Arabic

Commonly-used expressions / تعبيرات شائعة

Below are some common expressions used in everyday scenarios, such as travel and moments of celebration:

Expressions for travel/تعربيرات للسفر

الحمد الله على السلامة OR الحمد الله على سلامتك

  • An expression used when someone returns from travel, used as a synonym for “welcome home.” However, the more direct translation is “praise God for your well-being.” I will not provide a transliteration because there are a few slightly different ways to pronounce it depending on if you are sticking to MSA, or speaking a particular dialect (Egyptian versus Jordanian, for example). To listen to how the expression is pronounced, do an online search of the term and listen to videos of people saying the phrase and/or asking a mentor about how to pronounce this expression.

الله يسلمِك/الله يسلمَك

  • The response to “praise God for your well-being” or الحمد الله على سلامتك. This response translates to “God keep you safe.” Again, I will not provide a transliteration because there are slightly different ways to pronounce it depending on whether you are sticking to MSA or focusing on a particular dialect. To listen to how the expression is pronounced, do an online search of the term and listen to videos of people saying the phrase and/or asking a mentor about how to pronounce this expression.

تروح وترجع بالسلامة\تروحي وترجعي بالسلامة\تروجوا وترجعوا بالسلامة

  • You say this when someone is leaving for travel. It translates to “go and return in safety.”

Congratulatory expressions/عبارات تهنئة

مبروك

  • Transliteration: mabrook
  • Well-known phrase meaning congratulations, used for basically any celebratory occasion, big or small (weddings, new purchases, good grades, graduation, and on).

الله يبارك فيك\الله يبارك فيكي\الله يبارك فيكم

  • The response to مبروك, meaning God bless you.
  • The rough transliteration is: Allah ybarak fik (m)/ Allah ybarak fiki (f) /Allah ybarak fikom (plural you)
  • To be extra congratulatory, you can say الف مبروك, or one thousand congratulations.

عقبالك 

  • Another possible response to congratulations, if you wish the same to the person who congratulated you. For instance, if you congratulated someone getting married and you weren’t married yourself, they might respond عقبالك which basically means they hope the same for you. This can be used in relation to many occasions, such as a job promotion, birth of a child, and on. This can be used for someone’s birthday as well:  عقبال مئة سنة, which means I wish you a hundred years. This phrase is used primarily in Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

Expressions for regular or everyday occasions/تعبيرات للمناسبات اليومية

نعيما

  • Said after someone takes a shower or gets a hair cut. It means “a blessing.”

 يعنم عليك or الله ينعم عليك

  • Response to نعيما. Meaning: A blessing on you or God bless you.

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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.