If you're learning Arabic (or are just getting started with the language), it helps to have some phrases ready-to-go. In this post, you’ll learn 71 common Egyptian Arabic phrases.
This will make your first conversation with Egyptians a bit easier. Plus, even if you are a beginner, knowing a bit of Egyptian Arabic will allow you to experience the culture in a much more in-depth way.
Because Arabic uses a different script, transliterations of Arabic words with the Latin alphabet vary. They will sometimes be spelled differently depending on who is writing them.
If you need more information on how to read “Franco Arabic” (the mix between letters and numbers you see below), check out this Arabic chat alphabet guide.
Another important note is the conjugation of Arabic verbs. Some verbs require a “tamrubootuh” (ة) at the end when first-person (I) feminine, and all verbs require a ي at the end if the verb is second-person (you) feminine. Where required, these will be shown after the masculine conjugation.
Let’s get started!
EGYPTIAN ARABIC GREETINGS
Knowing some Egyptian Arabic greetings is super useful. It helps you make a good first impression, makes your time in Egypt easier, and might even be the beginning of a conversation that helps your practice your Egyptian Arabic!
These phrases are relatively simple. Just keep in mind that the way you respond is sometimes slightly different than what you say when you start the greeting!
#1 Hello (peace upon you). – Salaam ‘aleikum. .سلام عليكم
#2 Welcome. – Ahlan. .اهلا
#3 Good morning. – Saba7 elkheer. .صباخ الخير
#4 Good morning (response). – Saba7 el noor. .صباح النور
#5 Good evening. – Massa elkheer. .مساء الخير
#7 Good evening (response). – Massa el noor. .مساء النور
EGYPTIAN ARABIC SMALL TALK
Making small talk is something you will most likely do a lot of. That means that these Egyptian Arabic phrases are some of the most important ones to have up your sleeve.
Plus, as a lot of people will tell you, Egyptians love to talk! If you are a foreigner in their country, their curiosity about you will often lead to some short basic conversations. So these phrases will definitely come in handy!
#8 How’s it going? – 3aamil eh / 3ammluh ay? عامل ايه؟ / عاملة ايه؟
#9 How are you? – Izzayak / Izzayik? ازيك؟
#10 What’s up? – Eh akhbaar? / Akhbaarak eh? اخبارك ايه؟ / ايه اخبار؟
#11 I am good. – Ana Kwayyis / kwayISSuh انا كويس / انا كويسة
#12 Everything’s great. – Kullu tamaamh. .كله تمام
#13 Nice to meet you. – Forsa sa3eeda .فرصة سعيدة.
#14 Nice to meet you, as well. – Ana As3ad. .انا اسعد
#15 Thanks be to God. – alHamdulillah الحمد لله
This last phrase is something you will hear all the time.You can use it whenever you want to say that you are “good.” It’s also common when Arabic speakers talk about positive events that have happened in their life – things they are grateful for. Definitely one of the most common phrases in Egypt!
BEING POLITE IN EGYPTIAN ARABIC
Politeness is super important in Egypt. That’s because Egypt (like many Muslim countries) is a religious society, and phrases that show respect are valued highly.
Even if you are a beginner in Egyptian Arabic, these polite phrases will go a long way!
#16 Thank you. – Shokran. .شكرا
#17 A thousand thanks. – Alf shokr. .الف شكر
#18 You’re welcome. – 3afwan. .عفوا
#19 Pardon me – please. – Law sama7t. .لو سمحت
#20 Please go ahead. – Etfutdll / Etfutdlee .اتفضل اتفضلي. (masculine followed by feminine)
#21 Excuse me. – Ba3d izznuck / izznick. .بعد اذنك
#22 I am sorry. – Ana awsiff / awssfa. انا تسف – اسفة.
DEALING WITH PROBLEMS IN EGYPTIAN ARABIC
English is quite prevalent in many countries. Not so much in Egypt. You will likely find yourself in situations where the person you are speaking to only speaks Arabic. Not only is that a great chance to practice your Egyptian Arabic, but it makes the following phrases in Egyptian Arabic even more important!
#23 Can you help me, please? – Momken tsa3dni / tsa3dini, law samht?
ممكن تساعدني / ممكن تساعديني (feminine)
#24 No problem! – Mish mooshkela! !مش مشكلة
#25 Do you know the way? – Enta a3ruff / entee a3ruffuh altaree? انت عارف – انتي عارفة الطريق؟
#26 I don’t understand – Ana mish fahem / fahmuh. .انا مش فاهم – فاهمة
#27 I don’t know. – Ana mish 3arf / 3arfaa. .مش عارف – عارفة
#28 I am learning Arabic. – Ana bawta3alm 3rabee. .انا بتعالم عربي
#29 I don’t speak Arabic. – Mish betkelum 3rabee. .انا مش بتكلم عربي
#30 Can you speak slowly? – Moomkin tetkehlim/ee bera7aw? (masculine followed by feminine “can you…”) ممكن تتكلم – تتكلمي براحة؟
#31 This is very expensive. – Daw 5awlee owee. .دة غالي اوي
#32 This is too much. – Daw kiteer owee. .دة كتير اوي
#33 I will pay…. – Ana badfa3… …انا بدفع
#34 I’m finished – done. – Khalass! !خلاص
Bargaining is a huge part of Egyptian culture. This is one of the most common “problems” foreigners in Egypt seem to share. Simply put, bargaining in Egypt is quite aggressive, and you will likely be shocked at how “pushy” a lot of Egyptian vendors can be. Need more information on this tricky topic? Check out this guide on how to bargain in Egyptian Arabic.
