How to Speak Like a Kuwaiti

Updated on August 3, 2018
liesl5858 profile image

Linda is passionate about learning and speaking a new language like Arabic, English, Tagalog(my own language) and many more.

How to Speak like a Kuwaiti

Speaking like a Kuwaiti is not easy, but it isn't impossible either. At first, it was not easy for me to learn the Kuwaiti Arabic language, but I had to challenge myself to do it because I had no choice at the time. I felt so lost when they spoke to me in Arabic and I didn't understand what they were on about.

It took me three months before I could speak like a Kuwaiti, and while my speech might not be perfect, it is understandable. They understood me and I could at least talk to them in their own Arabic language. So now, I would like to share my knowledge about Kuwaiti Arabic language to anyone who wants to learn Arabic.

We are going to use the Kuwaiti Arabic words and phrases in my previous articles to form a conversation and speak like Kuwaiti people do. I will do my best to interpret the meanings into English conversations.

To be honest, learning the words and phrases first is the best thing to do when learning a new language. Also, when there is someone who speaks English, you will have someone to translate the Arabic words or phrases for you.

Common Kuwaiti Arabic Greetings and Conversations

The Kuwaiti people are always using the following greetings when they visit each other in their friend's homes or when they meet their friends, relations or even strangers outside their home.

  • Marhaba!/sallam! – Hi!/Hello!, if you meet someone, you say to them "Marhaba!". It is like saying to someone Hi! or Hello! The Kuwaiti people sometimes shake hands or kiss each other on the cheeks but only if they are friends or relations. They can not just kiss strangers.
  • Kayfhalich/shlonich(f)? – How are you? This refers to a female. Shlonich or kayfhalich means the same – How are you?
  • Kayfhalik/shlonic(m) – How are you?– referring to a male
  • Ana zain/ ana kuwais. – I am fine/good. Kuwais means fine or good as well.
  • Ahlen/ahlan – Welcome, means you welcome people into your home. Taallo betna. means "come into our home".
  • Marhaba! ya sadiki/sadiqi – Hello! my friend.
  • Andik(m)/andich(f) shay jadid/edid? – Have you got anything new?
  • La, mako/mafi shay – No, nothing
  • Eyalla taallo dakkel – Come on inside
  • Sallam allaykom. – Peace be upon you all. You say this greeting when you are talking to two or more people.
  • Wah allaykom sallam. – And peace be upon you all, too.
  • Shlonkom? – How are you all? This is what you say when you are asking how they are or if you just meet them the first time. This is used when you are talking to a group of people.
  • Shlonich/kayfhalich(f) ya habibti? – How are you my sweetheart, love or darling? This is used by a man speaking to a wife or a girlfriend. But if it is the woman talking to a man she will say "Shlonic/kayfhalik(m) ya habibi". Habibi means love, darling or sweetheart. Parents can also say habibi to their children.
  • Shelonich ya helwa? – How are you, beautiful?
  • Shelonic ya halo? – How are you, handsome?
  • Ana zain, mako mushkila shukran. – I am fine, no problem thank you.
  • Shelon lehal kom? – How are your children?
  • Shelon bint kom? – How is your daughter?
  • Shelon a walled kom? – How is your son?
  • Kullo hom zain, shukran. – They are all good, thanks.
  • Shlonic(m)/Shlonich(f) ya sadiki/sadiqi? – How are you, my friend?
  • Ana zain, shukran. – I am fine, thanks.
  • Ana mashooftich min awol. – I haven't seen you before.
  • Waynich(f)? – Where are you? When you are referring to a female.
  • Waynek(m) – Where are you? When you are referring to a male.
  • Ana mojodah bel bet. – I am at home.
  • Shino gaid sawi? – What are you doing?
  • Ana mako eshtakel el youm. – I don't have work today.
  • Rahat Kanesa aims. – Went to church yesterday.
  • Enta(m)/enti(f) min wayn? – Where are you from?
  • Ahna min li Kuwait. – We are from Kuwait.
  • Ana min li Britanya. – I am from Britain.
  • Wayn tabit rohon? – Where would you all like to go?
  • Ahna bi roh bel hadikha. – We want to go to the park.
  • Ahna bi roh bel Masriya baed batcher/bukra. – We want to go to Egypt the day after tomorrow.
  • Ahna bi roh bel bet na alhin. – We want to go to our house now.
  • Ashoof kom mumkin batcher. – We will see you all maybe tomorrow.
  • Kallamni fil telefone – Talk to me on the phone
  • Yalla emshy, masalama.– Come on let's go, goodbye.

