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Archive for the 'Arabic Phrases' Category

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.

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)

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    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!

    How to Write a Strong Business Email in Arabic

    Business Email in Arabic

    Do you know what the most decisive moment of a day in the office is?

    It happens in the blink of an eye, and it could mean the start of a great deal—or a disaster.

    It’s the length of time it takes for you to click “Send.”

    A scary moment, to be sure. Are you positive there weren’t any mistakes in that last email? Did it go to the right person?

    And when you’re doing business in another culture and another language, the pressure gets turned up to eleven.

    But at the same time, the rewards could be enormous.

    If you’re someone who’s already got a decent grasp of the written Arabic language, then you might be ready for the challenge of writing business emails in Arabic.

    What does it take—and what’s in it for you?

    In this guide, you’ll find out the answers to these questions, along with a couple of indispensable phrases that can guide you to a stunning Arabic email debut.

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    1. Why Write Business Emails in Arabic?

    Isn’t English enough?

    Yes and no.

    It all depends on the culture of your company and what you’d like to get across.

    You’ll hear from plenty of people that English is the language of the business world no matter where you are on the globe. And in a country like the UAE, the majority of the population are non-Arabic-speaking expats.

    But it’s a fact that people always prefer to use their native language for things they’re closely tied to. Besides, it’s very likely that you’ll end up communicating with expats from Arabic-speaking countries at some point—or, depending on your business role, Arabic speakers from all over the world.

    Even if you’re fluent in another language, someone who is able to communicate in your native language is going to automatically get your full attention. You’re going to listen to what they have to say by default.

    It’s also important to take a look at what you’re communicating by the mere fact of deciding to write in Arabic. Doing so means that you’re making an unspoken commitment to continue contact in Arabic as long as you need to.

    You’re giving power to the other party to cut off or continue contact in that language. On the other hand, if you start switching between languages from one email to the next, they’ll wonder what’s going on behind the scenes, and they might start asking themselves questions about your competence.

    Sending internal emails in Arabic might be a great idea if you want to promote multiculturalism and multilingualism in the workplace—two values that go hand-in-hand in the rapidly-diversifying Middle East.

    Remember, though, that hierarchy is taken extremely seriously in Arab culture. It’s best to check with a cultural facilitator or local contact who’s familiar with your specific business situation.

    Sending emails in Arabic to other business contacts shows that you’re ready to take that plunge into all-Arabic communication, and it also shows that you’re already highly knowledgeable about Arab culture. With just a few hundred words of text, you’ll set yourself apart from all the millions of expats that prefer to live in bubbles of their native language.

    So what kind of messages should you send in Arabic?

    A thank-you email is a great place to start.

    “Thank you” is one of the best phrases to learn in any language. It’s an honest sentiment that can really make someone feel appreciated. What better way to say it than in their own language?

    If you have a business meeting with an Arabic speaker, send a follow-up thank-you note in Arabic regardless of whether or not you managed to achieve all of your personal goals. It will be highly appreciated as a token of friendship and a desire to continue business relations. You can find a sample template at the end of this article.

    This can also be a great way to initiate contact in Arabic, with the closer cooperation that that implies.

    One thing you should avoid is inserting Arabic text seemingly at random into an English
    email, or only translating some words and phrases to give it an “international flair.”

    Not only does the formatting look like a mess, but the overall effect is jarring. The two writing styles are vastly different, and it will make the recipient wonder what you’re trying to accomplish by not sticking to one language.

    Business Writing

    2. Prerequisites for Business Writing

    First off, you need to be very comfortable with the written language. Reading and writing simple things in Arabic should be something you can do in your sleep.

    Remember, the person you’re writing to has likely put an enormous amount of time and effort into learning to communicate in English.

    If you write their language poorly, you’ll come off as being clumsy and uneducated. Nobody has time for deciphering broken Arabic in the morning.

    That’s why you can’t take the leap of writing business emails in Arabic until you can already write plenty of other things in Arabic, too.

    Besides, you’ll need to be able to read the response!

    However, that doesn’t mean you should wait until you’re perfect to start writing in Arabic. Perfection is the enemy of progress.

    It’s okay if you make a few missteps in grammar or word choice. Locals understand how difficult it is to become literate in Arabic, and they’re certainly not perfect at writing in every other language.

    In addition to a correct knowledge of grammar, you’ll need to have a strong knowledge of style.

