If you’ve been studying Arabic for a while, you likely already know how to ask questions in the Arabic language. In fact, some of the first things you learned were probably Arabic question words with examples. It’s simply part of the starter Arabic lessons that everyone has to learn.
Nevertheless, some of you may still feel a little anxious when it comes to having a conversation with a real Arab. This is especially true when it comes to asking and answering questions. Some of the questions you’re asking yourself are ones like:
“What will they ask me?”
“How should I reply?”
“What if I have a question in Arabic for them?”
“What will I say?”
Well, today Kaleela hopes to ease some of your worries about having a conversation with a native speaker of Arabic. And we’ll do that by providing you with some of the most basic questions and answers in Arabic you’ll most likely use.
So, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?
No matter where you travel in the world, your name is no doubt one of the first questions you’ll be asked. The Arab world is no different. Here’s how they’ll ask you:
If you’re a man, they’ll ask:
What’s your name? (Male)
Likewise, if you’re a female, they’ll ask:
What’s your name? (Female)
You answer in Arabic by saying “ismi (my name)”; for example:
.اسمي سليم شادي
/ismi saleem shaadi/
My name’s Slim Shady.
Without a doubt, this is the question you will be asked most often. If you’re a man, they’ll ask you:
من أين أنتَ؟
/min ayna anta/
Where are you from?
And if you’re a woman:
من أين أنتِ؟
/min ayna anti/
“Where are you from?
The above literally translates to “From where you?” This is why you’ll notice the difference in the masculine “you” /anta/ and the feminine “you” /anti/.
And the answer to this question is as follows:
/ana min New York/
“I’m from New York.”
هَل تَتَحَدَّث اللُغة العَرَبِيَّة؟
/hal tataḥaddath allughah alʻarabiyyah/
Do you speak Arabic?
Arabs are always pleased when someone is trying to learn their language. Even if you haven’t mastered the language just yet, answering the question with this little phrase will make them smile.
عَفوَاً، أَنا أَتَكَلَّمُ فَقَط القَليل
/ʻafwan, ‘ana ‘atakallamu faqaṭ alqaleel/
“Sorry, I only speak a little.”
If you’re a foodie, then you’ll love the Arab culture which has some of the tastiest food in the world. That means when someone asks you:
هَل أَعجَبَكَ الطَعام؟
/hal ‘aʻjabaka alṭaʻaam/
Do you like the food?
Then you can answer:
!كُلُّ شَيْءٍ لَذيذ
/kullu shay’in latheeth/
It’s all delicious!
نعم والمنسف لذيذ
/naʻam walmansaf latheethah/
Yes, and the mansaf is delicious!
لم أجرب الكثير من المأكولات العربية حتى الآن
/lam ‘ujarrib alkatheer min alma’koolaat alʻarabiah hata alaan/
I haven't tried much Arabic cuisine yet.
Arabs will likely assume that you're either a tourist, a student, or working in their country. That being said, they’ll ask questions like:
هَل أَنتَ طالِب؟
/hal ‘anta ṭaalib/
Are you a student? (Male)
هَل أَنتِ طالِبَة؟
/hal ‘anti ṭaalibah/
Are you a student? (Female)
Then again, they might ask you:
What do you do for a living?
Rather than being asked, you’ll be the one asking this question in Arabic. Whether you’re getting a falafel sandwich or a new Persian rug, it’s important to ask this question before purchasing anything.
How much is it?
Of course, because all Arab-speaking countries have their own currency, the answer will vary. For example, in Egypt where they use Egyptian Pounds, the answer might be:
“It’s two pounds.”
Of course, these questions won’t prepare you for academic debates or discussing quantum physics with your new Arab friends. What they are, however, is a good starting point for conversation. The more you practice, the easier you’ll find having a small conversation with someone.
To learn more questions and phrases, check out the Kaleela Arabic Learning App. It’ll take you one step at a time through the process of learning Arabic. You’ll start out with the basics of learning the Arabic alphabet, then move on through grammar and pronunciation. The next thing you know, you’ll be having conversations like a native speaker. And in their dialect! Along the way, you’ll also learn the five main skills of learning any language – reading, writing, listening speaking, and culture.
To make learning even easier for you, Kaleela also brings you convenience. No more trying to fit learning Arabic into your schedule or finding a course that’s close to home. With Kaleela, you’ll learn Arabic where you want and when you want – all at your own pace.
Try it for yourself and see how fun and easy to use learning Arabic is with Kaleela – only from kaleela.com.
Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way!