Lebanese Arabic phrasebook

The Lebanese dialect of Arabic is similar to that spoken in Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories, somewhat different to that spoken in Egypt, and very different to other forms of Arabic. As with all dialects of Arabic, the dialect is a spoken language only; the written language always conforms to standard Arabic.

Arabic is significantly different from English: different forms are used when addressing males, females and groups; plurals and verb conjugations are highly irregular and difficult to figure out from their roots; and the pronunciation includes some very difficult sounds. Lebanese, luckily, is a much-simplified from standard Arabic, and should not be overly difficult for the traveler.

Learning some basic Lebanese Arabic dialect expressions could always come in handy; however, knowing either English or French should be enough for a tourist visiting Lebanon, since many Lebanese people (especially the youth, particularly in Beirut) are trilingual.

source : Wikivoyage

Pronounciation Guide and Phrase List

  • Vowels

    · a,like 'a' in "apple"

    · i,like 'ee' in "cheese"

    · u,like 'oo' in "too"

    · o,like 'o' in "dore"

    · e,like 'e' in "bed"

    · é,like 'ai' in "claire"

  • Easy Consonants

    · b,like 'b' in "bed"

    · t,like 't' in "top"

    · j,like 's' in "pleasure"

    · kh,like 'ch' in Scottish "loch" (or German "nach")

    · d,like 'd' in "mad"

    · r,like 'r' in "row"

    · z,like 'z' in "haze"

    · s,like 's' in "sing"

    · sh,like 'sh' in "sheep"

    · f,like 'f' in "fun"

    · k,like 'k' in "kitten"

    · l,like 'l' in "love"

    · m,like 'm' in "mother"

    · n,like 'n' in "nice"

    · h,like 'h' in "help"

    · w,like 'w' in "weight"

    · y,like 'y' in "yes"

  • Difficult Consonants

    · The following 3 consonants are pronounced by rounding the mouth as you say them. You can get an approximate effect by accentuating them in the following pronunciations.

    · S,like 's' in "sorry"

    · D,like 'd' in "dot"

    · T,like 't' in "taught"

    · The following consonant is almost never pronounced in the Lebanese Arabic dialect but replaced with a glottal stop, which can also be represented by an apostrophe.

    · q,in regular arabic : like 'c' in "call" (with the back of the throat)

    · gh,like a French or German letter "r"

    · The following consonant (called "ha", which will be represented by the number 7), is similar to English "h" but stronger. It is pronounced deep in the throat, like the sound you make when breathing on a pair of glasses to clean them.

    · 7,a little like a mixture of "h" and "kh"

    · 2,a glottal stop (IPA: ʔ), or the constriction of the throat as between the syllables "uh-oh", but in Arabic this is often found in strange places such as the beginning of a word. Known in Arabic as "hamza" ء

    · The following consonant (called "ayn", which we will be represented by the number 3), is very difficult to say. In English, the only time you will use the throat muscles used to say this letter is when you are throwing up; if that's how it feels, you're probably doing it right.

    · 3,like the sound represented by "aargh"

  • Basics (Kalimét Asesiyé)

    · Hello.,mar7aba

    · Welcome!,ahla w sahla (Lebanese people use also the French (bienvenue) or the English terms or they say just "ahlan"

    · How are you?,kifak (male), kifik (female)

    · (I'm) fine.,Mni7 (Male) - Mni7a (Female)(Lebanese people also say l 7amdella, literally: "thank God")

    · Well (health),bikher, tamem

    · Good,mni7(m) mni7a(f)

    · Excellent,be jannin (it's excellent) or bjannin (I'm excellent)

    · And you?,w enta (male), w enté (female)

    · Blessed,l 7amdella

    · What is your name?,shoo esmak? (m), shoo esmik? (f)

    · My name is ______ .,esmé ______ .

    · Nice to meet you.,Tsharrafna

    · How old are you?,addé 3omrak? (m) addé 3omrik? (f)

    · Please.,Eza bet reed (m), eza bet reedeh (f) (literally : if you please). Also, 3mol ma3roof (m), 3mele ma3roff (f). Proper : La-w sama7et (m), la-w sama7teh (f) (literally : only if you allow it) (Lebanese people use also the English term : please)

    · Thank you.,shookran (Arabic) yeslamo (Arabic) merci (French) they also use the English expression but pronounce it "tank you, sank you, or tanx"

    · You're welcome,tekram (male) tekramé (female)

    · Welcome (welcoming someone).,ahla w sahla (it will be enough to say just "ahla")

