Basic Arabic Basic Arabic Phrases

Although English is increasingly used in business relationships, in many situations Arabic is the key language, as you would expect. Having a little bit of Arabic to start with is a great way to talk to the locals and converse with some of the people. It also shows that you have made an effort for their culture which is always beneficial. What we have provided below are a few phrases that will give you the basics. Arabs will be particularly impressed that you have at least made an effort to learn their language, and will score you some brownie points in a business situation. We have deliberately tried to spell the words to help you pronounce them correctly. Arabic is a difficult language to learn – so the next step up from this would be to take actual lessons.


Assalaam Alaikum -Peace be up on you

To which the reply is:

Wa Alaikum assalaam -And peace be upon you

This phrase will be used in many different contexts when meeting people.

Marhabbah – hello

to which the reply is:

Marhabbteen – hello

This is probably the equivalent of saying hi in the UK

Or you could just say Salaam


Sabah al khair – good morning

To which the reply is:

Sabah al noor


Masah al khair -good afternoon / evening

To which the reply is:

Masah al noor


Shukran (jazeelan) -thank you (very much) To which the reply is:

Aafwaan -you’re welcome

An alternative to Shukran is Mushkoor

La Shukran  – no thank you


Ahlan wa sahlan -Welcome

To which the reply is:

Ahlan beek – welcome to you (to a male)

Ahlan beech (to a female)

Ahlan beekum (to a group)

This is usually used in introductions


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