Speaking Like a Kuwaiti in a Shop with English Translations

The following are conversations happening in a shop or supermarket using the Kuwaiti Arabic words or phrases in a sentence.

  • Assa'ah cham tiftahon? – What time do you open?
  • Ahna ifta sa'a themania. – We open at 8 o'clock.
  • Assa'ah cham tsakkaroon? – What time do you close?
  • Sa'a kamse. – 5 o'clock.
  • Alhin ow batcher? – Now or tomorrow? Someone is being sarcastic.
  • Bikam/ Cham haddha? – How much is this?
  • Kamse ashrin dinar al wahed. – One is 25 dinars or 25 dinars for one.
  • Haddha janta khallee. – This bag is expensive.
  • Andikom shay arkhees? – Have you got anything cheap?
  • Haddha joti arkhees. – These shoes are cheap.
  • Abi shay arkhees. – I want something cheap.
  • Andikom shay bellash? – Have you got anything free?
  • La, mako shay.– No, nothing.
  • Kil shay msa'ar. – Everything is tagged or priced.
  • Madam yabi estery hadiya hag al lehal. – Madam wants to buy gift for the children
  • Kullo malabis khallee. – All clothes are expensive.
  • Ana sharret blousa hag ekti bes. – I bought a blouse for my sister only.
  • Ehya yabi blousa. – She wants a blouse.
  • Ana bi estery sekhir janta hag al mata'ar. – I want to buy a small bag for the airport.
  • Andikom janta sekhira? – Do you have a small bag?
  • La, andina kabira janta bes. – No, we only have a big bag.
  • Ahna shino sawi alhin, mako floose? – What will we do now, no money?
  • Ana masharret shay. – I did not buy anything.
  • Kullo malabis hag al marra khallee. – All clothes for women are expensive.
  • Ana sharret el janta bes. – I bought a bag only.
  • Kil shay khallee, mako arkhees. – Everything is expensive, nothing cheap.
  • Yalla, rohay betna. – Come on, let's go home.
  • Masalama. – Goodbye.

Speaking Like a Kuwaiti in the House

I must admit, a lot of conversations happen in the house between family members. I am going to show you how they speak in Kuwaiti Arabic around the Kuwaiti home or house. That is where I learnt the Kuwaiti language by listening to the conversations and memorising each word or phrase they say.

It was in Shamiya Kuwait where I learnt how to speak like a Kuwaiti. My ex-employers live there. That is where I worked for 5 years before I came to England many years ago now.

Here are Kuwaiti conversations I often hear before when I was working in Kuwait. I will translate the meanings in the English language.

Spoken Arabic — English:

  • Shino ga'id tigool? – What are you saying?
  • La, ma gallit shay. – No, I said nothing.
  • Enti minona. – You are crazy(refers to a female).(Please be aware, this is not a good thing to say)
  • Enta minon. – You are crazy(refers to male).
  • Ta'alle ya kelba(f)/ kelb(m). – Come here dog.(This is said when someone is crossed or angry with you). It is not a very good word to say really.
  • Madam, enti tabin chay ow gahwah? – Madam, do you want tea or coffee?
  • La, ana bi eshrab assir alhin. – No, I want to drink juice now.
  • Masawi kada el yom, enti tabin salata? – Did not make lunch today, would you like salad?
  • Enti shino sawi kada el yom? – What are you making for lunch today?
  • Ana gaid taetbak Machobos semich. – I am cooking Machobos semich(stewed fish).
  • Ana abi sawi Machobos diyay. – I want to make Machobos diyay(Kuwaiti chicken casserole).
  • Enti shino ga'id sawi el yom? – What are you doing today?
  • Ana gaid sawi nedif haddha matbath. – I am making this kitchen clean.
  • Ana ako wayed eshtakel el yom. – I have too much work today.
  • Ento tabon esh wuyya diyay? – Would you like rice with chicken?
  • La, ana abi kubaz wuyya behdha. – No, I like bread with eggs.
  • Ana abi akil esh wuyya semich. – I want to eat rice with fish.
  • Ahna tabi esh wuyya lahim. – We like rice with meat.
  • La, semich assan min lahim. – No, fish is better than meat.
  • Assa'ah cham Baba rahat eshtakel? – What time did Papa go to work?
  • Baba rahat eshtakel el sa'ah themania. – Papa went to work at eight o'clock.
  • Linda, enti shino ga'id sawi alhin? – Linda, what are you doing now?
  • Enti shino sawi aims? – What did you do yesterday?
  • La masawi shay, bes gaid eshrab chay/tsay. – We did nothing just drinking tea.
  • Ana mako nawm bel lil min awol. – I did not sleep the night before.
  • Ana ga'id kasli sayarat kom. – I am washing your cars.
  • Ana ga'id sawi kadat kom. – I am making your lunch.
  • Ana ga'id kasli malabis kom. – I am washing your clothes.
  • Ana ga'id sawi nedif el dar kom. – I am making your room clean.
  • Mumkin enti sa'adni baden? – Maybe, you could help me later?
  • Ana tabaana, ana bi nawm. – I am tired, I want to sleep.
  • Mako nawn bel lail. – No sleep in the night.
  • Khalid, andikom madresa batcher? – Khalid, have you got school tomorrow?
  • Ana mayabi roh madresa batcher. – I don't want to go to school tomorrow.
  • Ana mareedh. – I am sick.
  • al marad – sickness
  • Ana ako bug'ah – I have a spot
  • Ana barred. – I am cold.
  • Ana harr. – I am hot.
  • Ehya ako harara. – She has a fever.
  • Ana abi roh tabib. – I want to go to the doctor.
  • Enta tabi roh Kanesa? – Do you like to go to church?
  • La, ana bi roh bel medina. – No, I want to go to the city.
  • Ta'allee henna. – Come here.
  • Henna yam el dar kom. – Here, near your room.
  • Ana bi goolich shay. – I want to tell you something.
  • Shukran ya mama. – Thank you, mother.
  • Atini may, ana atchan. – Give me water, I am thirsty.
  • Yalla ebserra'a. – Come on quickly.
  • Lahdha/lah-za digiga. – wait a second.
  • Ta'al kod haddha. – Come take this.
  • Haddha kullahom mallich(f)/mallic(m). – These are all yours.
  • Haddha haggich(f)/haggic(m). – This is for you.
  • Shukran bes haddha wayed. – Thank you but this is too much.
  • Shukran ya habibi. – Thank you, my love.
  • Ana bahebik(m)/bahebich(f) – I love you.
  • Masalama ya habibi. – Goodbye, my love.
  • Ana ashoofich(f)/ashoofic(m) el Ahad. – I will see you on Sunday.
  • Eyalla mako wekt. – Come on there is no time.
  • Ma'asalama – Goodbye

There are many more conversations in the house, but I think I will stop here for now.

Kuwaiti Arabic Words Used in a Hospital Setting

Here are some Kuwaiti Arabic words that are used in hospital or words and phrases used in conversations when you go to a hospital. Knowing a few Arabic words can help if a foreigner goes to an Arab hospital where not many people speak English.