    Business Correspondence Style

    3. Business Correspondence Style

    This is a place where Arab culture really comes through in the language.

    As anyone who’s done business in an Arab country knows, it’s crucial to avoid being overly direct or blunt. Oral negotiations can take a long time, and any discussion over text becomes even more oblique.

    You need to write in a style that might remind you of a nineteenth-century novel in English—the more words, the better.

    Just to give you an example of the language I’m talking about, here’s an English translation of an email in Arabic that I once came across:

    It is out of the immense appreciation and respect that I hold towards you, and my belief in the Egyptian saying that goes “amiable relationships require occasional reproach,” that I am writing to you to express some gentle criticism that I hope you might take to heart magnanimously.

    In fact, if you’re addressing someone with a significantly higher status than you, you should show your respect in the very heart of the language. Address them in the plural with the words second person male/female plural. That’s actually how English used to work, by the way—and you can still see elements of it in the “royal we.”

    You don’t need to use the plural form of address if you’re specifically talking about that one person. But if they represent a department you’re contacting, it’s a sign of respect that won’t go amiss.

    If your email happens to contain any criticism or even suggestions, it is absolutely imperative that you put them forth in a way that minimizes embarrassment to the other party.

    Causing someone else to lose face or take offense, even privately and even because of their own mistake, is a recipe for bad business relations in the future.

    “Sugar-coating” is the wrong word here, but it’s a similar idea. To better understand this point, don’t think of it as avoiding the topic or as flattery. Remember that it’s a part of the culture and the long literary tradition to speak of things obliquely.

    To that end, let’s take a look at the important elements of any business letter in the Arabic language.

    Business Letter

    4. Important Elements of a Business Letter

    • Address
    • In the Arab world, respect, trust, and hierarchy form the core of social and business relationships.

      When you address someone in a formal business letter or email, you need to include their full name and title. If they’re a doctor, call them Doctor. If they’re a sheikh, call them Sheikh.

      Instead of “Dear…” as a prefix to the recipient’s name, you have to show your respect by using the word الفاضل meaning “virtuous.”

      Virtuous/Respected Dr. Khalid…
      الدكتور الفاضل خالد…

    • Opening
    • You want to start right out of the gate with the standard all-purpose Arabic opening:

      السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
      This means, “May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.”

      Follow this up with the post-opening:

      تحية طيبة وبعد،
      Meaning, “Respectful greetings.”

      These two lines or slight variations of them are obligatory for all formal writing. They should flow off your keyboard without a second thought. Plus, in terms of style, they’re a great warm-up for what’s about to come next.

    • Flowery Language
    • If the address and salutation didn’t tip you off, you’ll notice now that Arabic formal writing uses incredibly vibrant and flowery language.

      It’s difficult to translate in an idiomatic way, just because it’s far closer to the English writing style of more than a hundred years ago.

      Further, if you can put in literary references, do it.

      Anytime you can add more adjectives to show your respect and honor for the recipient, do it.

      Here is an example:

      It is with great deference that I bring to your attention…

      Please accept my most sincere and humble apologies for the inconvenience.

      مع احترام كبير أردت إخباركم أن…

      يرجى قبول اعتذاري المخلص على المضايقة…

      If you need more examples like these, we’ve included more in the next two sections of this article.

    • Closing
    • Closing out the email can be a kind of “cool down” for your literary writing. Use a phrase like this to once more show your respect to the recipient and thank them for their time and attention:

      وتفضلوا بقبول فائق التحية والاحترام
      This means, “Please accept my sincerity of the highest regard.”

      And after you sign off, add one more والسلام عليكم (“Peace be upon you”) at the end of the message.

    Write Business Emails

    5. Set Phrases You Can Apply

    When you write business emails, you usually end up expressing the same kinds of ideas—irrespective of how formal the language might be.

    To that end, here are a couple of phrases that you should have down as part of your business Arabic repertoire:

    الرجاء الاطّلاع على الوثيقة المرفقة
    “Please find the document attached.”

    يمكن الاتصال بي عبر هذا الرقم ٢٤ ساعة على مدار اليوم
    “I can be reached at this number twenty-four hours a day.”

    لا تترد في الاتصال
    “Don’t hesitate to call.”

    بالاشارة الى الموضوع أعلاه, نود افادتكم / نرجوا ابلاغكم …
    “With reference to the above (email) subject, we would like to inform you…”

    تفضلوا فائق التقدير و الإحترام
    “Yours sincerely and respectfully.”