    · If God wills (or used as 'hopefully'),eza alla rad

    · Really?,Walla or 3anjad

    · Yes.,eh or na3am

    · No.,la2

    · Maybe,yemkin

    · Excuse me. ("getting attention"),ma twekhezne

    · Excuse me. ("begging pardon"),"pardon" (French is used here)

    · I'm sorry.,"sorry" (English is used here) or Be3tezeer (I excuse myself)

    · Goodbye (Go with peace),(formal) Ma3el salémé

    · Goodbye ("informal"),"bye" (English is used here)

    · I don't speak Arabic,ma be7ké 3arabé [mni7

    · Do you speak English?,bte7ké englize? or you can just say it in english

    · Is there someone here who speaks English?,fi 7adan hon bye7ke inglize?

    · Help me!,se3dooné

    · Okay,tayib/okay/meshe

    · Look out!,oo3a or ntebih (male) ntebhé (female)

    · For sure/Of course!,akeed!

    · Good morning.,Saba7 l kher - bonjour (french)

    · Good evening.,masa l kher - bonsoir (french)

    · Good night.,"bonne nuit" (french) - tesba7 3ala kher (male) tesba7é 3ala kher (female)

    · I don't know.,ma ba3rif

    · Where is the toilet (bathroom)?,wen l "toilette?" (French is used here)

    · Where is the restroom (in a restaurant)?,wen l 7emmém?

    · I,ana

    · You,enta(m), enté(f)

    · I understand,ana befham. (Though it may be more useful to say: I understood Fhemet)

    · I do not understand,ana ma befham. (Though it may be more useful to say I did not understand : Ma fhemet)

    · Sweetheart,7abibé(m) 7abibté(f) 7abibé is commonly used for females also

    · You're the prettiest of them all,enta ajmal men l kell (male) enté ajmal men l kell (female)

    · Where are you from?,men wen enta? (male) men wen enté (female)

  • Problems

    · Leave me alone.(addressing a male),7el 3anné (aggressive) or Trekné

    · Stop it,Khalas!

    · Don't touch me!(addressing a male),ma tde2 fiyyé

    · I'll call the police.,ra7 de2 lal darak

    · Police!,Bolice!

    · Stop! (addressing a male),wa22if!

    · I need help.,baddé moosé3adé

    · It's an emergency.,7alé tar2a

    · I got lost/I'm lost. (male),do3ot/dayi3

    · I got lost/I'm lost (female),do3ot/day3a

    · I lost my purse/bag.,dayya3et jezdéné/shanté

    · I lost my wallet.,dayya3et ma7fazteh

    · I'm sick. (male),marid or sakhin

    · I've been injured.,mensab

    · I want a doctor.,baddé 7akim

    · Can I use your phone?,fiyyé esta3mil telephonak?(male) fiyyé esta3mil telephonik? (female)

  • Numbers (Ar2am)

    · 1,wa7ad

    · 2,tnén

    · 3,tlété

    · 4,arb3a

    · 5,khamsé

    · 6,setté

    · 7,sab3a

    · 8,tméné

    · 9,tes3a

    · 10,3ashra

    · 11,7da3sh

    · 12,tna3sh

    · 13,tlatta3sh

    · 14,arba3ta3sh

    · 15,khamesta3sh

    · 16,setta3sh

    · 17,sabeta3sh

    · 18,tmanta3sh

    · 19,tese3ta3sh

    · 20,3eshrin

    · 21,wa7da w 3eshreen

    · 22,tnén w 3eshreen

    · 23,tléta w 3eshreen

    · 30,tléteen

    · 40,arb3een

    · 50,khamseen

    · 60,setteen

    · 70,sab3een

    · 80,tméneen

    · 90,tes3een

    · 100,miyyé

    · 200,mitén

    · 300,tlet miyyé

    · 1000,alf

    · 2000,alfén

    · 1,000,000,malyon

    · 1,000,000,000,melyar

    · 1,000,000,000,000,alf melyar

    · number _____ ("train, bus, etc."),nomra _____ (train, bus)

    · half,nos

    · less,a2all

    · more,ba3ed, 2aktar

  • Time

    · now,halla2

    · later,ba3dén

    · before,abel

    · morning,sobo7

    · afternoon,ba3d l dohor

    · evening,masa, 3ashiyé

    · night/nights,laylé/layélé

  • Clock time (Wa2et)

