Learn some Egyptian words before you travel to Egypt

Learn some Egyptian words before you travel to Egypt

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Are you one of those travelers that like to prepare for your trip by learning a few words of the Egyptian language? It’s a great thing to do to get yourself ready for the cultural immersion, helps you make friends, and stay away from hustle.

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Are you one of those travelers that like to prepare for your trip by learning a few words of the local language? It’s a great thing to do to get yourself ready for the cultural immersion, helps you make friends, and also can be a signal to scammers that you aren’t a good tourist to pick on.

I'd be happy to elucidate how you can employ various Arabic phrases in Egypt once you're on-site. In Egypt, there's an array of everyday expressions and words you can integrate into your conversations. These include common greetings like "hello" in Arabic, as well as essential skills like haggling over prices in local markets—asking about costs, commenting on affordability, and more. In today's blog, we'll comprehensively cover the practical use of Arabic phrases, encompassing greetings, apologies, requests, and refusals, ensuring you're well-equipped for various social situations during your stay in Egypt.



What Egyptian people speaks?

Many people often assume that we speak standard Arabic, but the reality is quite different. In Egypt, we communicate in Egyptian Arabic, a language that has evolved over many years. It's a unique blend of Egyptian and Arabic influences, with a significant emphasis on Egyptian grammar and vocabulary. Approximately 90% of our language is distinctly Egyptian, a reflection of the rich cultural history that has shaped our nation.

Egyptian Arabic differs significantly from standard Arabic. For instance, In standard Arabic, "bread" is indeed "khobz," but in Egyptian Arabic, we commonly use "eish" to refer to bread. It's fascinating how languages can evolve and develop unique characteristics over time, reflecting the culture and history of the region.. These variations in vocabulary and grammar make Egyptian Arabic a distinct language in its own right. In today's blog, we'll delve into the essential phrases used in Egypt during everyday interactions, covering greetings, apologies, requests, and refusals. These phrases will come in handy, especially when dealing with situations where someone is trying to sell you something or exert pressure.




Indeed, Egyptian Arabic proves to be a much more accessible language for learners in contrast to the formal, classical Arabic. When locals observe your sincere attempts to communicate in their dialect, they typically respond with joy, warm welcomes, and often share laughter. This is largely due to the simplicity and the charming nature of the Egyptian Arabic, making it a wonderful and enjoyable experience for both you and the locals.


Here's some important sentences:

  1. Hello/peace upon you - السلام عليكم (Al-Salam Alaykom)
  2. Good morning - صباح الخير (sabah al-khair)
  3. Good evening - مساء الخير (masa' al-khair)
  4. How are you? - أزيك؟ (ezayyak/ezayyik?)
  5. What is your name? - اسمك إيه؟ (ismik eih?)
  6. My name is [Your Name] - اسمي [Your Name] (ismi [Your Name])
  7. Yes - نعم (na'am)
  8. No - لا (la)
  9. Please - من فضلك (min fadlik)
  10. Thank you - شكراً (shukran)
  11. Excuse me - عفواً (afwan)
  12. I'm sorry - آسف (asif)
  13. I don't understand - مش فاهم (mesh fahem)
  14. Can you help me? - ممكن تساعدني؟ (mumkin tsa'dini?)
  15. Where is the bathroom? - فين الحمام؟ (fein el-hammaam?)
  16. I need a doctor - أنا محتاج طبيب (ana muhtaj tabib)
  17. How much is this? - بكم ده؟ (bi-kam dah?)
  18. What time is it? - كام الساعة؟ (kam el-sa'a?)
  19. I would like... - أنا عايز/عايزة... (ana 'ayez/'ayza...)
  20. Where I am? - انا فين؟(Ana fen?)
  21. My friend - صاحبي/صاحبتي (sahbi/sahbati)
  22. Do you speak English? - بتتكلم إنجليزي؟ (bititkallim ingilizi?)
  23. How do I get to...? - إزاي أروح لـ...؟ (ezay aruh le...?)
  24. I love Egypt - بحب مصر (baheb masr)
  25. It's delicious - ده لذيذ (dah lazeez)
  26. What is your phone number? - رقم تليفونك إيه؟ (raqm telefoonak/telefonik eih?)
  27. I'm a tourist - أنا سائح (ana saa'ih)
  28. Help! - مساعدة! (musaa'adah!)
  29. I'm from [Your Country] - أنا من [Your Country] (ana men [Your Country])
  30. Can you recommend a good restaurant? - تنصحني بمطعم جيد؟ (tinsahni bimta'am jayyid?)
  31. I want to go to the airport - أنا عايز أروح المطار (ana 'ayez aruh al-matar)
  32. How much does it cost? - بكم ؟ (bi-kam?)
  33. I need a taxi - أنا محتاج تاكسي (ana muhtaj taxi)
  34. What's your favorite Egyptian dish? - أيه أكلة مصرية مفضلة عندك؟ (ayyih akla masriyya mufaddala 'andak?)
  35. Can you write it down? - تقدر تكتبها؟ (takdar tiktabha?)
  36. Where can I find the nearest ATM? - فين ألاقي أقرب  atm؟ (fein ala'ee aqrb atm?)
  37. I'm here for a vacation - أنا هنا في اجازة(ana huna fi Agaza)
  38. This is beautiful - ده حلو (dah helw)
  39. It's too expensive - ده غالي أوي (dah ghali awe)
  40. How's the weather today? - إيه أخبار الطقس النهاردة؟ (eih akhbar al-taqs al-naharda?)
  41. I need to buy a SIM card - أنا محتاج أجيب شريحة (ana muhtaj agib shariha)
  42. Can you speak more slowly, please? - تكلم ببطء، من فضلك (tikallim bi-bat', min fadlik)
  43. I don't eat [specific food] - أنا ما بأكلش [specific food] (ana ma ba'kulsh [specific food])
  44. What's your favorite place in Egypt? - فين مكانك المفضل في مصر؟ (fein makanak al-mufaddal fi masr?)
  45. I'd like a menu, please - أنا عايز القائمة، من فضلك (ana 'ayez el-Menu, min fadlik)
  46. I'm here with my family - أنا هنا مع أسرتي (ana huna ma'a usrati)
  47. Can you recommend a good hotel? - تقدر تنصحني بفندق جيد؟ (takdar tinsahni bifanduq jayyid?)
  48. What's the best time to visit Egypt? - متي أفضل وقت لزيارة مصر؟ (mata afdal waqt lizarat masr?)
  49. I'll take it - هاخده (hakhudo)
  50. I don't drink alcohol - أنا ما بشربش الكحول (ana ma bishrabsh al-kuhul)
  51. Can you show me on the map? - تقدر توريني على الخريطة؟ (takdar turiini 'ala al-khuritah?)
  52. What's the Wi-Fi password? - كلمة سر الواي فاي إيه؟ (Password al-Wi-Fi eih?)
  53. Where can I find a pharmacy? - فين ألاقي صيدلية؟ (fein ala'ee sa'idaliyya?)





Do Egyptians understand English?

English is widely spoken as a second language in Egypt, so if you're in Egypt, there's no need to fret. You'll find that almost everyone understands you and can engage in conversations with ease. In fact, it's safe to say that around 75% of the people you encounter in Egypt are proficient in English. So rest assured, you won't have any trouble finding English speakers here.

In our daily lives, we often incorporate English words into our conversations. For instance, we use "ATM" when referring to a cash machine, or "password" when requesting access credentials for Wi-Fi. It's remarkable how these English terms have seamlessly integrated into our everyday language.

Moreover, a significant portion of Egyptians can comprehend basic English terms. Words like "car," "pharmacy," "hospital," and "doctor" are widespread, making them easily understood by locals. These words are so familiar that they're seen throughout the streets of Egypt.

So, even if your English skills are limited, there's no need to worry. You can effectively communicate with many people in Egypt. We possess the ability to assist you by providing directions or comprehending your needs swiftly. Egyptians are resourceful and quick on the uptake, ensuring that you'll find it easy to get by even with limited English proficiency.


Do you like to learn a little of the language before you travel somewhere new? What do you think it helps most with while you are there? We’d love to hear about your experiences of speaking other languages while traveling in the comments below.


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Amal Ghaly
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Amal Ghaly
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