One of the great things about traveling to Arabic-speaking countries is that most major cities have quite a few different methods of transportation methods to choose from. Though not as غير مكلف – ghayr muklif (inexpensive) as buses, سيارات الأجرة – sayaraat il’ujrah (taxis) offer a relatively cheap and quick way to get from one point to another. Making it easier still is the emergence of ride-hailing apps, where the sayaraat il’ujrah offer الباب الى الباب albaab ilbaab (door-to-door) service at a reasonable cost. With this in mind, look at the conversation below for some Arabic phrases and vocabulary you can use to hail a sayaraat il’ujrah in the Arab world:
Ronnie hails a Arab taxi in downtown Marrakech.
Driver: أين تريد أن تذهب؟ – ‘ayna tureed ‘an tathhab?
Where do you want to go?
Ronnie: إلي الفندق – ‘ilaa ilfunduq
To the hotel
Driver: ما اسم الفندق؟ – maa ‘ism ilfunduq?
What’s the name of the hotel?
Ronnie: فندق بوم بوم جاردن – funduq bawm bawm gaardin
The Boom Boom Garden Hotel
Driver: تفضل – tafaDal
Okay. Come in.
Thanks a lot! The taxi arrives at the hotel.
Driver: وصلنا إلى الفندق – waSalnaa ‘ilaa ilfunduq
We’ve arrived at the hotel
Ronnie: بكم؟ – bikam?
Driver: عشرون درهم – ‘ishroon dirham
Ronnie: احتفظ بالباقي – ihtafaz bialbaqee
Keep the change
Driver: شكرا جزيلا – shukran jazeelan!
Thanks a lot!
However, when hailing a sayarat ‘ajruh in an Arab country, remember the following advice:
This means check to see if it’s مرخص بالكامل ومصرح به murakhas bilkaamil wamusrah bih (fully licensed and authorized) by local agencies. Many companies operate illegal sayarat al’ujra and take advantage of unsuspecting tourists — don’t be one of them! Most legit sayarat ‘ajruh operators normally have licensing information on display somewhere inside the taxi or sometimes even on the cab’s exterior.
Most sayaraat il’ujrah that run to and from the airport charge a flat rate. Therefore, ask about the flat rate before you get into the sayarat il’ujrah.
If you’re in the city, make sure the سائق سيارة أجرة – saa’iq sayarat ‘ujrah (Arab taxi driver) turns on the عداد – a’dadd (meter). Many times the driver will conveniently forget to turn on the meter and try to milk you for more money, so always rely on the meter. If he tells you it’s broken, get another taxi!
In most Arab countries, tipping the سائق – saa’iq driver is not necessary. But, if the taxi driver is polite and honest with you, there’s nothing wrong with leaving him a little tip!
So there you have it, and if you’ve been following us for quite some time, you’ve reached another milestone in your quest to learn Arabic.
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I want to learn Arabic,” then you’ve come to the right place at kaleela.com.
Until next time, رحلات سعيدة! – rihlaat sa’eiadah! (Happy travels!)
When visiting an Arabic country, it helps to know the customs, traditions and language. If you wish to ease your interaction within an Arab country, we have plenty of other articles about common words in Arabic, greetings and basic words. Please check them out! Also, don’t forget to download our Arabic learning app.