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Say Hello in the Arabic Language

a’Arabi
The word 'Arabic' in Arabic


There’s more than one way to greet someone/say hi in Arabic. And the greetings often vary based on the time of day and the relationship you have with the other person. However, if you’re a beginner, you might be comfortable learning these common greetings first:

English: Hello My name is
Arabic: As salaam alaykum Ismi
Pronunciation: Ahs sah-LAHM ah-LAY-koom ISS-mee
Arabic Script: 'Good day' in Arabic script 'My name is' in Arabic

Ahs salaam alaykum is a formal greeting and can be used with anyone and at any time of the day. It means “peace be upon you,” and people respond to it with wa alaykum as-salam (pronounced wah ah-LAY-koom ahs sah-LAHM), which means “peace be upon you as well.”

If you’d like to greet someone you know well informally, marhaba is an acceptable way to say hello or hi in Arabic. People often respond to it with marhaba or ahlan (pronounced ah-lahn), which is like saying hello or hi back.

Ahlan is also alternatively used to welcome someone. To this, the common response is ahlan wa sahlan (pronounced ah-lahn wah sah-lahn), which means the same as ahlan. Both are used as informal greetings.

Greeting someone based on the time of day:

When you want to wish someone good morning, you say sabaḥu al-khair (pronounced sah-bah-heu ahl-kha-ir). To this, people usually respond with sabaḥu an-nur (pronounced sah-bah-heu ahn-nuhr). While the direct translation of sabaḥu an-nur is “morning light,” it is used to say “good morning to you as well.”

While greeting someone post noon (to say good afternoon or good evening), you ought to say masa’u al-khair. (pronounced mah-sah-uh ahl-kha-ir). To this, you are likely to get al-khair an-nur (pronounced ahl-kha-ir ahn-nuhr) as a response. While this literally translates to “evening light,” the phrase is used to say “good evening to you as well.”

Did You Know You Were Speaking Arabic?

Arabic has several connections in linguistics to other languages like Hebrew, Portuguese, Turkish, Persian, and Bosnian among many others. This also includes global languages like Spanish – as much as 1/3rd of the Spanish vocabulary reportedly has an Arabic origin – and even English for that matter. You’ll be surprised to know that many common English words we use today have an Arabic origin.

Here are some such words in English with Arabic roots:

mosque lute cipher
algebra talc djinn, genie
syrup admiral almanac
alcohol lemon ghoul
magazine checkmate racket
barrio

Arabic Alphabet

Here’s a brief guide to the Arabic alphabet:

Learning Arabic

Learn about the Arabic script from these sources:

Arabic Culture

Take a look at this link for a deep dive into Arabic culture:

Who Can You Talk To?

Arabic is the 6th most spoken language in the world with more than 273 million people speaking it. The largest numbers of Arabic speakers are in Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. And with over 90% of its population of 90 million speaking the language, Egypt currently has the highest number of Arabic speakers.

Now, you can say hello in Arabic to over 273 million people!*

*Source: Ethnologue: Arabic, Standard – (Register for free to access.)

Say Hello to the World was created by Lorri Mon.


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