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Lesson Transcript

ArabicPod101.com presents Arabic Survival Phrases. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Arabic speaking countries, with particular focus on Morocco. So join us for Arabic Survival phrases. You will be surprised at how far a little Arabic will go.
Now before we jump in, remember to stop by ArabicPod101.com, there you’ll find an accompanying PDF, additional learning tools in the premium learning center, and other great Arabic language learning materials. In addition, you’ll find more information in the post. And if you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.

Lesson focus

Morocco is a shopping paradise. As a tourist, you will be compelled to visit a lot of shops and restaurants to get a feel for Moroccan culture and to taste the food. We’ll focus on restaurants and how to navigate your way around in a series of lessons following this one.
Today, we’re going to learn phrases you’ll hear when entering a business establishment. The polite greeting when entering a place of business is marḥaban (مرحبا)
Let’s break it down by syllable: marḥaban
Meaning “welcome.” In Morocco, you’ll hear a slightly different pronunciation of the word. Again, this is because of the differences between standard and spoken Arabic. You’ll sometimes hear it pronounced as mreḥba (مرحب).
More slowly: mreḥba
Let’s break it down by syllable: mreḥba
You’ll hear this a dozen times as you walk into different stores. You’ll get tired of hearing it, but it would be nice if you could acknowledge the person welcoming you with a smile.
But if you want to say something, just say “hello”, which is al-ssalāmu ʿalaīkum (السلام عليكم).
al-ssalāmu ʿalaīkum
al-ssalāmu ʿalaīkum
The first word al-ssalāmu (السلام) means “peace” and the second word ʿalaīkum (عليكم), means “upon you.” Put together, al-ssalāmu ʿalaīkum literally means “peace be upon you”, and you can use it when you enter a store to say “hello”.
As a tourist, you will be doing most of your shopping in a souq and this can be an incredible cultural experience and an adventure, which is why I want to tell you a little bit about what a souq is. In Moroccan cities, there are high walls surrounding what is called the Medina, which is the old city. Medina in Arabic means “city” but it also came to refer to the ancient city that lies inside every modern city; it's a fortified city, it can be centuries-old. And at the heart of this Medina's are incredible marketplaces that we call souq. It is a Labyrinth of intertwined narrow alley and I got lost so many times myself. You'll find everything there from fabrics, spices, meats, to local craft, copper trays and carpets. A souq is not for tourist only, it is a practical Market used primarily by local residents as they carry out the business of daily life. Since Medieval Times, the souq has been reserved for pedestrians and donkeys only, so keep an ear out for cries of balack, which means “move!” to warn of incoming donkey deliveries.


Okay, to close out today's lesson, we'd like for you to practice what you've just learned. I'll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you're responsible for saying it aloud. You'll have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so حظ سعيد, that means "good luck" in Arabic.
Ok, here we go!
“Welcome” - marḥaban
“Welcome” (as pronunced in Moroccan) - mreḥba
All right. This is going to do it for this lesson of Arabic Survival Phrases. Remember to stop by ArabicPod101.com. There you’ll find an accompanying PDF, additional learning tools in the premium learning center, and other great Arabic language learning materials. See you soon, which in Arabic is - ilā al-liqāʾ.

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