Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

May: مرحباً اسمي مي.
Danya: و أنا داينا.
Timothy: Timothy here! Beginner Lesson 5 - How are you? Hi, my name is Timothy and I’m joined by May…
May: مرحباً بكم. Hello everyone.
Timothy: …and Danya.
Danya: أهلاً بكم في ArabicPod101.com. Welcome to ArabicPod101.com.
Timothy: In the last lesson, we learned how to get someone to give you something. Let’s review.
Danya: هل معكِ ورقة؟
Timothy: Do you have a piece of paper?
May: نعم, معي ورقة.
Timothy: Yes, I have a piece of paper with me.
Danya: اعطني ورقة من فضلك.
Timothy: Give me that piece of paper, please.
May: خذيها
Timothy: Take it.
Danya: شكراً
Timothy: Thanks.
May: عفواً.
May: You’re welcome.
Danya: One of our goals here at ArabicPod101.com is to help you become fluent in Arabic إن شاء الله, God-willing.
Timothy: So one of the things you can do is stop by at the forum at ArabicPod101.com and find a language partner to practice the dialogues.
May: Once at the forum, click on the member list link at the top, then send a private message to your new friend.
Timothy: With a little practice and real communication, I know that ArabicPod101.com can help you take your Arabic to a whole new level. Danya, what are we talking about today?
Danya: Today, we’re going to listen in on a telephone conversation between me and May.
May: After some standard exchanges, I’ll share some news.
Danya: This is a casual polite conversation in standard Arabic.
Timothy: Okay. Let’s focus on how to ask and respond to “how are you” in Arabic.