Here are some words or phrases that are used in a hospital:

  • Tabib/Tabeeb – means Doctor
  • Ana bi shoof el Tabib. – I want to see the Doctor.
  • Maridha – Nurse
  • Ehya Maridha. – She is a Nurse.
  • Daayah – Midwife
  • Ana daayah min awol. – I was a midwife before.
  • Mustashaar – Consultant.
  • Ana bi shoof el Mustashaar. – I want to see the Consultant.
  • Tabeeb Takhdeer – Anaesthetist
  • Aanbar – ward
  • El anbar kabeer. – The ward is big.
  • Kersi bi aajal – wheelchair
  • Enti(f)/Enta(m) ako kersi bi aajal? – Do you have a wheelchair?
  • Aiyaada – clinic
  • Al-jeeraha – surgery
  • Ikhtibaar – test
  • Fahs ad-dam – blood test
  • Ana ako fahs ad-dam el youm. – I have a blood test today.
  • Al enti bikhair? – Are you okay?
  • La, ana mareedh – No, I am sick.
  • mareedh – sick
  • Ohwa mareedh. – They are sick.
  • Ana abi shoof el Mustashaar. – I want to see the Consultant
  • Ana mareedh – I am sick
  • Ta'awar – painful
  • Al rasi taawar alhin. – My head is painful now.
  • Edini awarni. – My hand is painful.
  • Batin awa'ar – stomachache
  • Enti lasem roh Tabib/Tabeeb. – You must go to the Doctor.
  • Ehya mareedh. – She is sick.
  • Ana mo mareedh. – I am not sick.
  • Andi alam fi al ras'. – I have a pain in my head.
  • Alam/awar – pain
  • Andi harara/humma. – I have a fever.
  • Andi alam fi al-asnan. – I have a toothache or I have pain in my tooth.
  • Andi haraqa. – I have a heartburn.
  • Andi alam fil al maidati. – I have pain in my stomach or I have a stomachache.
  • Ohwa ako ishaal. – He has diarrhoea.
  • Ehya ako qiyaa'. – She has vomits.
  • Ohwa ako alam fil othon. – He has pain in his ear.
  • Andi alam fi al thahre. – I have a backache or I have pain in my back.
  • Andi alam fil ayouni. – I have pain in my eye.

Speaking Like A Kuwaiti

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Linda Bryen

    Speak like a Kuwaiti Comments

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      • profile image

        Linda Bryen 

        5 months ago

        Hi! Janisa, I haven't been to Kuwait since the 1st Gulf war. I only had a stop over there once when I flew to my home country but I can tell that the city had recovered from the war and it looked beautiful again. Kuwait is a nice country to visit but it can have sandstorm sometimes. The Kuwait city is a good place for shopping. There is a place called Entertainment City where you can find a lot of rides but I don't know if it's still there after the war. Because of the 1st Gulf War, the place was destroyed. But now it has been rebuilt so to be truthful, I don't know what the place looks like now. But yes, Kuwait has some interesting places to visit. I love the city. It's got lots of places to eat and shop. If you like shopping then that would suit you. Hope this helps you, Janisa.

      • JanisaChatte profile image

        Janisa 

        5 months ago from Earth

        Linda, I'm sorry for not phrasing my question well. I'd like to know if you have any suggestions for places to visit and things to do if I someday go to Kuwait.

      • profile image

        Linda Bryen 

        5 months ago

        Hi! Janisa, I worked in Kuwait for five years before I came to England years ago. That's how I learnt the language. I only learnt the spoken version of Kuwaiti Arabic but it did help me at the time I was there. I did not quite understand your question, Janisa.

      • JanisaChatte profile image

        Janisa 

        5 months ago from Earth

        This would be very useful if I someday go to kuwait. Were you in kuwait for an exchange or for vacation? And what do you recommend?

      • liesl5858 profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Bryen 

        8 months ago from United Kingdom

        Thank you Li-Jen Hew for your lovely comment. Yes, in Kuwaiti Arabic the spelling of a word changes when you refer to a man or a female.

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        8 months ago

        Hey Linda. Thanks for sharing the phrases and glad that you're able to learn a new language. Haha, I like the fact that there are two versions of "you are crazy". One for females and one for males.

      • liesl5858 profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Bryen 

        9 months ago from United Kingdom

        Shukran CrisSp for your lovely comments. I just love speaking the Arabic language. Thank you for being the first one to comment on my new hub. Shukran wayed.

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 

        9 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        You just reminded me to polish my Arabic language. I've no one to speak with, thus, almost forgotten. :)

        Hadi article wajid zain! Shukran Linda. :)

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