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Basic Questions in Arabic

Knowing how to ask a few useful questions in Arabic will help you with the basics of communicating. These Arabic questions will help with greetings, directions, and getting information you need.

  • man (man; who)
  • ayna (ay-nah; where)
  • mataa (mah-tah; when)
  • kayfa (kay-fah; how)
  • li maadhaa (lee mah-zah; why)
  • kayf al-Haal? (kah-yef al-hal; How are you?)
  • maa ‘ismuka? (mah ees-moo-kah; What’s your name?) (MS)
  • maa ‘ismuki? (mah ees-moo-kee; What’s your name?) (FS)
  • kam as-saa’a? (kam ah-sah-ah; What time is it?)
  • bikam haadhaa? (bee-kam hah-zah; How much is this?)
  • ayna al-mirHaad? (ay-nah al-meer-had; Where is the bathroom?)
  • hal tatakallam al-injliziya? (hal tah-tah-kah-lam al-een-jlee-zee-yah; Do you speak English?)
  • hal yumkin ‘an ta’id min faDlik? (hal yoom-keen an tah-eed meen fad-leek; Could you please repeat that?)

Arabic Greetings, Goodbyes, and Polite Expressions

In the Middle East, first impressions are very important, so don’t underestimate the importance of greetings. Remember to be courteous and use the informal ways of greeting people for old friends and relatives.

  • ahlan wa sahlan (ahel-lan wah sahel-lan; hi) (informal)
  • ahlan (ahel-lan; hi) (informal)
  • as-salaamu alaykum (ah-sah-lah-moo ah-lay-koom; hello)
  • SabaaH al-khayr (sah-bah al-kah-yer; good morning)
  • masaa al-khayr (mah-sah al-kah-yer; good evening)
  • ilaa al-liqaa’ (ee-lah ah-lee-kah; see you soon)
  • ilaa al-ghad (ee-lah al-rad; see you tomorrow)
  • afwan (af-wan; excuse me)
  • shukran (shook-ran; thank you)
  • shukran jaziilan (shook-ran jah-zee-lan; thank you very much)

Days of the Week in Arabic

Use this list, which includes pronunciation, to keep track of the weekdays in Arabic. Notice that in Arabic, the days of the week are not capitalized.

  • al-’ithnayn (al-eeth-nah-yen; Monday)
  • ath-thulathaa’ (ah-too-lah-tah; Tuesday)
  • al-’arbi’aa’ (al-ar-bee-ah; Wednesday)
  • al-khamiis (al-kah-mees; Thursday)
  • al-jumu’a (al-joo-moo-ah; Friday)
  • as-sabt (ah-sah-bet; Saturday)
  • al-’aHad (al-ah-had; Sunday)

An Introduction to Numbers in Arabic

Get to know how to say your numbers in Arabic. You’ll need them for shopping, dining, and transportation. Here’s a list of Arabic numbers, with the pronunciation, to get you started:

Arabic Pronunciation Translation
waaHid wah-heed 1
‘ithnayn eet-nah-yen 2
thalaatha tah-lah-tah 3
‘arba’a ar-bah-ah 4
khamsa kam-sah 5
sitta see-tah 6
sab’a sab-ah 7
thamaaniya tah-mah-nee-yah 8
tis’a tees-ah 9
‘ashra ash-rah 10
‘iHdaa ‘ashar ee-heh-dah ah-shar 11
‘ithnaa ‘ashar ee-theh-nah ah-shar 12
thalaathata ‘ashar thah-lah-tha-tah ah-shar 13
‘arba’ata ‘ashar ah-reh-bah-ah-tah ah-shar 14
khamsata ‘ashar khah-meh-sah-tah ah-shar 15
sittata ‘ashar see-tah-tah ah-shar 16
sab’ata ‘ashar sah-beh-ah-tah ah-shar 17
thamaaniyata ‘ashar thah-mah-nee-ya-tah ah-shar 18
tis’ata ‘ashar tee-seh-ah-tah ah-shar 19
‘ishreen ee-sheh-reen 20
thalaathiin thah-lah-theen 30
‘arba’iin ah-reh-bah-een 40
khamsiin khah-meh-seen 50
sittiin see-teen 60
sab’iin sah-beh-een 70
thamaaniin thah-mah-neen 80
tis’iin tee-seh-een 90
mi’a mee-ah 100

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