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Lesson Transcript

Marḥaban ǧamīʿan, ʾanā Carole! Hi everybody! I’m Carole.
Welcome to ArabicPod101.com’s Al-ʿarabiyyah fi ṯalāṯi daqāʾiq. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Arabic.
In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in Arabic. Do you remember them? We introduced marḥaban and Al salāmu ʿalaykum , as well as šukran and ʾilā al-liqāʾ.
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Arabic, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Are you ready? then let’s start!
Here's the basic way to ask if someone speaks English:
Hal tatakallamu al-ʾinklīziyyah? if you are talking to a male and Hal tatakallamīna al-ʾinklīziyyah? if you are talking to a female.
[slowly] Hal tatakallamu al-ʾinklīziyyah?
Hal tatakallamīna al-ʾinklīziyyah?
Hal means "Do”.
“You” and “Speak” are merged into the same word “tatakallamu ” for males and “tatakallamīna” for females.
ʾinklīziyyah means "English,"
This is an indirect way of asking someone to speak to you in English.
There are many ways of making it clear that you're asking the person to speak English to you, for example:
Hal biʾimkānika al-takallum bil ʾinklīziyyah? also means "Could you speak English?"
Hal biʾimkānika? means “can you” or ”could you”, “are you able to”, or “is it possible to” and can also mean the “ability” of the person to speak English. Again, if you are talking to a female you should change the last accent of ka to ki. So the question becomes:
Hal biʾimkāniki al-takallum bil ʾinklīziyyah?
Al-takallum is a noun that means ‘speaking’ and bil ʾinklīziyyah is “in English”.
To be more formal we could add the word “please” to the request, to make it:
Hal biʾimkanika al-takallum bil ʾinklīziyyah min faḍlika?
In this case, the question cannot mean the person’s ability to speak English anymore, because you are obviously asking them to speak English to you.
Since in Arabic the word ‘please’ literally means ‘from your favor’ it should also be changed according to the person’s gender. So in case of a female, we should also change the ka ending of ‘please’ in min faḍlika? to min faḍliki?
The question becomes Hal biʾimkaniki al-takallum bil ʾinklīziyyah min faḍliki?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three:
Naʿam. "Yes."
[slowly] Naʿam.
Qalīlan. "A little."
[slowly] Qalīlan
There are a few ways of saying ‘no’ in Arabic
Lā or Kallā. “No”
"No, I don’t speak English." is Lā, ʾanā lā ʾatakallamu al-ʾinklīziyyah
[slowly] Lā, ʾanā lā ʾatakallamu al-ʾinklīziyyah
It is exactly the same structure as in English.
Lā is ‘no’, ʾanā is ‘I’, lā means “don’t”,
ʾatakallamu is “speak” (me) and al-ʾinklīziyyah is “English”.
Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say lā before the verb, ʾatakallamu or speak. lā literally means ‘no’, but when placed before a verb it negates this verb, becoming “don’t” or “doesn’t”. Notice also that the verb, ʾatakallamu is slightly different than tatakallamu which we learned before. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about ʾanā , Arabic for "I," Thus “I do not speak” is:
ʾanā lā ʾatakallamu
Now it’s time for Carole’s Tips.
For those of you who are not native English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. Arab people study other languages at school depending on the country they live in, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute al-ʾinklīziyyah with al-faransiyyah for French,
Al-ʾiṭāliyyah for Italian,
Al-ʾispāniyyah for Spanish, or
Al-ʾalmāniyyah for German.
In this lesson you learned how to ask if someone can speak English. In the next lesson we’ll learn how to say “excuse me” and other ways to apologize in Arabic.
I'll see you in the next Al-ʿarabiyyah fi ṯalāṯi daqāʾiq lesson.
ʾilā al-liqāʾ!

17 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ArabicPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Try using this phrase to ask about a different language!

ArabicPod101.com
Friday at 07:07 AM
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Hi Kimmy,


Yes, Marhaban is correct!


Nora

Team ArabicPod101.com

Jimmy
Wednesday at 05:18 PM
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Hi

Am very happy, because am learn the arabic and I am speak it small small

Jimmy
Wednesday at 04:41 PM
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Marhaban

Pls if it arabic how did I say it. Am from Nigeria and I can't speak arabic

ArabicPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:09 AM
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Hi Toqeen,


Thank you very much for your kind words!

By the way, where are you from, Toqeen? You have such an interesting name.


Nora

ArabicPod101.com

Toqeen
Tuesday at 06:41 PM
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Hi there the bot team :D


I am very grateful to those who came up with such a great idea of teaching languages, talking about whole list of sites including this one. The way of delivering the lectures is awesome and very understanding.


I have learned a lot and it helped me much. I hope to help you people somehow and support this forum in future.

you people are doing Great efforts for Humanity. I think i am praising too much :P

I wish to see more videos and stuff from you all. Keep it up

ArabicPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:38 AM
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Hi Sergio,


I'm sure she would be very flattered :sweat_smile:

What airport do you work at?


Nora

Team ArabicPod101.com

sergio
Tuesday at 05:45 PM
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markaban,


I'm trying to learn arabic cause I'm working in an airport and so I'd be able to speak with arabians. You are so pretty. tank you

ArabicPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:41 PM
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Hi Carole and Yaseen,


The video is available for watching.


Nora

Team ArabicPod101.com

Yaseen
Sunday at 04:31 PM
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Why you people have removed some of your videos so how will I learn this language????

Carole
Sunday at 04:29 PM
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why this video "do you speak english" is removed????? please