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 have been perfect, it was understandable. They understood me and I could at least talk to them in their own language. So now, I would like to share my knowledge about Kuwaiti Arabic language with anyone who wants to learn Arabic.
To be honest, learning simple words and phrases first is the best thing to do when learning a new language. If you are traveling with someone who speaks English, you will have someone to translate the Arabic words or phrases for you, but if you are flying solo, it will be helpful to know enough of the language to get by.
Common Kuwaiti Arabic Greetings and Conversations
The Kuwaiti people are always using the following greetings when they visit each other in their friends' homes or when they meet their friends, relations or even strangers outside their home.
- Marhaba/Sal'lam/Hal'la! – 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.
- Kayf hallich/shlonich(f)? – How are you? This refers to a female. Shlonich or kayfhalich means the same – How are you?
- Shlonik/Kayf halik(m) – How are you? This is used when you are talking to a male person.
- Ana zayn or ana tammam – I am fine/good.
- Ah'len/ahlan – Welcome, means you welcome people into your home. Taallo betna means "come into our home".
- Marhaba! ya sadiki/sadiqui – Hello! my friend.
- Shino ega'id tsawi el yom? – What are you doing today?
- Ana gaid sawi kadda – I am making lunch.
- Andik(m)/andich(f) shay jadid/edid? – Have you got anything new?
- La, mako/mafi shay – No, nothing
- Eyalla taallo dakkel – Come on inside
- As Sallam allay kom – Peace be upon you all. You say this greeting when you are talking to two or more people.
- Wah allay kom sallam – And peace be upon you all, too.
- Shlon kom? – 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/kayf hallich(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/kayf halik(m) ya habibi". Habibi means love, darling or sweetheart. Parents can also say habibi(son)/ habibti(daughter)/to their children.
- Shelonich ya helwa? – How are you, beautiful?
- Shelonik ya halo? – How are you, handsome?
- Ana zayn, mako mushkila shukran – I am fine, no problem thank you.
- She lon lehal/awallad kom? – How are your children?
- She lon bint kom? – How is your daughter?/
- She lon a walled kom? – How is your son?
- Kullo hom zayn, shukran – They are all good, thanks.
- Shlonik(m)/Shlonich(f) ya sadiki/sadiqui? – How are you, my friend?
- Ana zayn, 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 mojowdah bel bet – I am at home.
- Shino gaid sawi? – What are you doing?
- Ana mako eshtakel el yom – 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 hadika/hadiqa – We want to go to the park.
- Ahna bi roh bel Massriya el yom 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 emshey, masalama – Come on let's go, goodbye.
Speaking Like a Kuwaiti in a Shop (with English Translations)
You might hear the following conversations happening in a shop or supermarket.
- As sa'ah cham tifta hon? – 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?
- Ana bi eshtery joti – I want to buy shoes
- 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 bellash – No, we have nothing free.
- La, mako shay – No, nothing.
- Kill shay massa'ar – Everything is tagged or priced.
- Madam yabi estery hadiya hag al awallad – Madam wants to buy gift for the children
- Kullo malabis khallee – All clothes are expensive.
- Ana sharrit bloosa hag ekti bess – I bought a blouse for my sister only.
- Ehya yabi blousa – She wants a blouse.
- Ana bi eshtery sekhir janta hag al mataar – 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.
- Ma'assalama – 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 memorizing 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 five 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 into English.
Spoken Kuwaiti Arabic Conversations — English Translations
- Shino ga'id tigool – What are you saying?
- Mayagool – did not say
- Mayagool shay – did not say anything
- Ana ma fahamt – I did not understand
- Ana fahamt – I understood
- Fahamt – understood
- Ma Fahamt – not understood
- Ana matisma adel – I did not hear properly
- Shino tiga'id tal'aa? – What are you staring at?
- 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 minnoon – 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 abi akil esh – I want to eat rice.
- 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 matbakh – I am making this kitchen clean.
- Ana ako wayed eshtakel el youm – I have too much work today.
- Ento tabon esh wuyya diyay? – Would you like rice with chicken?
- La, ana abi kubaz wiyya beddha – 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?
- Shino sawi ti aims? – What did you do yesterday?
- Ana masawi shay, bes gaid eshrab chay/tsay – I did nothing just drinking tea.
- Ana mako nawm bel layl min awol – I have no sleep the night before.
