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! Let's get started on greetings in Arabic!
Resources for further reading:
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…)
Rocket Record lets you perfect your Arabic pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!
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.
Sba7 el 7'eyr!
Masa2 el 7’eyr!
Masa2 el 7’eyr!
تصبح على خي
Tesba7 3la 7'eyr!
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.
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 Amira
اهلا يا هاني
Ahlan ya Hany
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.
Ma3a el salama
Let’s listen to some casual farewells…
See you soon
See you later
See you again
Using different greetings will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can.
If you want more free lessons then why not take a free no-obligation trial of our online Arabic course, Rocket Arabic? Learn more Arabic today!
!مع السلامة (Ma3a essalama!) Goodbye!
Amira Zaki: Rocket Arabic
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!