Lesson conversation

مي: ألو؟
دانية: مرحبا يا مي. انا دانية.
مي: أهلاً دانية. كيف حالك؟
دانية: الحمد لله. وأنت؟ كيف حالك؟ هل أنت بخير؟
مي: نعم، أنا بأحسن حال، والحمد لله. لقد إشتريت كتاباً جديداً.
دانية: من كتب هذا الكتاب؟
مي: إسمه جبران خليل جبران.
Eric: One more time with the translation.
الآن مع الترجمة الإنكليزية:
مي: ألو؟
Timothy: Hello?
دانية: مرحبا يا مي. انا دانية.
Timothy: Hi May. I'm Danya.
مي: أهلاً دانية. كيف حالك؟
Timothy: Hello Danya. How are you?
دانية: الحمد لله. وأنت؟ كيف حالك؟ هل أنت بخير؟
Timothy: Praise be to God. And you? How are you? Are you fine?
مي: نعم، أنا بأحسن حال، والحمد لله. لقد إشتريت كتاباً جديداً.
Timothy: Yes, I'm in the best condition, and thank Good. I have just bought a new book.
دانية: من كتب هذا الكتاب؟
Timothy: Who wrote that book?
مي: إسمه جبران خليل جبران.
Timothy: His name is Khalil Gibran.
Timothy: So that was high frequency conversation.
Danya: Yeah, pretty common.
Timothy: But how often do you think you act out that conversation?
Danya: I would say, I don’t know, 10 times a day?
Timothy: Ten times?
Danya: Yeah.
Timothy: Man, you know a lot of people.
Danya: Yeah.
Timothy: All right. What about you, May?
May: I use it at least once a day with my family.
Timothy: At least once? Just once.
May: Yeah.
Timothy: Really? All right. So we have the social butterfly Danya over here with 10 friends, and May only talks with her family. Okay. So I know that when I greet people in Arabic and ask about how they’re doing, the usual answer I get is الحمد لله.
Danya: That’s right. It’s almost like it’s an automatic.
Timothy: Does it mean the same thing as “fine” or “I’m doing well”?
Danya: الحمد لله actually means “Praise to God.” الحمد means “thanks” or “praise” and للهmeans “to God”.
May: But people use it just like saying “I’m fine.”
Timothy: Usually, I say I’m fine even when I don’t feel well.
May: Yeah, I’ve noticed.
Timothy: انا تعبان. I’m tired. Would you still say الحمد لله even if you weren’t feeling fine?
Danya: Generally, yes. And I think you should because no matter what’s going with you, you should always thank God.
Timothy: Absolutely! Of course. So what if I wanted to say “I’m fine”?
May: I would say الحمد لله أنا بخير.
Timothy: Or how would I say “I’m tired”?
May: You would say الحمد لله أنا تعبان.
Timothy: Okay. So I would still praise God and say.
Danya: Yeah. So you’re thanking God for everything, good and bad.
Timothy: All right. Now we’ll go over some of the vocabulary and phrases used in this lesson. First word.
Danya مرحبا [natural native speed]
Timothy: Hello or welcome.
Danya مرحبا [slowly - broken down by syllable]. مرحبا [natural native speed].
Timothy: Next word.
May: أهلا [natural native speed].
Timothy: Hello or welcome.
May: أهلا [slowly - broken down by syllable]. أهلا [natural native speed].
Timothy: And then we have the phrase…
Danya: كيف حالكِ؟ [natural native speed]
Timothy: How are you? (asked to a woman).
Danya: كيف حالكِ؟ [slowly - broken down by syllable]. كيف حالكِ؟ [natural native speed].
Timothy: And then we have the phrase…
May: كيف حالكَ؟
Timothy: How are you? (asked to a man.)
May: كيف حالكَ؟
Timothy: The next phrase is…
May: الحمد لله [natural native speed]
Timothy: Praise be to God.
May: الحمد لله [slowly - broken down by syllable]. لحمد لله [natural native speed].
Timothy: And then…
Danya: و [natural native speed].
Timothy: And.
Danya: و [slowly - broken down by syllable]. و [natural native speed].
Timothy: And then we have…
May: و أنتِ؟
Timothy: And you? (when asking a woman).
May: و أنتِ؟
Timothy: And then we have…
May: و أنتَ؟ [natural native speed]
Timothy: And you? (when asking a man).
May: و أنت؟ [slowly - broken down by syllable]. و أنت؟ [natural native speed].
Timothy: And then we have…
May: بخير
Timothy: Good or fine.
May: بخير
Danya: بأحسن حال [natural native speed]
Timothy: In the best condition.
Danya: بأحسن حال [slowly - broken down by syllable]. بأحسن حال [natural native speed].
Timothy: And finally…
May: من [natural native speed].
Timothy: Who?
May: من [slowly - broken down by syllable]. من [natural native speed].
Timothy: Let’s have a look at the usage for some of these words and phrases. First word.
Danya: مرحبا [natural native speed]
Timothy: Hello or welcome.
Danya: مرحبا بكم
Timothy: “Hello, everybody.” So when will you use مرحباً?
Danya: You would use it just as if you were using hello or hi to greet people any time of the day to anyone you’re talking to.
Timothy: Okay. Next word.
Danya: أهلاً
Timothy: Hello or welcome.
Danya: أهلا يا أصدقائي
Timothy: “Hello, my friends.” Okay. So what’s the difference between مرحبا and أهلاً?
Danya: Well, they mean just the same thing, they’re greeting, a form of greeting in Arabic.
Timothy: Okay. So there’s not really any difference?
Danya: Well, you could use أهلاً as a response for مرحبا. So if someone greets you and says مرحبا, you sayأهلاً. You could also just use it by itself. Instead of saying مرحبا, you can just say, “Oh, أهلاً.”
Timothy: Okay, great. And then we have the phrase…
May: كيف حالكِ؟
Timothy: “How are you?” (Asked to a woman).
Danya: كيف حالكِ يا مي؟
Timothy: “How are you, May?” What are appropriate times to ask somebody how they’re doing?
Danya: Any time you see them or any time you wish.
Timothy: Okay.
Danya: Just like you would do in English.
Timothy: Okay. So we say كيف حالِك?
Danya: Uh-hmm.
Timothy: So what about كيف حالَك?
May: كيف حالِك
Timothy: كيف حالِك
Danya: It’s the same. It’s right. It’s grammatically correct.
Timothy: Okay.
Danya: Uh-hmm.
Timothy: It’s sort of the same thing من فضلُكِ and من فضلِك?
Danya: Uh-hmm.
Timothy: Okay. The same sort of just drop the grammatical endings…
Danya: Right.
Timothy: …in favor of something that’s simpler.
Danya: Right.
Timothy: Okay. What if you were asking a man?
May: You would say كيف حالكَ؟
Timothy: How are you? (Asked to a man).
Danya: كيف حالك يا تيموثي؟
Timothy: “How are you, Timothy?” أنا بخير “I’m fine.” الحمد لله, which brings us to the next phrase.
May: الحمد لله
Timothy: “Praise be to God.”
Danya: الحمد لله, أنا بخير.
Timothy: “Praise be to God, I’m good.” All right. So this, like, a standard response to “how are you doing?”
Danya: Right.
Timothy: Just like we talked about earlier.
Danya: Uh-hmm.
Timothy: The next word?
May: وَ
Timothy: “And.” It’s just a conjunction, right?
May: أنا و أنت و دانيا ذهبنا إلى السوق.
Timothy: “Danya, you, and I, went to the market.” So if you notice in that sentence, May said “I, and you, and Danya, went to the market.” Whereas in English, we switch the order around and we said, “Danya, you, and I went to the market.” So there’s that difference between Arabic and English in the word order when you’re talking about first person, second person, third person. In English, we like to give precedence to the other person and the person you’re talking to, and then yourself, whereas in Arabic, you put yourself first.
The other thing to notice in that sentence was that May stuck the word وَ in between each of the words. She said, “I and you and Danya,” whereas in English, we only put the “and” at the very end of the list. So there’s another difference between English and Arabic. It’s not so hard though, is it?
Danya: I don’t think so. Do you think so?
May: No.
Timothy: All right.
Danya: Neither did I.
Timothy: No, it’s natural. All right. So what’s the next phrase?
May: و أنتِ؟
Timothy: “And you?” (When asking a woman.) So give us an example of you.
May: وأنتِ هل ذهبتي إلى الجامعة؟
Timothy: “And you? Did you go to the university?” It’s just like in response, right?
May: Danya, دانيا هل ذهبتي إلى الجامعة؟
Danya: نعم ذهبت إلى الجامعة و أنتي؟
May: نعم,و أنا أيضا ذهبت إلى الجامعة.
Timothy: So و أنتِ؟ is used to turn the question around back onto the person that asked you in the first place.
Danya: Yes. Correct.
Timothy: “And you (to a woman?”
May: و أنتِ؟
Timothy: “And you (to a man.)
Danya: و أنتَ؟
Timothy: The next word we have is….
May: بخير.
Timothy: “In good condition” or “I’m fine.”
May: أنا بخير.
Timothy: “I’m fine.” Used as a reply to “how are you?”
May: Yes.
Timothy: And then we have…
May: بأحسن حال.
Timothy: “In the best condition.”
Danya: أنت تبدو بأحسن حال.
Timothy: “You seem like you’re in the best condition.” And finally…
May: من
Timothy: Who?
Danya: من أنتَ؟
Timothy: “Who are you?” All right. So you can use that question like a photo album. Point out different people in the photo album. Point out and say….
Danya: من هذا؟
Timothy: “Who is this?”
Danya: من هذه؟
Timothy: “Who is that?” Point out a man and say…
Danya: من هذا؟
Timothy: Or a woman and say….
Danya: من هذه؟
Timothy: Then your language partner can answer the question.
May: من هذا؟
Danya: هذا أحمد.
May: من هذه؟
Danya: هذه شيرين.
Timothy: Great.

