Greetings in Arabic

You’re about to learn some more Arabic greetings so you can use more than just a simple “Ahlan”. After this free audio lesson you’ll know some expressions to use at different times of the day, and for casual and formal occasions.

Listen to the native speakers greeting each other, and then go ahead and practice saying each phrase aloud. Once you’re feeling confident with different ways to say hello in Arabic you’ll learn some different ways to say goodbye in Arabic as well.

It’s important to get the basics right, and the Arabic-speaking people you meet will really appreciate your efforts. You know you’re saying it correctly if they keep talking, expecting you to keep up!

How to pronounce Arabic greetings

As hard as you try, without helpful feedback your Arabic pronunciation is never going to be the same as a native speaker’s. If you've found it difficult to perfect the way you say Arabic words and phrases, this lesson will help you.

Using the blue Rocket Record buttons you can record the way you say each word or phrase, and compare it with the way a native speaker of Arabic does. That’s right, with Rocket Languages voice mapping technology you can record your voice as many times as you need until your pronunciation matches the Arabic speaker!

And when you are ready test yourself using My Level and really power up your learning and recall. Just click the "My Level" tab above to get started!

  • How to shake hands in Arabic

Let's get started...

In this lesson all gender specific words are in the masculine form.

Greeting people is important in Egyptian society just as in any other society in the world. The way people greet may vary depending on the time of day, occasion and kind of people. It can be very formal or a casual, friendly greeting. Egyptians, in general, are friendly and may expect the same approach from you. So it is nice to be prepared to be greeted and greet them back.

Ahlan is the very common way of greeting and can be used at any time of day and to anyone. It will be very nice if you can put your hands together and bring kiss them on the cheeks saying “Ahlan”. That is the Egyptian way of greeting. Traditionally Egyptians, especially ladies, will only kiss ladies and men kiss men (sometimes) depends on who the person is. (Like a father, a brother, a very dear friend, etc…)


Ahlan or Ahlan wa sahlan (more formal) can be used to greet as mentioned above at any time. They have more of a formal tone.

The audio clips will help you to hear some time based greetings.

صباح الخير
Sba7 el 7`eyr!
Good morning!
مساء الخير
Masa2 el 7’eyr!
Good afternoon!
مساء الخير
Masa2 el 7’eyr!
Good evening!
تصبح على خي
Tesba7 3la 7`eyr!
Good night!

In Egypt we don’t have good afternoon. But generally you can use “Ahlan” irrespective of the time of the day.

Nowadays it is quite common to use English greetings, like “hi” and “bye bye”, but these are considered to be casual. Listen to the link below to hear some informal Arabic greetings…


There are some greetings that you will only hear in certain regions.

السلام عليكم
El salamo 3alikom
Peace be with you

The way of greeting “El salamo 3alikom” is only commonly used by Muslims in Egypt. There could be regional and cultural variations in the way of greeting, but I repeat, “Ahlan” is always safe. Reply to Ahlan is also ahlan bik depending on the gender of course.. You can link the person’s name after “Ahlan”, if you wish.

اهلا يا هاني
Ahlan ya Hany
Hello Hany
اهلا يا هاني
Ahlan ya Amira
Hello Amira
  • Goodbye in Arabic

As mentioned earlier, “Ahlan” is a magic word but can’t be used when you say farewell. There are some other ways too to say goodbye. Please listen to the audio.

مع السلامة
Ma3a el salama

Let’s listen to some casual farewells…

اشوفك تاني
Ashofak tany
See you again
اشوفك بعدين
Ashofak ba3deyn
See you later
اشوفك قريب
Ashofak orayeb
See you soon

Using different greetings will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can.

Ma3a el salama

مع السلامة


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