Here are some words and phrases that every expat may encounter on day to day basis.
We are lucky to be living in a country that is a melting pot in the truest sense. Many nationalities are living and hustling together to make their dreams come true in this beautiful metropolitan country. While others come for vacations or studies. Although English, Urdu, Hindi, and Malayalam are commonly spoken languages in the UAE, Arabic is the predominant language in this part of the world. And you know how they say in Rome, do as Romans do. Well, that stands correct for learning the language of the host country as well. It truly helps you immerse and embrace cross-cultural interactions.
So, here are some phrases and words that will of course also help you in your daily life and if you are a tourist, will help in making your trip memorable.
Marhabaa is a common Arabic word used to greet. Marhabaa means “Welcome” or “Hello” and is a common word to be used in day-to-day settings while meeting friends and family.
Na’am in Arabic means “yes” while La is the opposite meaning “No”. Just very basic words while striking a conversation with natives.
Yallah! This is one of the most commonly used Arabic words, meaning “let’s go” or “come on,” and is used when you want something to happen or someone to move.
Just say Khalas when you want someone to stop what they are doing. Khalas means to “stop” “finish “or when you have “enough” of something.
Habibi is either a friend, a boy/girlfriend, husband or wife, a relative, or a familiar person to you whom you like in a different way. Even if you are calling a person of the same gender, you may use it.
If you are in a hypermarket, and it is very crowded due to sales or something, you might hear the word “tamaiyal”, which means to take aside to make room for someone to pass, or “excuse me” in English.
Mind your manners! “Please” in Arabic is MinFadlak and “thank you” is Shukran. Why not try using these words the next time you are ordering a meal at a restaurant or purchasing something from a store? It’s sure to make your transaction go smoother.
‘Afwaan means “sorry” or “excuse me”. It is your go-to phrase for moving through crowds, leaving the dinner table temporarily or deterring that enthusiastic pashmina seller at the souk.
Kayf Halak/Kayf Halik:
It basically means “How Are you?” When asking a man, you say Kayf Halak and when addressing a woman, you say Kayf Halik. The response to this is usually Zayn, Al Hamdu Lillah, which means “Fine, praise be to God.”
A handy phrase to know while traveling in Dubai, Wayn al meaning “where-is” will see you through most situations. It’s a great phrase to use to break the ice and ask for directions from locals in a friendly way.
So, what are you waiting for? Here are some of the most frequently used Arabic words that can make your UAE trip smooth and ex-pats life easier.