    · What time is it?,addé l sé3a

    · one o'clock AM,sé3a we7dé l sobo7 or you c say 3abukra instead of sobo7

    · two o'clock AM,sé3a tentén sobo7 / 3abukra

    · noon,se3a tna3sh l dohor

    · one o'clock PM,se3a we7dé ba3d l dohor

    · two o'clock PM,se3a tentén ba3d l dohor

    · midnight,noss léil

  • Duration

    · Rules for durations are peculiar: singular is used for one but for 11 or more as well, "double" is used for 2, and plural is used from 3 to 10

    · _____ minute(s),d2i2a (one minute), d2i2ten (2 min), _____ d2eyi2 (____ min for 3 to 10) ____ di2a (____ min for 11 and above)

    · _____ hour(s),se3a (one hour), se3ten (2 hrs), _____ se3at (____ hrs for 3 to 10) ____ se3a(____ hrs for 11 and above)

    · _____ day(s),nhar (one day), nharén (2 days), _____ tiyyem (____ days for 3 to 10) ____ yom (____ days for 11 and above)

    · _____ week(s),jem3a (one week), jeme3ten (2 weeks), _____ jmé3 (____ weeks for 3 to 10) ____ jem3a (____ weeks for 11 and above)

    · _____ month(s),shaher(one month), shahren(2 months), _____ tesh-hor(____ months for 3 to 10) ____ shaher (____ months for 11 and above)

    · _____ year(s),sené (one yr), sentéin(2 yrs), _____ snin (____ yrs for 3 to 10) ____ sené (____ yrs for 11 and above)

  • Days

    · today,lyom

    · yesterday,mberi7

    · tomorrow,bookra

    · this week,hal jem3a

    · last week,jem3it l madyé

    · next week,jem3it l jéyé

    · Sunday,a7ad

    · Monday,tanén

    · Tuesday,taléta

    · Wednesday,ereba3a

    · Thursday,khamis

    · Friday,jem3a

    · Saturday,sabet

  • Months

    · January,kénoon l téné

    · February,shbat

    · March,adar

    · April,nisén

    · May,ayyar

    · June,7zeiran

    · July,tammooz

    · August,ab

    · September,aylool

    · October,teshrin l awwal

    · November,teshrin l téné

    · December,kénoon l awwal

  • Writing time and date (Ktaba wakit wa toarik)

    · Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

  • Colors

    · black,aswad (masculine) sawda (feminine)

    · white,abyad(masculine) bayda (feminine)

    · gray,rmédé (masculine) rmediyyé (feminine)

    · red,a7mar (masculine) 7amra (feminine)

    · blue,azra2 (masculine) zar2a (feminine)

    · yellow,asfar (masculine) safra (feminine)

    · green,akhdar (masculine) khadra (feminine)

    · orange,berd2ane

    · purple,leilaké

    · brown,benné (masculine) benniyyé (feminine)

  • Bus and train

    · How much is a ticket to _____?,b2addésh l tiket la ...

    · One ticket to _____, please.,tiket we7dé la______, éza bet reed ...

    · Where does this train/bus go?,la wen bi rou7 hal tren/bus? ...

    · Where is the train/bus to _____?,wayno l tren/bus? ...

    · Does this train/bus stop in _____?,biwa22if l tren/bus bi_____ shi?

    · When does the train/bus for _____ leave?,Emteen l tren/bus la ______ byémshé ...?

    · When will this train/bus arrive?,Emteen byoowsal hal tren/bus?

    · Where are you going?,la wen rayi7 (enta)? (male) la wen ray7a (enté)? (female)

  • Directions

    · How do I get to _____ ?,keef boosal 3ala _____ ?

    · ...the train station?,...m7atet l train?

    · ...the bus station?,...m7atet l bus?

    · ...the airport?,...l matar?

    · ...downtown?,...downtown(English used)?

    · ...the youth hostel?,...the youth hostel? ("...")

    · ...the _____ hotel?,...l _____ hotel?

    · ...the American/Canadian/Australian/British embassy?,safara amerkiyyé/canadiyyé/australiyyé/britaniyyé

    · Where are there a lot of...,wen fi ktir...

    · ...hotels?,...hotels?

    · ...restaurants?,...mata3im?

    · ...bars?,...pubs? ("bar" refers to a less innocent type of place)

    · ...places to see?,...ma7allét ta shoufa?

    · ...tourist attractions?,...ma7allét siyé7iyyé?

    · Can you show me on the map?,feek tfarjiné 3al kharita

    · Where is the airport?,wen l matar?

    · street,taree2 or shéri3

    · Turn left.,khod shmél

    · Turn right.,khod yameen

    · left,shmél

    · right,yameen

    · straight ahead/infront,deghré/eddém

    · towards the _____,sob l _____

    · past the _____,ba3d l _____

    · before the _____,abel l _____

    · Watch out for the _____.,ntebih (male) ntebhé (female) la l _____.