    تمنياتي لكم بالتوفيق الدائم
    “Wishes to you of eternal success.”

    شكرا مجددا على تعاونكم
    “Thank you again for your cooperation.”

    When you get a reply or get an Arabic email forwarded to you, take a look at what kind of phrases you can crib for your own purposes.

    See how you get addressed by others in Arabic as well, according to the rules of formality. You can then apply this knowledge to other correspondents you get in the future, along with their elements of style. It’s not stealing—it’s learning!

    6. Example Letters

    How can these phrases above be applied to an actual real-life scenario?

    Here’s a brief template for asking to change the time of a previously-scheduled meeting. Take a look at the kind of elevated language used, and pay attention to how much respect is being shown the recipient because of his status.

    Respected Dr. Ibrahim,

    May the peace, blessings, and mercy of God be upon you.

    It is out of the immense friendship and respect that I hold for you that I wish to put forth a small suggestion with regards to the time of our scheduled meeting on Thursday.

    Because of the event being held in our office building, I would like to humbly note that our building will be closed at 12:30 PM. If it is convenient for you, we will change the time to 10:00 AM.

    Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

    Respectfully yours,

    Peace be upon you.

    الدكتور الفاضل إبراهيم,

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته.

    بكامل التقدير والإحترام الذي أكنه لك أتقدم لك باقتراح بسيط متعلق بتوقيت لقائنا المجدول ليوم الخميس.

    نظرا للحدث المنظم في مبنى مكتبنا, أود أن أذكر أن المبنى سيكون مغلقا مع الساعة 12:30 ظهرا. إذا كان الأمر مناسبا لك, أرى أن نغير توقيت لقائنا إلى الساعة العاشرة صباحا.

    شكرا على حسن إنتباهكم إلى هذه المسألة,

    مع خالص التقدير والإحترام,

    السلام عليكم.

    Now, here’s a simpler email thanking the recipient for signing a contract. Again, there’s a lot of respectful language being used, but less indirect speech about the actual heart of the matter because nothing needs to be corrected.

    The Virtuous Mr. Mohamed Ezzahra,

    May the peace, blessings, and mercy of God be upon you.

    I would like to express my immense gratitude toward you for your commitment to ongoing cooperation between our two companies. I look forward to meeting you once more on the 25th.

    If you need the slightest amount of further information from me, do not hesitate to call my private number at [phone number].

    Yours sincerely and respectfully,

    Peace be unto you.

    حضرة السيد محمد الزهرة،

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته.

    أود أن أعبر عن امتناني الكبير لكم لالتزامكم بالتعاون المستمر بين شركتينا, وإنني لحقا أتطلع إلى لقائكم مرة أخرى في اليوم الخامس والعشرين من هذا الشهر.

    إذا كنتم بالحاجة إلى أقل قدر ممكن من المعلومات الإضافية ، فلا تترددوا في الاتصال برقم هاتفي الخاص: [رقم الهاتف].

    مع خالص الاحترام والاحترام،

    السلام عليكم

    With enough practice, you’ll soon get in the habit of thinking in this flowery writing style. Translating is awkward and clumsy, and should really be avoided now that you’re at an advanced level.

    What’s the best way to bring your Arabic level to even greater heights? Is true literacy in such a challenging language really possible?

    Study Arabic

    7. Continuing Your Arabic Studies

    It’s tough to find motivation to continue learning when you’re already at a high-intermediate or advanced level. Most people who reach that level just sort of coast at that point, never putting in the effort to improve significantly.

    But there are millions of people who have learned to read and write Arabic and English with ease. You could be one of them.

    If you’ve come this far, why not?

    The best way to continue learning is to read everything you come across and always work to make your own writing better.

    When it comes to improving your writing, it’s always good to learn from example. How many people have said that imitation is the best form of flattery?

    There are a couple of textbooks out there that are specifically designed for English-speakers learning business Arabic. One of the most highly regarded is Raji M. Rammuny’s Business Arabic, which comes in two levels and has an array of sample business correspondence to look at.

    If you’re already living in an Arab country or plan on visiting, check out the language-learning section of some bookstores and see if you can find books on business English.

    There are likely to be dozens of such guides to business English writing written in Arabic, and these are sure to have samples of Arabic business correspondence that you can learn from too.

