Spatial Relationships And Directions In Arabic

Directions In Arabic

Spatial Relationships And Directions In Arabic


Exploring Arabic speaking countries can be quite an adventure, but you need to know how to ask for directions in Arabic and to understand what you’re told. After all, if you don’t understand the directions, you might miss the very things you hoped to see. 

However, first you need to know how to ask for directions, as it is a very common situation for the foreigner abroad. To get help you can say men fathlek/fathleki (for male and female, respectively), which means “Excuse me”, or hal beemkanek mosa‘adati? which translates to “Can you help me?”. Another variation for “Excuse me” is a’afwan, and it can be used if you have to stop somebody and ask for the way. You can also use a’afwan, as a reply to shukran (“Thank you”). In this case it means “You’re welcome”. The following words can help you understand the directions you hear in Arabic-speaking countries.



North in Arabic / Shamal / شمال
East in Arabic / Sharq / شرق
West in Arabic / Gharb /غرب   
South in Arabic / Janoob /جنوب  
Right in Arabic / Yameen /يمين  
Left in Arabic / Yassar /يسار  
Straight in Arabic / Mustaqeem /مستقيم  
Between in Arabic / Bayn /بين  
On top of in Arabic / Fawq /فوق  
Inside in Arabic / Dakhel /داخل  
Outside in Arabic / Kharej /خارج  
Under in Arabic / Taht /تحت
Up in Arabic / A’la /أعلى  
Down in Arabic / Asfal /أسفل  
Beside in Arabic / Bjaneb /بجانب
To the right in Arabic / Ila al-yameen / إلى اليَمين
To the left in Arabic / Ila al-yasaar / إلى اليَسار
On the front in Arabic / Fee al-muqadima / في المُقَدِّمَة
On the back / Fee al-mu’akhira / في المُؤَخِرَة
Go! In Arabic (imperative) / Ez-hab / إذهب
Turn! In Arabic (imperative) / Leef / لف
Before in Arabic / Qabal / قبل
After in Arabic / Ba’d / بعد
Next to in Arabic / Bejanib / بجانب
In front of in Arabic / Amam / أمام
Around in Arabic /hawl/ حول
Near in Arabic /qareeb  / قَرِيْب
Close in Arabic /qareeb/قريب
Far in Arabic / ba’eed / بَعِيْد
Distant in Arabic /ba’eed/ بعيد
Lower in Arabic / adna / أَدْنى (this works for “bottom” or “closer”)
Bottom in Arabic /asfal  / أَسْفَل (this works for “below” or “lower”)



Now that you learned how to ask for directions, it’s very polite to use any phrase of gratitude whenever you have received any help from anybody. Thus, a useful phrase to remember would be /shukran jazeelan a’ala-l-musa’ada / شُكراً جَزيلاً على المُساعَدة, which means “Thank you so much for the help.” Likewise, you could use the shorter form shukran jazeelan – “Thank you very much!”