Lesson focus

Danya: Today’s grammar point is a definite article ال
Timothy: There are three articles in English, two are indefinite – a and an – and on is definite, “the.” But Arabic only has one article, ال
Danya: Yes. ال is the Arabic equivalent of English “The”.
Timothy: Okay. So when do we use ال in a sentence?
May: You’d use ال any time you’d use “the” in the English sentence.
Timothy: For example…
May: البيت صغير.
Timothy: “The house is small.”
Danya: But Arabic also uses ال in a bunch of other places.
Timothy: Like where?
Danya: Not only do we attach ال to the names of objects but also to the words that describe them.
Timothy: Can you give us an example?
Danya: جلس الرجل القصير على الطاولة العريضة.
Timothy: “The short man sat at the white table.”
May: In that sentence, we’re talking about a specific man, so we use ال with رجل to say “the man.”
Timothy: Just like in English.
May: But then we also attach ال to قصيرto say “the short.”
Timothy: So if I want to say “the short man”?
May: الرجل القصير
Timothy: “The man that’s short.”
Danya: Yes. Attaching the ال to قصير lets us know that الرجل القصير isn’t a complete sentence; it’s just the subject.
Timothy: Okay. Is there anywhere else we use ال?
Danya: There is another sentence structure that uses ال.
Timothy: Can we hear it?
Danya: Sure. Compare these two sentences….
May: .هذه طاولة قصيرة
Timothy: “This is a short table.”
Danya: This sentence didn’t have a definite article. So هذه .or “this” was a subject, and طاولة قصيرة .was the compliment.
May: .هذه الطاولة قصيرة
Timothy: This table is short.
Danya: And in this example, the definite article tells us that طاولة belongs with هذه.to make the subject هذه الطاولة, “this table” while قصير is left to be the compliment by itself.
Timothy: Okay. So in the earlier example of رجل, I noticed that you didn’t use ال.but you turned the آل to an آر.
Danya: Right. There are certain letters, alphabets, that when attached to ال, it would be easier to skip the لام because it just sounds easier and it comes out more naturally.
Timothy: Okay. So we’ll cover that in detail in the upcoming pronunciation series. For now, we’ll just say that sounds that use the tip of your tongue replace the إل in ال.
Danya: Yeah. So it will sound like you’re doubling the first letter at the word you attached ال to.
Timothy: Okay, can we hear an example?
Danya: الطاولة.
Timothy: Okay. So الطّاولة starts with ط. And because ط uses the tip of your tongue pressed up against the top of your mouth, you’re going to replace the ل sound. You’re going to replace the ل sound with ل with another ط. So instead ofالطاولة, you would say اطّاولة.


Timothy: That would just about do it for today. Make sure you stop by at the forum at ArabicPod101.com and join our discussion. Find a language partner or just leave us a comment.
Danya: Bye.
Timothy: Until next time.

Review Track