    Don’t try to run before you can walk when writing in a foreign language, even one that you know well. It’s good to take material from others and use lots of set phrases. That’s what we do in our native language already.

    Remember that you’ve spent an enormous amount of time reading English business emails already—and you have much, much more experience with reading English text in general.

    You won’t need to spend the same amount of time on your Arabic literacy, but you should be constantly thinking of ways to integrate more Arabic reading practice at all levels into your daily life.

    If you pay close attention to what you read, you can pick up an advanced sense for when to use certain phrases and how to integrate them into your business writing.You’ll learn what sounds too brusque and what sounds—if possible—too formal.

    It may even be worth it to hire a tutor or take a private course in business writing. The faster you improve, the faster you’ll be able to reap the benefits of being able to reach people on a deeper level all across the Arab world.

    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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    Saying Hello in Arabic: What You Need to Know

    How to Say Hello in Arabic
    What word passes between native speakers a dozen times a day without a second thought, but leaves a learner tongue-tied, terrified of making a faux pas?
    It’s “hello”—but it’s also all the cultural knowledge that comes with it. Saying hello in Modern Standard Arabic is no picnic if you don’t know the cultural context! Keep reading if you’ve ever wondered “How do Arabs say hello?”

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    Every Arabic phrasebook or guidebook has an entry for “hello,” but I’ll bet that they didn’t tell you how to use it. No matter how good your grammar is, slapping Arabic words into English cultural contexts will leave anybody confused.

    Fortunately, you’ve got this guide to keep you on the right path. Arabs are legendary for their hospitality, and putting a little bit of work into the language will turn whatever goodwill they have for you up to eleven.

    Plus, it’s just plain respectful to learn about other people’s cultures.

    So with these advantages firmly in mind, let’s take a look right now at the beautiful and varied ways of using Standard Arabic to say hello.

    1. Peace Be Upon You

    • السلام عليكم (as-salām ʿalaykum) — “Peace be upon you!”

    This greeting gets its own special section right at the top. It’s used literally all over the world by Muslims of every country as a respectful greeting. If you’re not Muslim, don’t worry about offending anybody by using it—on the contrary, they’ll take it very well. This may just be the best way to say hello in Arabic.

    What’s going on grammatically here? You may be spooked by the idea that “hello” is six syllables long. It turns out it’s pretty simple!

    السلام (salām) means “peace” and عليكم is “upon you”—a combination of the preposition على (ʿala) meaning “on” and ـكم (kum), the suffix meaning “you (plural).”

    If someone says this to you (or an audience you’re in) there is exactly one possible response:

    • وعليكم السلام (wa ʿalaykum as-salām) — “And peace be upon you.”

    Same idea, same meaning, slightly different structure to shake things up.
    This time, we’re going to add a cute little و (wa) to the front here, adding the meaning “and” to the base structure.

    2. Hi! Hey! Hello!

    Hello

    As you’re no doubt aware, Modern Standard Arabic isn’t really used casually among people in their day-to-day life—so there aren’t a zillion slangy ways of greeting as there are in other languages.

    But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to excessively formal ways to say hello. Take a look at these phrases in the Arabic language of how to say hello:

    • مرحبا (marḥaban) — “Hello”
    • أهلا – (ʿahlan) — “Hi”
    • أهلا وسهلا (ʿahlan wa-sahlan) — “Welcome / How do you do?”

    These three are less official-sounding than “Peace be upon you.”
    Fun fact: ahlan wa-sahlan literally means “Family and easy circumstances.” It’s a shortened version of an old Classical Arabic welcoming expression and has survived until today as a set phrase—much like “how do you do” doesn’t really sound like a greeting when you deconstruct it.

    Arabic Greetings

    3. As the Day Goes On

    Arabic has time-oriented greetings just like many other languages. When learning how to say hello in Arabic, phrases like the ones below will definitely come in handy.
    If it’s before noon, you’ll want to greet people with:

    • صباح الخير (ṣabāḥ ul-ḫayr) — Good morning!

    To which you will very often hear the response:

    • صباح النور (ṣabāḥ an-nūr) — Good morning!

    The key words here are:

    • صباح (sabaah) — morning
    • خير (ḫayr) — good
    • نور (nūr) — light

    So in a way you’re saying “A good morning!” and hearing “A light morning!” And I think that’s beautiful.

    MSA, and thus Arabic culture, doesn’t really have a word for “good afternoon.” In fact in some phrasebooks you’ll see an entry for “good afternoon,” but in fact it’s the same as “good evening.”

