Damascus Gate Arabic

Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Tel: 647-914-7085

Spoken Levantine (Palestinian) Arabic Lesson 1

Below is a basic dialogue in spoken Levantine Arabic with some of the essential words and phrases you need to get started. This is followed by explanations.

Word/Phrase
Transliteration
Arabic

- Hello

- Marḥaba

مرحبا

- Hello

- Marḥaba

مرحبا

- How are you?

- Kīf ḥālak/ek? ¹

كيف حالك؟

- Praise Allah, and you?

- Al-ḥamdilla, u-enta/enti? ²

الحمدلله، وانت؟

- Praise Allah

- Al-ḥamdilla

الحمدلله

- Bye

- Maʿ as-salāmeh

مع السلامة

- Bye

- Maʿ as-salāmeh

مع السلامة

¹ use ḥālak when speaking to a male, ḥālek when speaking to a female.

² use enta when speaking to a male, enti when speaking to a female.

Marḥaba
مرحبا

Marḥaba means hello. It is used the same as in English. When someone says marḥaba to you, you can respond by saying marḥaba back. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can respond to Marḥaba by saying marḥabtēn which means “hello two times”.

Kīf ḥālak/ek?
كيف حالك؟

The phrase kīf ḥālak (or ḥālek) is the most common way in Levantine Arabic to ask how someone is doing. It literally means “how is your status?”.

It is made up of the word kīf, which means how, ḥāl, which means status, and the attached pronoun “ak” which means “your” directed to a male.


If you are speaking to a female you need to change the attached pronoun to “ek”.

ex. kīf ḥālek?

al-ḥamdilla
الحمدلله

The phrase al-ḥamdilla, and others evoking God (Allah) are incredibly common in Levantine Arabic.  It literally means praise be to Allah and is probably the most often used response when someone asks how you are.

maʿ as-salāmeh
مع السلامة

maʿ as-salāmeh is the most common way to say goodbye. It literally means “with well-being”, wishing you a safe journey to wherever you are leaving to. The correct response is to repeat maʿ as-salāmeh or to use a plethora of other ornate phrases that we will touch on in later lessons.