā ʾan nataḥaddaṯ

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • السبب ليس أنت, إنه أنا.
    • al-ssababu laīsa ʾanta, ʾinnahu ʾanā.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Arabic lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • أنا فقط لست جاهزاً لأن أكون في هذا النوع من العلاقة.
    • ʾanā faqaṭ lastu ǧāhizan laʾan ʾakūna fiī haḏā al-nnaūʿi mina al-ʿalāqah.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • دعنا نكون مجرد أصدقاء.
    • daʿnā nakūnu muǧarrada ʾaṣdiqāʾ.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Arabic, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • أعتقد أننا بحاجة إلى إستراحة.
    • ʾaʿtaqidu ʾannanā biḥāǧah ʾilā ʾistirāḥah.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • أنت تستحق أفضل من ذلك.
    • ʾanta tastaḥiqu ʾafḍala min ḏalik.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • علينا أن نبدأ رؤية أشخاص آخرين.
    • ʿalaīnā ʾan nabdaʾ biruʾuyaẗi ʾašḫāṣin ʾāḫariīn.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • أحتاج مساحتي الخاصة.
    • ʾaḥtāǧu masāḥatiī al-ḫāṣah.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • أعتقد أن علاقتنا تتطور بسرعة كبيرة.
    • ʾaʿtaqdu ʾanna ʿalāqatanā tataṭawwaru bisurʿah kabīrah.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • أحتاج أن أركز على حياتي المهنية.
    • ʾaḥtāǧu ʾann ʾurakkiza ʿlaā ḥayaātī al-mihaniyyah.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • أنا لست جيداً بما يكفي بالنسبة لك.
    • ʾanā lastu ǧaīdan bimā yakfiī bilnnisbaẗi laki.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • أنا لم أعد أحبك.
    • ʾanā lam ʾaʿud ʾuḥibuka.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • نحن لسنا مناسبان لبعضنا.
    • naḥnu lasnā munāsibān libaʿḍinā.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • إنه للأفضل.
    • ʾinnahu lilʾafḍal.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • لم نعد نستطيع التفاهم.
    • lam naʿad nastaṭiīʿ al-ttafāhum.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Arabic faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. ArabicPod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Arabic language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Arabic Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Arabic speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    ArabicPod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Arabic, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Arabic even faster.

    2- Having your Arabic romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Arabic language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Arabic lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Arabic partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why ArabicPod101 helps you learn Arabic Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Arabic

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Arabic is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at ArabicPod101 is translated into both English and Arabic. So, while your partner can help you learn Arabic faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Arabic Culture
    At ArabicPod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Arabic speaking country. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Arabic partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Arabic Phrases
    You now have access to ArabicPod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Arabic soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!