Articles > Poetry of Arabic greetings

by Alexis Ulrich  LinkedIn

The polite phrases we use everyday often have a profound meaning we forget by repeating them over and over. Yet it is still there, hidden in plain sight, as it is the case in the Arabic language.

Generic greeting at any time of the day
اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ
May peace be upon you.
وَ السَّلَامَ عَلَيْكُمْ
And may peace be upon you.

How to say hello in the morning in Arabic,
and the expected response.
[sabāʾ al-ḵayr] صَبَا ح الْخَيْرِ
Morning goodness.
[sabāʾ an-nūr] صَبَا ح النُّورِ
Morning light.

How to say hello in the afternoon and evening in Arabic,
and the expected response.
[masāʾ al-ḵayr] مَسَاءُ الْخَيْرِ
Evening goodness.
[masāʾ an-nūr] مَسَاءُ النُّورِ
Evening light.

How to say welcome in Arabic.
أَهْلاً وَسَهْلاً
Literally, family and space.
We can find there all the hospitality of the desert
where the newcomers are welcomed as in their family,
but where space remains open and allows them to leave if they wish.

Short vowels are indicated in red to facilitate their pronunciation by learners. They are usually not written.

The recordings come from the courses of the Peace Corps site.
Photography: Drâa Valley, Morocco.