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Top 100+ Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions (with English Translations)

Top 100+ Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions (with English Translations)

Imagine yourself spending your holidays in Lebanon. You haven’t gotten the hang of speaking Arabic yet. You’re enjoying your time there, but you still feel strongly disconnected from where you are. Many Lebanese don’t speak English, and you don’t even know how to let people know that you do not speak Arabic.

This is where the importance of learning basic Arabic phrases comes in.

Not only will it help you communicate with the local community; it will also help you gain that connection you would otherwise be yearning for.

I would highly recommend that you start by learning (at least some of) the Arabic alphabet.

While using transcriptions might seem like a really nice way to get a head start, I promise you’re doing yourself more harm than good; you’re just prolonging your time without the alphabet.

Why? Basically, your pronunciation will suffer, which will, in turn, harm your memorization and retention abilities.

Before we move on to the top 100+ basic Arabic phrases list below, here are some tips to help you memorize foreign language expressions easily.

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Easily Memorize Basic Arabic Phrases
  2. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Friendly Conversations
  3. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Traveling and Shopping
  4. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Emergency
  5. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Holidays

1. How to Easily Memorize Basic Arabic Phrases

All of us run into that dreaded point in our language learning journeys where either the phrases we learned start to get all jumbled up in our brains, or we just can’t seem to stuff those bizarre sounding words into our brains.

Are you stuck in this stagnation rut?

Don’t worry. You’re in good company.

Here is a list of the most useful tips for learning those difficult Arabic words and phrases that have evaded your memory… at least until now.

flashcards

a. Flashcards

Now, before you get all in a fuss because you’ve “tried flashcards before” and they didn’t work, just stick with me for a minute. All of us have tried normal flashcards, and most of us have come to the inevitable conclusion that they’re simply not that helpful.

Enter the SRS–spaced repetition system.

What’s spaced repetition exactly? It’s a powerful learning method that will automatically quiz you on those bothersome words you always seem to forget, which is proven to help push those pesky vocab words deeper into your long-term memory.

Sound like magic? It pretty much is.

With ArabicPod101, you get our spaced repetition flashcards. You don’t have to make cards or do work. You have ready-made decks waiting for you such as the top 100 words, and you can easily send words from Vocab Lists and lessons to your flashcards.

How does it work? Just start reviewing the flashcards and mark words as correct or incorrect. This is where the magic happens. If you mark a word as incorrect, you’ll see it again and again until you can properly recall it. Then, you’ll see it in your next study sessions just to make sure you remember. Mark a word correct and you’ll see it sporadically; just enough to keep your memory sharp.

When, you’re done, feel free to stop and relax. Our flashcards will remind you when to study again.

Anki is another popular spaced repetition system. Basically, all you have to do is create your flashcards after downloading the app on your computer or phone and start studying!

For instructions on how to use the application as efficiently as possible, I would head on over to Fluent Forever and read up on how to create some of the most powerful flashcards on the planet.

With Anki, you can make your flashcards as boring or as exciting as you want. (I would personally go for the more exciting ones–they’re way easier to remember!)
You can also either give yourself some hints (for those phrases you have a really hard time remembering), or you can add sound files of native speakers pronouncing those words or phrases!

With Forvo and RhinoSpike, you can add pictures straight from Arabic Google.

Whatever problem you’re running into, the chances are high that it can be solved with Anki and some good flashcards.

Maybe Anki isn’t your style. No problem. I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve.

Memrise is one of those weird mixes of two study methods that just works. It’s not a full-blown SRS like Anki, but it does incorporate similar technology to help you push those words and phrases deeper into your memory, just like Anki does.

So what’s the difference?

Basically, Memrise relies heavily on user-added mnemonics (I’ll talk more about mnemonics shortly). This way, each user can add their own mnemonic to each of the words and phrases they learn, or they can simply choose one of the mnemonics added by a previous user that they feel helps them remember that word.

That’s all well and good, but if you don’t know how to use it, you’re back to square one.

Well, I’m here to save the day once again! (Cue the dramatic hero music playing in the background…)

Just head on over to Memrise, create yourself an account, find some Arabic courses, and start learning those words!

Memrise utilizes mnemonics to help push the problem words deep into your memory by attaching them to something that you have no trouble at all remembering.

