Just like when it comes to learning any other language, learning Egyptian Arabic requires a great deal of time, practice and repetition.
However, if you are new to the language and you’re not sure where to start, this article will provide you with some useful basic Egyptian Arabic phrases to get you going.
Learning a new language can become extremely frustrating (trust me, I know!). This tends to be the case when learners jump ahead of themselves by trying to remember a maximum number of words and phrases in a minimum space of time. Realistically this does not work in the long run which leads to people giving up.
The best way to learn is to concentrate on learning 2-3 words per day and going over them again everyday whilst adding a new word. To start out, it’s best to begin with short, easy to remember, single words such as ‘Yes’ and ‘No’
The word ‘No’ is probably the easiest word you can start with and is pronounced as la (لا).
The word ‘Yes’ can be used in two different ways; aywa (ايوا) which is the Egyptian way of saying it and na’am (نعم), which is the modern standard Arabic (MSA) way of saying it, but is also used in Egyptian Arabic.
Next we move on to greetings starting with word ‘hi’ or ‘welcome’, both of which can be expressed in Egyptian Arabic by using the word ahlan wa sahlan (اهلا وسهلا) or simply just ahlan.
When saying ‘goodbye’ to someone, you would normally use the phrase ma’asalama (مع السلامة) but for a beginner this is slightly more advanced. Using the word (Salam سلام) on its own is fine. These days a lot of Egyptians, especially the youth, use the English word ‘bye’ as a result of western influence.
The most common word new learners pick up first is how to say ‘thank you’, the Egyptian word for this is shukran (شكرا)
Another common word, which you probably have already heard of, is the word (Habibi حبيبي) which means ‘my love’ or ‘my darling’
Finally, we will end with the simple Egyptian word (esmi اسمي), which when translated to English means ‘my name is’. So I would say esmi Charlotte Smith
So that’s it for today’s lesson. Keep practicing and stay tuned for some more learning material.
I used this website to learn Egyptian Arabic: check it out here.