    Any time after noon, you’ll use this phrase:

    • مساء الخير (masāʾ ul-ḫayr) — Good evening!

    The structure is the same as the phrase for “good morning,” just as the pattern goes in English.
    In fact, the structure for the response is, too:

    • مساء النور (masāʾ un-nūr) — Good morning!

    Perhaps you’ve already guessed the new word here:

    • مساء (masā) — evening

    If these new words are making you feel in over your head, don’t worry. You can actually skip the un-nūr bit and just reply masāʾ ul-ḫayr or ṣabāḥ ul-ḫayr directly.

    These two phrases are a perfect level of formality for the workplace. If you work with Arabic speakers, greet them in the morning or afternoon in Arabic and watch the smiles appear all around.

    4. And How are You?

    Now that you’ve learned some common ways to say hello in Arabic, we can focus on how to develop a short conversation.

    • كيف الحال؟ (kayfal-ḥāl?) — How is everything?

    In English we’d say “How are things?” but you’ll note in a moment that the word al-haal is singular, not plural in Arabic.

    In fact, you can make it slightly more personal and add the -uk suffix (when speaking to a man) or the -ik suffix (when speaking to a woman): kayfa ḥāluki?

    Responses here can vary a lot.

    One option is very familiar for English speakers:

    • بخير، شكرا (biḫayr, šukran) — Fine, thanks

    These words translate literally, so I won’t put them down below in the vocab section. Culturally, it’s not as strange to actually reply with “how are you doing,” when you speak Arabic.
    Let’s say you actually don’t have a lot of time to chat, or you’ve got a lot of things on your mind. You could say:

    • مشغول (mašġūl) — Busy

    Remember that this is the masculine form. A woman would say مشغولة (mašġūla) instead, with the same meaning.

    Let’s have a look again at that question. The more we break down these everyday greetings, the clearer it becomes that Arabic really isn’t too difficult at all.

    • كيف (kayfa) — How
    • حال (ḥāl) — Situation; circumstance

    The polite response to “how are you” in many cultures is something like “And yourself?”
    So we can add this in Arabic too. To a man, you’d say:

    • و أنت؟ (wa anta?) — And you? [masculine]

    The question as posed to a woman is written identically, but pronounced:

    • و أنت؟ (wa anti?) — And you? [feminine]

    And it can’t hurt to keep saying شكرا (šukran), meaning “thank you,” after you offer your answer.

    Also keep in mind that you’ll very likely hear this phrase in the context of saying good things:

    • الحمد لله (al-ḥamdu lillah) — Praise be to God!

    Culturally, this is used much more commonly than “thank God” is in the West. Any time you mention something good that happened to you or someone you know, it’s perfectly fine to say this phrase.

    5. Phone’s for You

    Holding A Phone

    It’s an interesting fact of our modern interconnected world that the English word “hello” is so widely known and understood.

    Even though it’s a little too formal for people in everyday life to actually say “hello” to one another, it’s the standard and automatic greeting we use whenever we pick up the phone.

    And in Standard Arabic, it turns out it’s the same!

    • آلو (‘alo) — Hello?

    In other Arabic dialects, locals may have their own way of answering the phone. Nevertheless, ‘aaloo is both so common and so simple for English speakers, that you’re not likely to forget it.

    6. Small Talk is No Big Deal

    Suppose you’re in a situation where there’s nothing to do but fill an awkward silence.

    One of the best small talk topics is to ask about someone’s family.

    But don’t say anything that might come off as too forward. That means no direct questions about a man’s wife, especially asking her name or age.

    He might get the wrong impression and resent you for asking.

    So it’s better to literally inquire politely about his “family” instead.

    • كيف حال عائلتك ؟ (kayfa ḥalu ʿāʾilatuk?) — How is your family?

    Now, he’s almost definitely going to tell you about his wife, but that’s no problem. Just as long as you weren’t the first to bring her up.

    Another great and safe topic is the weather.

    • الجو جميل اليوم (al-ǧawwu ǧamīl al-yawm) — The weather’s nice today.
    • هل تظن أنها ستمطر؟ (hal taẓunnu ʾannahā satumṭir?) — Do you think it will rain?

    Don’t complain too much, but once you’re on a bit of an even social footing you can shake your head in exasperation and say:

    • الجو حار (al-ǧawwu ḥār) — It’s hot!

