The first thing to keep in mind is that, whenever you speak, you have to refer according to the genre: it means, you answer will be different if you talk to a male of a female.
In addition to it, if you refer to a group of people, you will have a third expression. Arabic is more formal than English, especially while saying greetings, that is also why some expressions can change according the situation (as showed below). Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and always use the sentence asking if they speak English. You have already won if you used it.
To be sure to pronunce the vowels in the right way, here there is a small legend, helping you to deal with the macron – on them.
Basically it gives the vowel a longer sound: ā as in father ē as in ten ū as “oo” in food ī as “e” in ear Knowing that, here there is a short but interesting vocabulary:
Hello: salām ‘alēkum Hello (in response to “hello”): wa ‘alēkum es salām Good morning: sabāH-al-khēr Good morning (in response to “good morning”): sabāH-an-nūr Thank you: shukran Thank you very much: shukran gazīlan You are welcome: ‘afwan Sorry: ‘assif Please (less formal) to male: min fadlak to female: min fadlik to a group: min fadlukum Please (more formal, when you are trying to get someone’s attention): to male: law samaHt to female: law samaHtī to a group: law samaHtu Yes: aywa na ‘am (more formal) No: la’ Goodbye: ma ‘as salāma Do you speak English?: to male: enta bititkallim inglīzī? to female: entī bititkallimī inglīzī?]]>