For some people, this is the difference between reaching fluency and mumbling like a language amateur.

That’s a nice segue into my second category of memorization tips.

b. Mnemonics

Mnemonics are something that most people have at least heard of, but don’t really know what it means—much less how to use it.

A mnemonic is a device that you use to attach to a concept that makes it easier to remember.

For instance, the French word for eggs is oeufs, which sounds kind of like the sound I make when something disgusts me. So my mnemonic is thinking about a nasty egg and saying “Ughh!!”

Simple enough?

There are tons of mnemonics out there. For a complete list, you can google “mnemonics for language learning.” People have come up with all sorts of crazy ways to memorize vocabulary and most of them are at least somewhat useful!

c. Clozemaster

Clozemaster is a newer website and I think it brings a very valuable learning experience to the table.

It presents a massive number of sentences in different formats to help expose you to large quantities of the language.

Basically, it allows you to start thinking critically about what you’re learning, which will allow you to memorize those phrases faster.

You can choose Arabic on the site and go to the most frequent words category to start learning the most important Arabic words first. This is a website that I recommend to all my students.

If you use these resources, your problems with Arabic are going to either become smaller, completely go away, or at least become a lot more fun!

In all seriousness though, these resources will help you learn basic Arabic phrases easier; just make sure you learn the alphabet and pronunciation before you get started with these.

After that, just chug right along until those words start to stick in your head.

conversation

2. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Friendly Conversations

Below are a few basic phrases and expressions you could find very useful in most conversations:

Good evening
مساء الخير
Masa’o lkhayr

Good morning
صباح الخير
Sabaho lkhayr

Hello
أهلا
Ahlan

How are you?
كيف حالك؟
Kayfa haluk?

Where are you?
أين أنت؟
Ayna ant?

Thanks
شكرا
Shukran

No problem
لا مشكلة
La mushkila

Oh my God!
يا إلهي
Ya ilahi

Wow
يا سلام
Ya salam

No
لا
La

Yes
نعم / أجل
Na’am / Ajal

Excuse me
معذرة
Ma’azira

I’m sorry
أنا آسف
Ana asif

Goodbye
مع السلامة
Ma’a Salama

See you soon
أراك لاحقا
Araka lahikan

Please
من فضلك
Min fazlik

Come
تعال
Ta’al

I’m not interested
أنا لست مهتما
Ana lastu muhtaman

Stop
توقف
Tawaqaf

I can’t
لا أستطيع
La astati’e

How can I …?
كيف يمكنني أن…؟
Kayfa yumkinony ann…?

My name is…
إسمي هو…
Ismi hwa…

What’s your name?
ما إسمك؟
Ma usmuk?

Nice to meet you
سررت بلقائك
Surertu biliqa’ik

I’m fine
أنا بخير
Ana bikhayr

What’s you like to do in your free time?
ماذا تفعله في أوقات فراغك؟
Maza taf’aluhu fi awqati faraghik?

What do you do?
ما هي مهنتك؟
Ma hya mihnatuk?

What’s your dream job?
ما هي الوظيفة التي تحلم بها؟
Ma hya lwadifato lati tahlomo biha?

What time is it?
كم الساعة؟
Kam i ssa’a?

I appreciate this
أقدر هذا
Oqadiro haza

Enjoy the rest of your day
طاب يومك
Taba yawmuk

What do you think?
ما رأيك؟
Ma ra’eyok?

Sounds good
يبدو جيدا
Yabdo jayidan

Never mind
لا يهم
La yohim

I don’t understand
لا أفهم
La afham

Could you repeat that, please?
هل يمكنك إعادة هذا من فضلك؟
Hal yomkinoka i’adato haza min fazlik?

Could you please talk slower?
هل يمكنك التحدث ببطئ؟
Hal yomkinoka tahadusu bobota’e?

What’s your phone number?
ما هو رقم هاتفك؟
Ma hwa raqmu hatifika?

What does that mean?
ماذا يعني هذا؟
Maza ya’ani haza?

Give me one minute
دقيقة من فضلك
Daqiqa min fazlik

Sorry for the delay
عذرا على التأخير
Ozran a’ala ata’ekhir

shopping

3. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Traveling and Shopping

Below are some phrases that could be useful if you’re not native or extremely familiar with the country you’re visiting:

Where are you from?
من أين أنت؟
Min ayna ant?

