Basic Arabic Words and Phrases

3 09 2008

“How do you say: ‘Stop tutting and tell me where your Mummy is?'”  (Abu Simbel, Egypt)

When Napoleon’s troops discovered the Rosetta Stone in the mud of the Nile, it opened up the mysteries of ancient Egypt and enabled scholars to decipher the hieroglyphics found on the temples, tombs, pyramids and monuments throughout the country.  For a traveller, deciphering modern Arabic can be just as perplexing as the symbols of the ancient Egyptians, but with a few handy phonetic words and phrases, you can be your own Champollion and shine a light on your own path through Egypt and the Middle East – and perhaps pick up a few smiles and shukrans along the way!


Hello – Salaam ala coomb

Good morning – Sabah e ‘hir

Good night – Tisbah ala hir

Good bye – Ma-sa’el heer

How are you? – Issayak?

I am good – Ana kwayis

What is your name? – Ismak eh?

My name is… – Ismi…

How much is that? – Bi kam da?

Yes – Aywa

No – La

Please – Low samaat/Minfadlak

Thank you – Shukran

You’re welcome – Awf’wan

One – Wahid

Two – Itnein

Three – Talata

Four – Arba

Five – Khumsa

Six – Sitta

Seven – Sub’a

Eight – Tamanaya

Nine – Tissa

Ten – Ashara



Photo and post by: Simon Vaughan




One response

20 05 2009


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