Whether in Saudi Arabia or not, having some knowledge or phrases of arabic is always useful. To begin with it is not only continuing to educate oneself and expand ones knowledge but you just never know when having some phrases or words can come in handy and save a day. Just knowing the basic greetings can go a long way towards respect and breaking down conservative barriers. So with this post I decided to share some essential and useful words. Of course I am writing them as they are pronounced phonetically in English. Anyone who is serious on wishing to learn the Arabic language should enroll in traditional classes as well as acquire some form of multimedia program to supplement between classes. Lastly for those interested and maybe already have some arabic and wishing to practice, if you are in the United States, check out the web site http://www.meetup.com. This web site provides information about “special interest groups” which get together in various locations throughout the United States bringing people together of common interest. I was a member of the meetup’s Arabic language group before I came to Saudi Arabia and found it very enjoyable, helpful and interesting.
Salaam alaikum – peace be with you (can be used anytime encountering an individual as a form of greeting)
Wa’laikum saalam - and also peace with you (response if you have been told salaam alaikum)
Beginning Key Words:
Maa? (what or what is)
Ismak (male) Ismik (Female) (your name)
Min faDlak (male) min faDlik (female) Please
Shukran (thank you)
Sabaah al-khayr (good morning)
Masaa’ al-khayr (good evening)
Ana – (I)
Anta/anti (you distinguished by gender)
Amaam (in front of)
Bi-jaanib (next to)
ayna (where is)
I do not want this post to be overwhelming with lists of arabic words so I will stop here for now and will have future posts which introduce additional arabic words.