I’m American
أنا أمريكي
Ana amrikea

I’m Canadian
أنا كندي
Ana canadea

I’m English
أنا إنجليزي
Ana injleezea

I’m Australian
أنا أسترالي
Ana australea

I’m from …
أنا من…
Ana min…

How much is this?
بكم هذا؟
Bikam haza?

I don’t speak Arabic fluently
لا أتحدث العربية بطلاقة
La atahadathu alarabya bitalaqa

Do you speak English?
هل تجيد الإنجليزية؟
Hal tojido alinjlizya?

How do you spell this?
كيف تتهجأ هذا؟
Kayfa tatahaja’o haza?

How long have you been here?
منذ متى وأنت هنا؟
Munzu mata wa anta huna?

Where are you heading?
إلى أين أنت ذاهب؟
Ila ayna anta zahib?

Where can we go hitchhiking?
أين يمكننا توقيف السيارات؟
Ayna yomkinona tawqifo sayarat?

Where is the nearest main road?
أين هي أقرب طريق رئيسية؟
Ayna hya aqrabo tariqin ra’isya?

How much is the ticket?
بكم التذكرة؟
Bikam i tazkira?

Can you present me to your family members?
هل يمكنك أن تقدمني إلى أفراد عائلتك؟
Hal yumkinoka an to’aifany ila afradi a’aliatik?

How far is …?
بكم يبعد…؟
Bikam yaba’odo …?

Can you teach me some Arabic?
هل يمكنك تعليمي بعض العربية؟
Hal yomkinoka ta’alimi ba’ada alarabya?

Can you translate this for me?
هل يمكنك ترجمة هذا لي؟
Hal yumkinoka tarjamato haza li?

What are the best places to visit in …?
ما هي أحسن الأماكن للزيارة في …؟
Ma hya ahsanu alamakini lizyarati fi …?

What time should we check out?
متى يجب أن نغادر الفندق؟
Mata yajibo an noghadira alfondoq?

Let’s have some food. I’m hungry.
فلنأكل بعض الطعام. أنا جائع.
Falnakul ba’ada ta’am. Ana ja’ea

Where is the airport?
أين هو المطار؟
Ayna hwa almatar?

emergency

4. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Emergency

Below are some phrases to use if you are not native and find yourself in an emergency situation:

Help!
!النجدة
Annajda!

I need help
أحتاج إلى المساعدة
Ahtaju ila almusa’ada

Where is the hospital?
أين هو المستشفى؟
Ayna hwa almustashfa?

Do you have a phone?
هل لديك هاتف؟
Hal ladayka hatif?

I have a fever
أعاني من الحمى
O’ani min alhumaa

I’m scared
أنا خائف
Ana kha’if

Can you call the police?
هل يمكنك الإتصال بالشرطة؟
Hal yumkinoka alitissal bishorta?

ِCan you call the fire department?
هل يمكنك الإتصال بمركز الإطفاء؟
Hal yumkinoka alitisalo bimarkazi litfa’e?

Can you help me?
هل يمكنك مساعدتي؟
Hal yumkinoka musa’adati?

How can I help?
كيف يمكنني المساعدة؟
Kayfa yomkinoni almosa’ada?

I’m in danger
أنا في خطر
Ana fi khatar

Let’s get out of here
فلنخرج من هنا
Falnakhruj min huna

holiday

5. Basic Arabic Phrases and Expressions for Holidays

Below are some phrases if you want to wish someone a happy holiday or celebration:

Happy Birthday
عيد ميلاد سعيد
Ida mealadin sa’id

Happy Eid
عيد سعيد
Eid Sa’id

Happy New Year
كل عام وأنتم بخير
Kula a’am wa antum bikhayr

Congratulations
هنيئا / مبروك
Hani’an / Mabruk

Happy wedding
حفل زفاف سعيد
Hafla zifafin sa’id

Birthday cake
كعكة عيد ميلاد
Ka’akato idi milad

Fireworks
الألعاب النارية
Alal’ab anarya

Where are you spending the holidays?
أين ستقضي عطلتك؟
Ayna sataqdy otlatak?

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Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer, polyglot and co-founder of WriteWorldwide.

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