    · intersection,ta2atoo3

    · north,shmél

    · south,jnoub

    · east,share2

    · west,ghareb

    · up,fo2

    · down,ta7et

    · Car rental agency,Sherkit te2jir siyarat

    · passport,jawéz safar (passport with a silent "t" as pronounced in french is also widely used)

  • Taxi

    · Taxi!,"Taxi!" (english)

    · Shared taxi,Service (french pronunciation)

    · Take me to _____, please.,khedne 3ala ____, 3mol ma3rouf

    · How much does it cost to get to _____?,adde l towsile 3a ____?

    · Take me there, please.,khedne la honik, 3mol ma3rouf

  • Lodging

    · Do you have any rooms available?,fi oowad fadyé?

    · How much is a room for one person/two people?,addé l ooda la shakhs/la shaksein?

    · Does the room come with...,btejé l ooda ma3...

    · ...bedsheets?,...couvre-lits?

    · ...a bathroom?,...7emmém

    · ...a telephone?,... telephone?

    · ...a TV?,... Television?

    · May I see the room first?,finé shoof l ooda bel awal?

    · Do you have anything quieter?,fi 3endkoon shi arwa2?

    · ...bigger?,akbar

    · ...cleaner?,...andaf?

    · ...cheaper?,...arkhas?

    · OK, I'll take it.,OK, ra7 ékheda

    · I will stay for _____ night(s).,ra7 eb2a_____ layélé.

    · Can you suggest another hotel?,btonsa7ne bi hotel téné?

    · Do you have a safe?,3endkoon khazné?

    · What time is breakfast/supper?,ayya se3a l terwi2a/l 3asha?

    · Please clean my room.,please naddeflé l ooda.

    · Can you wake me at _____?,fik (male) fiké (female) twa3iné 3al_____?

    · I want to check out.,baddé a3mol check out.

  • Money

    · Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?,bte2balo bi american/australian/canadian dollars?

    · Do you accept British pounds?,bte2balo bel pound l britane?

    · Do you accept credit cards?,bte2balo credit card?

    · Can you change money for me?,fik tsarrefle masare?

    · Where can I get money changed?,wen fine sarrif masare?

    · Can you change a traveler's check for me?,fik tsarrefle traveler's check?

    · Where can I get a traveler's check changed?,wen fine sarrif traveler's check?

    · What is the exchange rate?,What is the exchange rate? ("...")

    · Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?,wen fi ATM?

  • Eating

    · A table for one person/two people, please.,tawlé la shakhes/shakhsen please

    · Can I look at the menu, please?,finé shoof l menu please?'

    · Can I look in the kitchen?,fine shoof el matbakh?

    · Is there a house specialty?,Is there a house specialty? ("...")

    · Is there a local specialty?,Is there a local specialty? ("...")

    · I'm a vegetarian.,ana nabété (male) ana nabétiyyé (female)

    · I don't eat pork.,ma bekool khanzeer

    · I don't eat beef.,ma bekool la7em ba2er

    · I only eat kosher food.,bekool akel kosher w bas (Halal)

    · Can you make it "lite", please? ("less oil/butter/lard"),fik ta3mela "lite" please? zet/zebde/dism alil

    · fixed-price meal,fixed-price meal ("...")

    · à la carte,à la carte ("...")

    · breakfast,terwi2a

    · lunch,ghada

    · tea,shay

    · brunch,3asrouniyyé

    · supper,3asha

    · I want _____.,baddé

    · I want a dish containing _____.,baddé sa7en fiyo ...

    · chicken,djéj

    · meat,la7mé

    · fish,samak

    · ham,jambon

    · sausage,m2éni2

    · cheese,jebné

    · eggs,bayd

    · salad,salata

    · (fresh) vegetables,khodra (taza)

    · (fresh) fruit,fweke (taza)

    · bread,khebez

    · toast,toast

    · noodles,sh3ayriye

    · rice,rez

    · beans,fasolya

    · May I have a glass of _____?,3mol ma3rouf/iza bit reed baddé kebbeyit ...

    · May I have a cup of _____?,3mol ma3rouf/iza bit reed baddé fenjen ...

    · May I have a bottle of _____?,3mol ma3rouf/iza bit reed baddé anninit ...

    · coffee,ahwe

    · tea ("drink"),shay

    · juice,3aseer

    · (carbonated) water,muy (ghaziyyé)

    · water,muy

    · beer,beera

    · red/white wine,nbeed a7mar/abyad

    · May I take some _____?,please finé ekhood ...

