Sunday, October 4, 2020

Important Egyptian Arabic Phrases for Travelers to Egypt

Egypian Arabic phrases title on a photo of camels and the pyramids

This post is written to help you learn some useful words and phrases in Egyptian Arabic that you can use when traveling to Egypt. The good thing is that you can also use them in most if not all other Arab countries (the dialect is very popular thanks to the media and music). There are different dialects within Egypt but everyone will be able to understand the standard Cairo dialect/accent which is what is presented here. Serious Arabic learners might notice I omitted some minor grammar rules to make things simpler and at the same time speaking in a way that the natives will understand.

Important Egyptian Arabic Travel Phrases: Greetings and General Questions

English Arabic pronunciationArabic
Hello“salamu Alikom”سلام عليكم
Good morningSabah EL kheirصباح الخير
Good afternoon/eveningMasa’a EL kheirمساء الخير
Excuse meLaw samaht*لو سمحت
How are you / how do you doEzayak (masculine)
Ezayek (feminine)
إزيك
Good / thank GodKuwayes / alhamdolellahكويس / الحمد لله
I’m from…. (America)Ana men ….(America)أنا من (أمريكا)
YesAiwa أيوه
NoLa’aلأ
What is your name?Esmak eh (masculine)
Esmek eh (feminine)
إسمك ايه؟
My name is John (I’m John)Ana esmy John (or Ana John)أنا اسمي جون، (أنا جون)

*the word (Law) is pronounced similar to the English word (Loud) but without the “d”.

Arabic Phrases for Travel / Directions/ Transport

If you are traveling to Cairo and need to your hotel, how to ask about taxi’s directions, etc? Let’s look at some words then see how to use them in practical examples.

EnglishArabic pronunciationArabic
The AirportEl matarالمطار
The planeel tayaraالطياره
The wayel tare’eالطريق
Roadshare’eشارع
Right, leftYemeen, shemalيمين، شمال
Straight (also in front of)oddamقدام
Where is …..feen elفين ال
How do I get toezay aroohإزاي أروح
Near byOrayebقريب
Far / too farba’eed / ba’eed awyبعيد / بعيد أوي
Cararabiyaعربيه
Busotopiece (autobus changed into Egyptian accent!)أوتوبيس
I don’t speak ArabicAna msh batkallim Arabiأنا مش بتكم عربي
Good morning in Arabic

Now let’s see how to use these words in useful examples:

  • Excuse me, where is the toilet?
    Law samaht, feen el hammam? لو سمحت فين الحمام
  • Excuse me, how do I get to the Hayat hotel?
    Law samaht, ezay arooh le Hayat hotel? لو سمحت، إزاي أروح لحيات فندق؟
  • Thank you, goodbye!
    Shokran, ma’a salama
    شكرا، مع السلامه

Buying and Bargaining for beginners

If you are traveling to Egypt, you will need to bargain most of the time you are buying from bazaars, shops or paying for services. So let’s look at some Egyptian Arabic phrases for travelers to Cairo.

  • How much is this, please?
    Law samaht, bekam da?
    لو سمحت بكام ده؟
  • Too much, too expensive.
    Keter awi, ghali awi.
    كتير أوي، غالي أول
  • Reduce it a bit (the price)
    Rakhas shwaya
    رخص شويه
  • How much do I owe you?
    El hisab kam?
    الحساب كام؟
  • Thanks, I don’t want (it).
    Shokran, mesh ayez.
    شكرا مش عايز
  • 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000
    khamsa, ashara, eshreen, khamseen, meya, meteen, khomso meya, alf
  • I don’t have…
    Msh ma’aya
    مش معايا

Other Important Arabic Phrases

The following are some random phrases that you might need if you are traveling to Cairo, Egypt or any other Arab country. Some of them are for daily situations while some are if you are getting harassed (mainly by street vendors) and hopefully you won’t need them.

  • Let’s go / hurry up
    Yalla!
    يللا
  • Can I / May I?
    Momken?
    ممكن؟
  • That’s enough / stop it!
    Kefaya / bas khalas!
    كفايه ، بس خلاص
  • Stay away from me
    Ebaid anny!
    ابعد عني
  • I will call the police!
    Ana hakallem el police!
    أنا هاكلم البوليس

I hope you find this post useful. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions for more useful phrases. Don’t forget you could also join our facebook group and like our page to get more useful articles like this.