Whenever considering traveling to a
country, one might want to know the lifestyle of that country. Or maybe even go
further, like knowing the local language. Obviously, wherever you travel, there
are speakers of other languages. For example, consider Arabic language. It is
one of the most spoken languages, with the highest growth rate. Furthermore,
many people choose to learn Arabic because they find it interesting! Arabic is
officially recognized in 25 different nations; thus, it can be helpful for
social, professional, and travel purposes.
Now indeed, one useful thing to consider when learning a language is looking over the most used terms and expressions. Take greetings in Arabic, for example! Today, with Kaleela, you will learn how Arabs greet each other. In addition to salutations, understanding these terms is an excellent way to start learning the Arabic language.
Greetings in Arabic
This is the formal and Islamic way to greet someone. It means “Peace be upon you.” It is very common and mostly used in Arabic countries, as Muslims make up the majority of the Arab population. People usually respond with “wa alaikum assalam”, which means "Peace be upon you, too." However, don’t hesitate to use it when visiting an Arab-speaking country, as they feel happy you are familiar with their language.
“Marhaban” means "Welcome." It derives from the Arabic verb “rahhaba”, which means "to welcome." It is an informal way of greeting someone in Arabic. Arabs use it often because it is friendly. Not only that, but it is also easy to pronounce for a non-native! You shouldn't have any difficulties remembering it! Arabs respond to this with “Marhaban bik” for males, “Marhaban biki” for females, and “Marhaban bikum” for a group.
“Ahlan” is the equivalent of "Hello" in English. It is another informal way of greeting someone in Arabic. It is used in many contexts: you can greet, welcome someone to a place or say it when someone thanks you. But your chances are you will hear it when greeting someone at any time of the day. You can respond by saying the same: “Ahlan” or “Ahlan bik” for males, “Ahlan biki” for females, or “Ahlan bikum” for a group.
Until now, all the terms we mentioned above can be used any time of the day, from morning until evening. So, let's dive into some time-specific greetings.
You wake up in the morning and you go to drink coffee in an Arabic country. If you want to interact with someone, simply say: “Sabaahu ilkhayri” which means "Good morning." Chances are, their reply might sound like “Sabaahu annoori”, which means "Shining morning." As a twist, you can mix and match your morning greeting. Simply replace "good" or "shining" with any other cheerful or positive word. For example, “Sabaahu alward” means "I wish you a morning full of flowers", or “Sabaahu alasal” means "I wish you a sweet morning like honey."
The same goes when you want to interact with someone at night or after 12:00 pm. Arabic does not have "Good afternoon." So, after 12:00 pm, they start greeting each other by saying “Masaaʼu ilkhayri”. This means "Good evening", but Arabs also use it to replace "Good afternoon." The response to this would be "Masaa'u ilnoori". Also, you can apply the same twists mentioned in “Sabaahu ilkhayri,” depending on your mood. That's a cool way to express feelings or circumstances.
What about farewells
Arabs use “Ma'a assalaamah” to say “Goodbye”, but it is the literal meaning of “Peace be with you.” This kind of farewell is very common. In fact, all types of farewells can be used any time of the day, it just depends on the mood and the vibe. In this case, the response is the same.
Another word to say "Goodbye" is the formal "Wadaa’an", but people might tend to use it informally. The same as the previous one, Arabs respond to this word with “Wadaa’an.”
This one is a bit different, it means "See you later," but still formal. “Araaka laheqan” is for males, “Araaki laheqan” is for females, and “Araakum laheqan” is for a group of people. In this case, you can always replace “laheqan” with other words like “Araaka ghadan,” which means "See you tomorrow" and so on. As mentioned above, you can respond with “Ma'a assalamah.”
Tesbah ala khair
Finally, this term is used while parting, but most commonly for "Good night." People usually respond the same, with “tesbah ala khair” or “tlagi al khair."
In conclusion, Arabs vary in the ways they greet and farewell each other, whether you are meeting them in the morning, in the evening, or any time of the day. As a visitor, you might want to make sure to greet them properly and consider the time. Arabs love it when someone shows interest in their language and culture! Learning these terms will help you start comprehending the Arabic language, all the way to learning Modern Standard Arabic, different Arabic dialects, and much more. All of these are provided by Kaleela, the one platform that meets non-Arabic speakers' needs! It provides online material via website and mobile app to help you learn Arabic the right way.