- Ana gaid kasli sayarat kom – I am washing your cars.
- Ana gaid kasli malabis kom – I am washing your clothes.
- Ana gaid sawi kadhat kom – I am making your lunch.
- Ana mako nawm bel layl – I have no sleep in the night.
- Ana gaid sawi nadif el dar kom – I am making your room clean.
- Mumkin enti saadni baden? – Maybe, you could help me later?
- Ana taba'ana, ana bi nawm – I am tired, I want to sleep.
- Mako nawn bel layl – No sleep in the night.
- Khalid, andikom madressa 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 ako bug'ah yam adoni – I have a spot near my ear.
- 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.
- Shukran ya baba – Thank you, father.
- Atini may, ana atchan – Give me water, I am thirsty.
- Yalla ebserra'a – Come on quickly.
- Laddha/lah-za digiga – wait a second.
- Ta'al kod haddha – Come take this.
- Haddha kullahom mallich(f)/mallik(m) – These are all yours.
- Hadha haggich(f)/haggick(m) – This is for you.
- Shukran bes haddha wayed – Thank you but this is too much.
- Shukran ya habibi – Thank you, my love.
- Ana bahabick(m)/bahabich(f) – I love you.
- Ana bahabich wayed – I love you so much or I love you very much
- Maasallama ya habibi – Goodbye, my love.
- Ana ashoofich(f)/ashoofik(m) el Ahad – I will see you on Sunday.
- Eyyalla mako wekt – Come on there is no time.
- Maasallama – Goodbye
There are many more conversations in the house, but I think I will stop here for now.
Kuwaiti Arabic Words and Phrases Used in a Hospital Setting
Here are some Kuwaiti Arabic Words and Phrases that are 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. This is where a few Kuwaiti Arabic Words or Phrases will come in very handy in communications. Understanding a few arabic words or phrases help bridge the language gap or barrier.
Here are some Kuwaiti Arabic words or phrases that are used in a hospital:
- Tabib – Doctor
- Ana bi shoof el Tabib – I want to see the Doctor.
- Maridha – Nurse
- Ehya Maridha – She is a Nurse.
- Daayya – 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
- Aljeerraha – surgery
- Ikhtibar – test
- Faahs ad-dam – blood test
- Ana ako fahs ad-dam el youm – I have a blood test today.
- Al ent bikhair? – Are you okay?
- La, ana mareedh – No, I am sick.
- Marridh – sick
- Ohwa marridha – They are sick.
- Ana abi shoof el Mustashaar – I want to see the Consultant
- Ana mareedh – I am sick
- Taawar – painful
- Al rassi taawar alhin – My head is painful now.
- Edini awarni – My hand is painful.
- Batin awwar – stomachache
- Enti lasem roh Tabib – You must go to the Doctor.
- Ehya mareedh – She is sick.
- Ana mo marridha – 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 heartburn.
- Ohwa ako ishaal – He has diarrhoea.
- Ehya ako qiyaa' – She is vomiting.
- 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.
Things You Find in the Kuwaiti Kitchen
- Matbakh – Kitchen
- Gidder – saucepan or pots
- Sahan – plate
- Tawla – table
- Gapshy – spoon
- Gapshet gahwah – teaspoon
- Sacchin – knife
- Shoka – Fork
- Milh – salt
- Tsay – tea
- Gahwa – coffee
- Sukhar – sugar
- Filfil aswad – black pepper
- Baharat – spices
- Toffah – apple
- Farawla – strawberry
- Moss – banana
- Botat– potato
- Tomat – tomato
- Esh – rice
- Lahim – meat
- Diyay – chicken
- Semich – fish
- Tulla – cooker
Speaking Like A Kuwaiti
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.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2018 Linda Bryen
Speak like a Kuwaiti Comments
Linda Bryen on August 02, 2020:
Thank you Shouky for your lovely comment.
shouky on August 01, 2020:
very nice.. helpful artical.. i m an indian in kuwait so i know that all arabic to English translations are perfect.. thanks
Linda Bryen on July 11, 2018:
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.
Janisa from Earth on July 10, 2018:
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.
Linda Bryen on July 09, 2018:
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.
Janisa from Earth on July 09, 2018:
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?
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on March 24, 2018:
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 on March 24, 2018:
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.
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on March 17, 2018:
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 from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on March 17, 2018:
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. :)