With the unofficial start of the cold and flu season coming up in just a couple of weeks, you’re likely to eventually run into someone who’s feeling a bit under the weather. And if you’re living or working in the Arab world, you’re probably curious as to what to say in Arabic to a friend or colleague who’s not quite feeling themselves lately.
Of course, in English, you’d usually say “Get well soon”; however, that term is not very natural in Arabic. In fact, the only thing that comes close is أَتَمَنَّى لَكَ الشِّفاءَ العاجِل /ʼatamannaa laka ishifaaʼa ilʻaajil/ or “I wish you a speedy recovery.”
Nonetheless, there are a few different ways to wish somebody well in Arabic that depends on both where the person is from and whether they are male or female. With that in mind, here are some ways you can tell your Arabic friend or colleague you hope they get well soon.
As mentioned above, perhaps the most formal way in Arabic to wish someone well is by saying “ أَتَمَنَّى لَكَ الشِّفاءَ العاجِل”/ʼatamannaa laka ishifaaʼa ilʻaajil/ or “I wish you a speedy recovery.”
However, if the person is there in front of you, you can also say, شَفاكَ الله /shafaaka allaah/ (masculine) or /shafaaki allaah/ (feminine) meaning شَفاكِ الله “May God cure you”.
Nonetheless, it’s more than likely you’ll hear Arabs using the local colloquial dialect to wish each other better health.
Regional dialects differ on how to tell another person to get well soon.
For example, in some countries of the Levant, the idioms سَلامتَك /salaamtak (m.)/ and سَلامتِك /salaamtik (f.)/ is used. Though it literally means “God heal you”, it is the same as saying, “I hope you feel better” or “Get well soon” to someone who is ill. The response is "الله يسَلمَك"/allaah ysalmak/ (masculine) or "الله يسَلمِك"/allaah ysalmik/ (feminine) which means “May God keep you safe.”
In Egyptian Arabic, one may say أَلْف سَلامَة عَليك /ʼalf salaamah ʻalayk (m.)/ or أَلْف سَلامَة عَليكِ /ʼalf salaamah ʻalayki (f.)/ which translates to “I wish you a thousand healths”. Egyptians also use “رَبِّنا يِشفيك”/rabbinaa yishfeek/ meaning “May God heal you.”
You will also find Syrians wish their sick friends and colleagues “ عَليك العافية “ /ʻalayk ilʻaafyih/ which can be translated as “get well”.
In Emirati Arabic, they say ما تشوف شَر /maa tshoof shar/ to males and ما تشوفين شَر /maa tshoofeen shar/ to females which means “I hope you feel better soon.”
Finally, In Iraqi Arabic, it’s /ʼinshaaʼallah tgoom bissalaamah/ (m.) إن شاءالله تقوم بِالسَّلامَة or /ʼinshaaʼallah tgoomeen bissalaamah/(f.) إن شاءالله تقومين بِالسَّلامَة
As you can see, there are many ways to let your Arabic friend or colleague know that you wish for them to get well soon. If we’ve forgotten any that you know of, please let us know!
Before we go, we also think that it’s important to know what to say when somebody sneezes – often a sign that someone is getting sick. While most people around the world say “God bless you”, in Arabic they say يَرحَمُكُم الله /yarHamukum allaah/ meaning “May Allah have mercy on you” to the one who sneezes. What’s more, the person who sneezes usually says الحَمدُ لله /alHamdu lillaah/ which means “praise be to God.”
With the Kaleela Arabic language learning app, not only can you learn how to tell someone to get better soon, but you can also get better yourself - at learning Arabic, that is. That’s because you’ll be learning Arabic the right way with Kaleela. Find out for yourself just how good Kaleela is at helping you learn Arabic the right way. Visit our website and download the app today from kaleela.com.