    · salt,mele7

    · black pepper,bhar aswad

    · butter,zebdé

    · Excuse me, waiter? ("getting attention of server"),3afwan

    · I'm finished.,khallaset

    · It was delicious.,kenit taybé

    · Please clear the plates.,3mol ma3rouf, sheel el s7oun.

    · The check, please.,l 7seb iza bit reed

  • Bars

    · Do you serve alcohol?,3endak alcohol?

    · Is there table service?,fi khedmit tawlet?

    · A beer/two beers, please.,we7dé bira/tnen bira,iza btrid

    · A glass of red/white wine, please.,Kes nbeed a7mar/abyad please

    · A pint, please.,A pint, please. ("...")

    · A bottle, please.,anniné please

    · _____ ("hard liquor") and _____ ("mixer"), please.,_____ and _____, please. ("...")

    · whiskey,whiskey

    · vodka,vodka

    · rum,rum

    · water,may

    · club soda,club soda

    · tonic water,tonic water ("...")

    · orange juice,3asir laymoon

    · Coke ("soda"),coke

    · Do you have any bar snacks?,3endkoon bar snacks?

    · One more, please.,wa7ad téné please

    · Another round, please.,round tényé please

    · When is closing time?,ayya se3a betsakro?

  • Shopping

    · Do you have this in my size?,fi menna 3a 2yesé?

    · How much is this?,bi addé hay?

    · That's too expensive.,hayda kteer ghalé

    · Would you take _____?,btekhdo ...

    · expensive,ghalé (masculine) ghalyé (feminine)

    · cheap,rkhees (masculine) rkheesa (feminine)

    · I can't afford it.,ma ma3e 7a22a

    · I don't want it.,Ma baddé yéha

    · You're cheating me.,3am testelemné (addressing a male) 3am testelminé (female)

    · I'm not interested.,manné mehtamm (male) manné mehtammé (female)

    · OK, I'll take it.,tayeb ra7 2ekheda

    · Can I have a bag?,finé ekhood kees?

    · Do you ship (overseas)?,btesh7ano douwalé?

    · I need...,3ayiz (male) 3ayzé (female)

    · ...toothpaste.,m3ajoon snen

    · ...a toothbrush.,fersheyit snen

    · ...tampons.,...tampons. ("it is recommended to say the brand...")

    · ...soap.,saboon

    · ...shampoo.,shampoo

    · ...pain reliever. ("e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen"),dawa lal waj3a.

    · ...cold medicine.,dawa lal rashe7

    · ...stomach medicine.,dawa lal me3dé

    · ...a razor.,shafrit 7le2a

    · ...an umbrella.,shamsiyyé

    · ...sunblock lotion.,creme lal shames

    · ...a postcard.,bita2a baridiyyé

    · ...postage stamps.,tawabi3 barid

    · ...batteries.,battariyyét

    · ...writing paper.,wara2 mketib

    · ...a pen.,alam

    · ...English-language books.,kutob bil engleezeh

    · ...English-language magazines.,majallét bil engleezeh

    · ...an English-language newspaper.,jareedé bil engleezeh

    · ...an English-English dictionary.,amoos engleezeh

  • Driving

    · I want to rent a car.,baddé esta2jir siyyara

    · Can I get insurance?,finé ekhood assurance (french pronunciation)?

    · stop ("on a street sign"),w2af

    · one way,sens unique (french), or can be said in English

    · yield,yield ("...")

    · no parking,mamnoo3 l woo2oof

    · speed limit,sir3a al koswa (classical arabic)

    · gas ("petrol") station,m7attit benzeen

    · petrol,benzeen

    · diesel,mézoot

  • Authority

    · I haven't done anything wrong.,ma 3melet shi ghalat

    · It was a misunderstanding.,ken sou2 taféhoom

    · Where are you taking me?,wen ékhdinné

    · Am I under arrest?,ana maw2oof? (male) ana maw2oofé (female)

    · I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.,ana moowatin (male) moowatné (female) amerkené/australé/britané/canadé

    · I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate.,baddé e7ké ma3 l safara/l2onsliye l amerkiyyé/l australiyyé/l britaniyyé/l canadiyyé/...")

    · I want to talk to a lawyer.,baddé e7ké moo7amé

    · Can I just pay a fine now?,fiyyé bass edfa3 gharamé/zabet halla2?

  • Asking about language

    · How do you say _____ ?,Keef be oulo ...?

    · What is this/that called?,Shoo hayda?/shoo esmo hayda?