From As-Salamu Alaykum to Ma’a Salama: Essential Arabic Phrases for Travelers


Are you planning a trip to an Arabic-speaking country soon? Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, knowing a few basic Arabic phrases can go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable and memorable. In this article, we’ll cover some of the essential Arabic phrases you’ll need to know to navigate your way through the local culture and communicate with locals.

1. Greetings

The first phrase every traveler should know is “As-Salamu Alaykum,” which means “Peace be upon you.” It’s the most common greeting in the Arabic language and is used in both formal and informal situations. The response to this greeting is “Wa Alaykum As-Salam,” which means “And peace be upon you.”

Another common greeting is “Marhaba,” which means “Hello.” This phrase is more casual than “As-Salamu Alaykum” and is often used among friends and family. It’s also a good phrase to use when meeting new people.

2. Introducing Yourself

If you want to introduce yourself, you can say “Ismi” followed by your name. For example, “Ismi Sarah.” You can also say “Ana” followed by your name to say “I am” and then your name.

3. Asking for Help

When traveling in a foreign country, it’s important to know how to ask for help. To ask for directions, you can say “Wayn Al-Maktab?” which means “Where is the office?” or “Wayn Al-Madrasa?” which means “Where is the school?” If you need help finding a specific location, you can say “Ana Baiturid an Adhhaba Ilal…” followed by the name of the place you’re trying to find.

4. Ordering Food

One of the best things about traveling is trying new foods. To order food in Arabic, you can say “Ana uridu…” followed by the name of the dish you want. For example, “Ana uridu Shawarma” means “I want Shawarma.” If you have any dietary restrictions, it’s important to let the server know. You can say “Ana la akul lahman” if you don’t eat meat or “Ana la akul ghalaba” if you don’t eat dairy.

5. Shopping

If you’re planning on doing some shopping, it’s helpful to know a few Arabic phrases. To ask how much something costs, you can say “Kam Thamanahu?” which means “How much is it?” If you want to bargain, you can say “Biddi” followed by the price you want to pay. For example, “Biddi Khamsa Dinars” means “I want to pay five dinars.”

6. Saying Goodbye

When it’s time to say goodbye, you can say “Ma’a Salama,” which means “Goodbye.” If you want to say “See you later,” you can say “Araka fi Ma Ba’d,” which means “See you later.”


Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can make a big difference in your travel experience. Not only will it help you communicate with locals, but it will also show that you’re interested in the local culture. By using the phrases in this article, you’ll be able to greet people, introduce yourself, ask for help, order food, shop, and say goodbye. So next time you’re in an Arabic-speaking country, don’t be afraid to use your new language skills!

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