    Have a look—you can still see the word جو (ǧaw), meaning “weather,” in that last sentence. In English, we can say “It’s hot,” but in Arabic we have to say “the weather is hot.”

    7. You’ve Mastered the Language — Now What Else?

    It’s still pretty rare for foreigners to know or even attempt any Arabic when visiting an Arab country.

    More than likely, you’ll receive smiles and praise for saying hello or anything else in Arabic.

    But what comes with that hello? Etiquette, culture, and tradition.

    Don’t be frightened. You’ve got a lot of leeway as a visitor or foreigner, so don’t feel under a ton of pressure to perform exactly as a local. (Though it’s always good to make an effort to sound polite.)
    For example, in many Arab countries people do an “air-kiss” on the cheeks to say hello.

    The procedure and number of kisses varies from country to country, so there’s no one-size-fits-all guide out there.

    In fact, it’s a source of lighthearted frustration for Arabs themselves at times!
    Three basic tips, though:

    • Look before you kiss: Going in blind is a recipe for disaster
    • Go for the right side first: Most of the time, the other person will too
    • Don’t actually touch the cheek: It’s just an air kiss, not a peck

    These ought to get you far enough to pick up the rest when it’s time.

    In general, when men meet women in a formal setting for the first time, they should avoid initiating an air-kiss or any other gesture of friendly intimacy like a handshake or hug. Hang back and watch what others do, or simply give a verbal greeting first.

    It’s okay to ask your hosts discreetly (and politely!) “Hey, do I have to kiss these people?” Remember, you’re not expected to know everything about how to behave.

    It turns out, though, that often the answer is yes. It’s not uncommon for groups of upwards of twenty to spend several minutes just on the kissing!

    8. Come Bearing Gifts

    Giving Gift

    Gift-giving is a much more important part of Arabic culture than it is in the West.

    It’s actually linked quite closely with greetings, and so the same general principles apply. Don’t be too forward and don’t offer gifts that are too personal.

    For instance, it’s probably best to avoid fragrances or clothing unless you know the person well.

    Food is a fantastic choice. Everyone appreciates a gift of dates or nuts. They can be stored or eaten right away—in fact, you may get to share as well!

    Always give the gift with your right hand or both hands at once. The left hand is usually considered unclean in traditional Arab cultures.

    9. Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

    No guide on saying hello would be complete without tips on saying goodbye.

    Culturally, saying goodbye in Arabic takes a lot longer than its equivalent in the West. It’s considered quite rude in the Arab world to leave abruptly without paying respect to those whom you were visiting.

    Just like saying “Hello” on the phone, the English word “Bye” has crept into everyday Arabic too. Here’s how it’s written out:

    • باي (bāi) — Bye

    The most polite and formal phrase is:

    • مَع السَلامة (maʿ al-salāmah) — With (the) peace

    If this is said to you, you can repeat the same thing. “With peace!” “With peace!”

    Another excellent option is to use this slightly less formal phrase:

    • إلى اللِقاء (ʾilā al-liqāʾ) — Until we meet again!

    This literally means, “To the encounter,” which happens to translate perfectly to the French au revoir.

    Conclusion

    Who would have thought that the language used in a quick chat would have so many intricate facets?

    If it seems like this is part of some “mysterious Arab culture” then think again. I could write a guide twice as long in Arabic about the particulars of saying hello in American or British culture.

    No culture or language is inherently more complex than another. It’s all based on what you’re used to.

    So now that you have a solid grounding in what’s involved in Arabic greetings, why not explore even more about the language and culture on ArabicPod101.com? We have all the resources you need to become a pro in the language, from vocabulary lists on a range of topics, to our MyTeacher app which offers one-on-one guidance as you learn Arabic.

    We wish you the best on your Arabic-learning journey!

    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 Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Arabic

    How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Arabic!

    Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

    However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

    Table of Contents

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
    2. Arabic Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
    4. How Can ArabicPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Arabic - Testing New Technology

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    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

    Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Arabic? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Arabic words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

    1. funny - مضحك - muḍḥik
    2. joke - مزحة - mazaḥah
    3. surprise - مفاجأة - mufāǧaah
    4. prank - خدعة - ḫudʿah
    5. lie - يكذب - yakḏib
    6. humor - دعابة - duʿābah
    7. fool - أحمق - ʾaḥmaq
    8. deceptive - زائف - zaāʾif
    9. April 1st - الأول من إبريل - al-ʾwwal min ʾibrīl
    10. play a joke - يضحك (على أحد) - yaḍḥak (ʿalā ʾḥad)
    11. prankster - عابث - ʿaābiṯ
    12. sneaky - متسلل - mutasallil

    2. Arabic Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

    Arabic Phrases for April Fools' Day

    Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Arabic to prank your favorite Arabic speaking friend or colleague!

