Every traveler hopes to experience a country ‘the local way’, meeting local people, visiting the best neighborhood haunts and sitting down with local residents whilst tucking into delicious local delicacies. In Jordan, Arabic is the official and most widely used language, and it helps to know at least a few common Arabic phrases to use in Jordan.
English is also widely used particularly in the larger cities such as Amman an Aqaba where expats and foreign businessmen tend to reside. In fact, English is the second most common language in Jordan after Arabic and many residents can read and understand the English language.
That is not to say that everyone in Jordan speaks English or speaks English well enough to sit down and have a full blown conversation with you. It is to say, however, that foreign tourists can get around Jordan without the need to be fluent in Arabic. Regardless of whether or not it is possible to use your mother tongue, a respectful traveler always learns a few local phrases.
Attempting a basic Arabic phrase in Jordan will immediately make you seem more approachable and friendly to the locals. Residents will be pleased to see that you have tried to learn the local lingo and you will be made to feel even more welcome than you already were.
The most common basic Arabic phrases used in Jordan
Below are the most common basic Arabic phrases used in Jordan. Get familiar with them and start practicing:
|Salam – Marhaba
|What is your name?
|Sho Ismak? (m) Sho Ismek? (f)
|My name is …
|I don’t speak Arabic
|Ana ma ba’aref ahkee Arabee
|How are you?
|Keef halak? (m) Keef halek? (f)
|Excuse me? (as question)
|Laww Smaht (m) Laww Smahti (f)
|Excuse me! (as sorry)
|Do you want?
|Beddak (m) Beddek (f)
|How much is this?
|Bekam Hada? – Addesh Hada?
|Toilet / W.C.
|Na’am – Aaywa
|Ma’assalama – Bye
When visiting Jordan it is very useful to learn basic Arabic phrases. Speaking another language for the first time can feel scary but the more you practice at home before the vacation, the more confident you will become. Speaking a few basic Arabic phrases will help you to find exactly what you need, meet more people and enjoy more cultural experiences.