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10 Arabic Survival Phrases for Your Overseas Adventure

J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote that travel is “a dangerous business…You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” No phrase rings truer for those with a deep wanderlust because, indeed, when you set out you never know what may happen to you. Traveling in Arabic speaking countries can be a wonderful mix of danger, adventure, and truly wonderful moments, as long as you tackle your travels prepared to deal with any unforeseen scenario. Knowing a few good survival phrases can work wonders when you find yourself in a tight spot, and are something no traveler should be without. Read on to learn 10 key Arabic survival phrases which will prove invaluable on your many adventures to come!

1. Do you speak English?

(Hal tatakallamo alloghah alenjleziah.)

This is without a doubt one of the main must-know phrases when traveling abroad. Hey, it makes life a little easier to know you can also try communicating in English, doesn’t it?

Photo_1 (4)Image via PhotoPin

2. Can you speak slowly?

(Takalam bebot’ men fadlek/ fadleki (fem).)

If you are new to Arabic and having a tough time understanding what is being said to you, this is the perfect survival phrase for you! Just remember to use feminine and masculine according to the situation!

3. Write it down, please.

(Oktobha men fadlek/ Oktobeeha men fadleki (fem).)

Sometimes when you’re asking for directions, it’s safe to have addresses or names written down so you don’t get lost. Keep this phrase on hand for just those kinds of situations.

4. Sorry.


Showing deference is always a great way to indicate respect. Use the former version of sorry for when you don’t understand what someone is saying to you, and the latter for when you make a mistake.

5. Can you help me?

(Hal beemkanek mosa’adati?)

Knowing how to ask for help is a necessity when you’re in a foreign country struggling with a foreign language. This is a memorization must!

Photo_2 (5)Image via PhotoPin

6. Where can I find…?

(Ayna ajed…?)

You won’t get very far if you don’t know how to ask for directions, right? With this phrase you’ll be able to travel carefree knowing you can get where you want to go!

7. Excuse me!

(Men fadlek/ (fadleki for female).)

Nothing will get a waiter’s attention like a tourist calling out in Arabic. You’ll astonish and get quicker service in the process.

8. How much is this?

(Kam howa thamanoh?)

You’ll be looking to take home plenty of souvenirs from your adventures, and knowing how to start the bargaining process will make it all easier.

9. What’s that called in Arabic?

(Ma esmoho bel arabiah?)

If you’re an avid language learner, you’ll probably want to continuously improve your language skills by picking up new vocabulary along the way. This phrase is perfect for adding key words to your lexicon!

Photo_3 (5)Use "A’jabanee haqqan!" after trying one of these delicious treats. // Image via PhotoPin

10. I really like it!

(A’jabanee haqqan!)

The reason why this is such a vital survival phrase is because you can use if for almost anything, whether talking about food, places, or anything else!

Now that you’re equipped with several good survival phrases, you’ll want to beef up your language knowledge so that no matter what, you can skillfully fend for yourself while overseas. Brush up on your Arabic by taking a free online placement test, then prepare yourself for your big trip by signing up for great language classes. With the right skills and know-how, you’ll be able to keep yourself safe while having some rip-roaring adventures too!