    1. I learned Arabic in 1 month.
      • تعلمت اللغة العربية في شهر واحد.
      • taʿallamtu al-luġaẗa al-ʿarabiyyaẗa fiī šahrin waāḥid.
    2. All classes for today got canceled.
      • جميع صفوف اليوم ألغيت
      • gamee sofoof elyoom olgheyat
    3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
      • أنا آسف، ولكني كسرت زوج نظاراتك المفضلة.
      • ʾanā ʾāsif, walakinnatī kasartu zaūǧa naẓāraātika al-mufaḍḍalah.
    4. Someone has just hit your car.
      • شخص ما قد ضرب سيارتك.
      • šaḫṣun maā qad ḍaraba sayyārataka.
    5. I’m getting married.
      • أنا سوف أتزوج.
      • ʾanā saūfa ʾatazawwaǧ.
    6. You won a free ticket.
      • ربحت تذكرة مجانية.
      • rabiḥta taḏkarah maǧāniyyah.
    7. I saw your car being towed.
      • رأيت سيارتك تسحب.
      • raʾaītu sayyārataka tusḥab.
    8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
      • إنهم يوزعون بطاقات هدايا بالمجان أمام المبنى.
      • ʾinnahum yuwazziʿūna biṭāqāta hadāyaā bilmaǧǧaān ʾamāma al-mabnā.
    9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
      • هناك رجل وسيم في انتظارك في الخارج.
      • hunāka raǧulun wasīmun fiī ʾintiẓāriki fiī al-ḫaāriǧ.
    10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
      • سيدة جميلة طلبت مني إعطاء رقم الهاتف هذا لك.
      • sayyidaẗun ǧamiīlah ṭalabat minnī ʾiʿṭaāʾa raqami al-hātifi haḏā laka.
    11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
      • هل يمكنك أن تأتي إلى أسفل البناء؟ أملك شيئاً مميز أريد أن أعطيك إياه.
      • hall yumkinuka ʾan taʾtī ʾilā ʾasfali al-bināʾ? ʾamliku šaīʾan mumayyaz ʾurīdu ʾan ʾuʿṭiīka yaāh.
    12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
      • شكراً لك على رسالة الحب هذا الصباح, ما كنت لأحزر كيف تشعرين.
      • šukran laki ʿalā risal-aẗi al-ḥubbu haḏā al-ṣṣabāḥ. maā kuntu liʾaḥzira kaīfa tašʿurīn.

    Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

    Choose Bad or Good

    Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Arabic, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

    Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

    Cockroach prank

    1- Infestation

    This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

    2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

    Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

    3- Something Weird in the Restroom

    At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

    Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

    Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

    Funny Face

    4- Call Me Funny

    Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

    5- Minty Cookies

    This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

    6- Wild Shopping

    At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

    7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

    Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

    8- Sneeze On Me

    Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

    9- Word Play Repairs

    Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

    10- Scary Face

    Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

    11- Wake Up To Madness

    Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

    Computer Prank

    12- Computer Prank

    This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

    Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

    13- Monster Under the Cup

    This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

    Door Prank

    14- Prank Door

    Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

    4. How Can ArabicPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

    If you happen to visit Arabic speaking countries like Arabic speaking country, or if you work for any Arabic speaking company, knowing the above Arabic prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Arabic words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Arabic - bone up your Arabic language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, ArabicPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

    Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in Arabic below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at ArabicPod101.

    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Arabic - testing new technology

    Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

    • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
    • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

    Thank you for helping ArabicPod101! We’re serious about making learning Arabic fun.

    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.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    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?

    Want to dig deeper into Arabic? ArabicPod101 is the go-to resource for free interactive audio and video lessons. There you’ll have access to a cornucopia of real-life language and culture content to take your Arabic to the level.

    Plus, you’ll get assistance from experienced teachers to answer your questions and boost your motivation to learn Arabic.

    Why settle for boring Arabic textbooks when you can listen to 1060+ quality lessons on-the-go or even in your sleep?

    Sign up now and start learning languages the 21st century way.

    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.