COMMON QUESTIONS IN EGYPTIAN ARABIC
There are a ton of common questions that are important to know in any language. Here are some of the most common questions that you will ask in Egyptian Arabic. Remember these along with the Egyptian Arabic small talk phrases and you’re good to go!
#35 What is your name? – Esmak/ick eh? اسمك ايه؟
#36 Where are you from? Enta / entee menane? انت انتي من اين؟ (masculine “you” and femine “you” are first two words here)
#37 Where do you live? – Sakin fane / sakina fane? ساكن فين؟ – ساكنة فين؟
#38 How much is this? – Bikam daw? بكم دة؟
#39 What time is it? – Elsa3a kam? الساعه كم؟
#40 Where is the bathroom? – Fane el7mmam? فين الحمام؟
#41 Can I have a menu/coffee/water/shisha? – Moomkin menu/awhuwu/maya/shisha?
ممكن منو / قهوة / مايا / شيشا؟
#42 Where are you? – Enta / entee fane? انت – انتي فين؟
#43 Do you speak English? – Betkehlm/ee Englizee? (masculine followed by feminine “do you speak…”) بتتكلم- بتتكلمي انجليزي؟
As I noted at the beginning, Arabic conjugates verbs differently depending on the gender of the person doing the action. This is most common with the “you” pronoun in Egyptian Arabic
Here are some common situations you will find yourself in when speaking Egyptian Arabic. Two pro tips: public transportation is quite cheap, and you pay for almost everything in Egypt with cash.
#44 Hey driver! – Ya usta! !يا اسطى
#45 Next street. – Elshare3 elgaya. .الشارء الي جي
#46 Straight ahead. – 3ala tool. .على طول
#47 Left – right. – Yameen / shamel .يمين – شمال.
#48 How expensive is the ticket? – Eltazkara bkam? التزكارة بكم؟
#49 I am hungry/I am thirsty. – Ana ga3an / ana 3atschan .انا جعان – انا عتشان.
#50 Can I pay with credit card? – Momken adfa3 belkart? ممكن ادفع بلكارت؟
#51 May I enter here? – Moomkin edkhol hena? ممكن ادخل هنا؟
#52 I want to buy this. – Eyeizz / eyezuh ehshteree daw. .عايز / عايزة اشتري دة
#53 What does….mean in Arabic? – Ya3ni ay…. bel 3rabi? يعني ايه…..بل عربي؟
TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF
Inevitably, people will ask you about yourself. Even if you aren’t yet fluent in Egyptian Arabic, a few phrases can go a long way. Here are some phrases that will help you talk about yourself.
#54 My name is…. – Esmee…. …اسمي
#55 I am from… – Ana men… …انا من
#56 I am….years old. – 3ndy…..sinuh .عندي….سنة
ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN EGYPTIAN ARABIC
These are some of the most important Egyptian Arabic phrases that you can learn. Like I said, Egyptians are often curious about foreigners in their country.
They will definitely ask you some questions.It helps to be prepared with answers!Try to use all the phrases here. No need to stick with the boring “yes / no” answers all the time!
#57 Yes. – Aywa. .ايوه
#58 No. – La2. .لا
#59 Sometimes. – Sa3eht. .ساعات
#60 All the time. – 3law tool. .على طول
#61 Never. – Ebedehn. .ابدان
#62 Ok. – Maashi .ماشى
#63 Excellent. – Tamaam. .تمام
#64 Alright. – Tayyib. .طيب
#65 Of course. – Tawba3n / akeed. .تبعن / اكيد
SPECIAL OCCASIONS IN EGYPTIAN ARABIC
Here are a few phrases that you can use in special occasions. Egyptians will be impressed that you know them!
#66 Congratulations! – Mabrook! !مبروك
#67 Happy birthday! – 3eed meelehd sa3eed! !عيد ميلاد سعيد
#68 God-willing. – InSHAallah. .إن شاء لله
This last one actually isn’t just for special occasions. InSHAallah is basically used as a substitute for “I hope so” or “yes, most likely.” There are purists who argue that it shouldn’t be used that way, but it is. Learn this phrase immediately. It’s one of the most common things to hear Egyptians saying.
SAYING GOODBYE IN EGYPTIAN ARABIC
Last things to cover are some common ways of saying goodbye in Egyptian Arabic. Whether you are saying goodbye to friends or to random strangers you just met, here are a few ways to do it.
#69 Goodbye. – ma’a salaameh. .مع سلامة
#70 Happy to see you. – Mawbsoot 3lashane ashoofuck/fick. .مبسوط علشان اشوفك
#71 See you soon. – Hashoofuck /fick ooreyib انا هشوفك قريب
Hope you learned something today!
While 71 Egyptian Arabic phrases is not enough to last forever (at some point you’ll want to increase your vocabulary), it’s definitely a start. Now you are equipped with the basics to go out and have conversations with Egyptians, and to understand some of what they say.