Arabic is spoken widely throughout the world but partiularly in the Middle East and in North African countries. In 2006, research estimated that there were 310 million Arabic speakers in the world.

It is also the religious language of the Qur’an: the Holy Book for Muslims. Arabic has a different script from English and it is read from right to left.

 File:Arabic albayancalligraphy.svg

Arabic “al-ʿArabiyyah” written in Arabic!

  • Hello: marhaba
  • Please: min fadhlak (to a man), min fadhlich (to a woman)
  • Thank you: shukran

Here are some other words that Lewis heard when he was in Dubai:

  • Peace be upon you: al salaam alaykum
  • Peace be upon you (response): wa alaykum e-salaam
  • If God is willing: insha’allah
  • Come on/ Let’s go!: Yalla!
  • Tower: burj
  • Market: souk
  • Leader (or someone worthy of respect): sheikh
  • Nomadic desert dweller: Bedouin
  • Palm-leaf houses: barasti
  • Wind towers: barjeel 
  • Small, flat-decked boat/ water taxi: abra
  • Long, flat wooden boat: dhow

To learn some more Arabic words, go to the Language of the Month website.

6 Responses to Arabic

  1. layna crawford says:

    hi lewis the lion
    how do you speek nothen iland in irish and plz reply back from layna.

    • Helen Molloy says:

      Dear Layna,

      Lewis is happy that you’ve asked about Northern Ireland as that’s where Helen’s grandad came from! In Northern Ireland, they speak English and Gaelic. Lewis knows a phrase in Gaelic: ‘Caed Mile Failte’ which sounds like ‘Cayd meela fal-shay‘ and means ‘A hundred thousand welcomes.’ What Gaelic words do you know, Layna? Best wishes, Lewis and Helen (Miss Molloy)

  2. layna crawford says:

    why do you whant to speak a diffrent languge

    • Helen Molloy says:

      Dear Layna,

      Lewis loves learning different languages because when people see that he’s trying hard to speak their own language, they are often much more friendly and helpful. This is important because Lewis just loves meeting people, making friends and finding out about them. (He’s a very friendly lion!).

      He also thinks that learning languages is great fun and a challenge. At first it might be hard to understand but then it’s brilliant when you realise that you can understand what someone else is saying and can even respond to them!

      Do you like learning different languages, Layna? Lewis hopes so!

      All the best, Lewis and Helen (Miss Molloy)

  3. alisha sheeran says:

    dear lewis
    i would love to come all around the world with you i am one of those poeple who likes to explorei like that ryme i like that because it is just like me.
    p.s. you are one very lucky lion

    • Helen Molloy says:

      Dear Alisha,

      Lewis believes in dreaming big dreams and maybe one day when you’re older you’ll be lucky and travel around the world too?! Wouldn’t that be great?! Lewis appreciates that he is indeed one very lucky and privileged lion. Some people never get the chance to travel in their whole lifetime because of poor-health, lack of money, commitments and lots of other reasons. Lewis always tries to remember to pray for people that are less fortunate than himself.
      Lewis hopes that one day you too will realise your dreams, Alisha!
      Best wishes, Lewis the Lion

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