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.
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
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! – 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.
- 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? – Have you got anything new?
- La, mako/mafi shay – No, nothing
- Eyalla taallo dakkel – Come on inside
- Sallam allaykom. – Peace be upon you all.
- Wa allaykom sallam. – And peace be upon you, 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(f) ya habibi? – 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/shlonik(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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Haddha joti arkhees. – These shoes are cheap.
- Andikom shay bellash? – Have you got anything free?
- La, mako shay.– No, nothing.
- Kil shay msa'ar. – All prices are tagged.
- 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.– I want to buy a small bag.
- 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 talk in Kuwaiti Arabic around the 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 their 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).
- Enta minon.– You are crazy(refers to male).
- Ta'alle ya kelba(f)/ kelb(m) – Come here dog
- 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.
- 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 eikel 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?
- 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 num. – I am tired, I want to sleep.
- 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
- Maridha – Nurse
- Daayah – Midwife
- Ana daayah min awol. – I was a midwife before.
- Mustashaar – Consultant.
- Tabeeb Takhdeer – Anaesthetist
- Aanbar – ward
- Kersi bi aajal – wheelchair
- Aiyaada – clinic
- Al-jeeraha – surgery
- Ikhtibaar – test
- Fahs ad-dam – blood test
- Al enti bikhair? – Are you okay?
- La, ana mareedh – No, I am sick
- mareedh – sick
- Ana abi shoof el tabib/tabeeb. – I want to see the doctor.
- Ana mareedh – I am sick
- Ta'awar – painful
- 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.
- 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
Would you like to learn and speak another language like Arabic?
More on How to Speak Like a Kuwaiti
- Basic Kuwaiti Arabic Words and Phrases in English
Learn another language the easy way.
- Basic Spoken Kuwaiti Arabic Phrases and Words Transl...
Having seen that my Basic Kuwaiti Arabic article was useful to some readers, I thought of writing more easy Kuwaiti Arabic phrases that might help people who are traveling in an Arab country destination.
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© 2018 Linda Bryen