An Expat's Guide to Common Arabic Words

When we travel to countries where we are unfamiliar with the local language, we tend to first learn phrases such as "thank you" and "excuse me". Though we may be lost or unable to communicate at length, at least we can be polite!

Here is a list of Arabic phrases that will help you get through your first few weeks in the Arabian Peninsula:

Hamdullah = "Praise be to God." Similarly, in the West you hear, "Thank God."

Insha'Allah = "God Willing." This phrase is commonly used, and simply refers to a hope that an event or outcome will occur.

Shukran = "Thank you." A great phrase to know in any language.

Min Fadlak/Min Fadlik = "Please." The slight difference (lak/lik) is due to the difference in addressing a male or a female.

La = "No"

Aiwa/Naam = "Yeah"/"Yes"

Maasalama = "Good-bye."

Mushkala and Mafee Mushkala = "Problem" and "No Problem." May you encounter more "mafee mushkalas" than "mushkalas" in your travels!

Mafi Fulus = "No money" - a good phrase to know when you're haggling for gold in the souqs, and hope that they'll come down a bit in price.

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