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Lesson Transcript

The bus is an important means of transportation. In many Egyptian cities, even big ones, we use buses almost as often as the train, to cover both long and short distances. For local commuting in Egypt, the fare is around 1 pounds and 50 piastres or 2 pounds for buses, and 1 pound for the train.
Riding the bus, or the smaller version of the bus, called the “microbus” in Egypt is a unique experience. While it’s advisable to ride the bus with an Egyptian friend, it’s possible to ride alone if you know the phrases you need to get the job done. Let’s learn some of those together.
First of all, you have to have a general idea of where the bus stops are, and which direction you want to go. Once you’re at the bus stop, you’ll notice the bus drivers shouting their destination out loud. It might seem weird at the beginning, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.
Let’s assume that you’re going to the popular Tahrir Square. You need to get to the bus stop, and wait for buses that are heading to Tahrir. Sometimes the destination is written on the bus, but you won’t understand if you can’t read Arabic. So the simplest way to make sure you’ve got the right bus is to ask the driver, or any of the other people on the bus, and say:
taḥrir ?
(slow) taḥrir ?
taḥrir ?
If the bus was going to Tahrir, the bus driver will probably answer aywa, “Yes”
(slow) aywa
But if that wasn’t the case, he’ll say:
(slow) la’a
Or he might just answer with the name of his destination instead. In that case, you need to look for the right bus.
Let’s say you got on the bus to Tahrir. You have to ask the person that collects the bus fare how much the fare is. You should simply say:
(slow) kam?
kam is basically a short form of the word bekam, which we learned in previous lessons, meaning “How much?”.
Many of the buses that do 15 to 45 minute rides cost 2 pounds. If that’s the case, the fare-collector will say:
etneen geneeh
Let’s break it down:
(slow) etneen geneeh.
Once more:
etneen geneeh.
إتنين جنيه
If you remember, etneen means “two”, and geneeh means “pounds”.
The last thing you need to know to complete the bus ride, is how to say “I want to get off here, please”. When your destination is close, try to get closer to the door so that you can get off easily. Then, when you want to get off, you say:
hena, law samaḥt.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) hena, law samaḥt.
Once more:
hena, law samaḥt.
هنا, لو سمحت
The first word hena, means “here”.
(slow) hena.
It’s the short form of “I want to get off here”.
Next we have law samaḥt which means “please”.
(slow)law samaḥt.
law samaḥt.