One of the great advantages of living in the city is the variety of وسائل النقل العامة wasaa’il annaql al’aamah (public transportation) that can shuttle you around that city. In most Arabic speaking countries, the cheapest form of transportation is usually the حافلة haafilah (bus). If you’re taking the Haafila from city to city, one of the benefits besides saving money is that you get to take in all the beautiful scenery of the country you’re traveling in. This article will provide you with Arabic phrases and vocabulary for riding the Haafila in Arabic, and whether you take the Haafila for business or pleasure, we want to make sure every ride you take is a smooth one.
Though there are some الحافلات alhaafilaat (buses) that will take pre-paid tickets, most Haafilat in the Arab world only take نقود nuqood(cash) so be sure to have your money on hand. If you don’t have exact change or only have paper money, most haafilaat will have a منظم الحافلة munathim alhaafilah who will collect your money and give you your (insert Arabic here) baaqii (change) as long as it’s from small bills.
Here are some common Arabic expressions you may need if you’re taking the Haafila:
bus stop / mawqif alhaafilah / موقف الحافلة
bus driver / saa’iq alhaafilah / سائق الحافلة
bus schedule / jadwal alhaafilah / جدول الحافلة
As a side note: add the work كل kul (every) before the noun when you want to refer to every in time: For example:
كل يوم kul yawm (every day)
كل ساعة kul saa’ah (every hour)
كل نصف ساعة kul nisf saa’ah (every half hour)
كل 15 دقيقة kul rubu’ saa’ah (every fifteen minutes)
Also keep in mind the rules of politeness and courtesy much as you would in a Western country when riding a bus – if you are young and healthy, give the seat to the old, sick, and pregnant woman.
In Arabic culture, men and women usually don’t sit together on Haafilat, so if a young girl or woman needs a seat and the one next to you is empty, be prepared to find another empty seat next to a male or stand.
Keep in mind that, in some cities, there’s no regular jadwal alhafila and Haafilat can come by every minute to every fifteen minutes, depending on where you live. Also, Haafilat usually don’t leave the station until they are absolutely full. It is important to remember this if you have to be somewhere at a specific time so you aren’t late.
Now you know enough Arabic to take the bus. In a future article, we will give you some other Arabic phrases and vocabulary for getting a taxi. Until then,! رحلة سعيدة rihlah sa’eedah! (Happy travels!)
We hope you enjoyed this article and always hope that your journey down the Arabic language highway is always a smooth one with a window seat to take in all of the beautiful scenery that comes along with learning Arabic!