5. Lebanon, Lebanese Culture, & Spoken Lebanese Language 


  Instructor: Nada Salem Abisamra

   Back to Section I

This is a brief "bonus" session composed of material that I compiled, organized, and sometimes adapted for your own convenience. It consists of two sections. The first section will provide you with some basic information about Lebanon and some aspects of the Lebanese culture that might be useful to you when in Lebanon. The second section will serve to equip the candidates who do not speak (Lebanese) Arabic at all with a few transliterated words, phrases, and sentences that they might need to express themselves in Lebanese Arabic when in Lebanon.

5.2. Spoken Lebanese Language (Transliteration)

Section I

Arabic (Lebanese) Chat Alphabet


The Arabic chat alphabet, Arabizi, Arabish or Araby, is an alphabet used to communicate in the Arabic language over the Internet or for sending messages via cellular phones when the actual Arabic alphabet is unavailable for technical reasons. It is a character encoding of Arabic to the Latin script and the Arabic numerals. Users of this alphabet have developed some special notations to transliterate some of the letters that do not exist in the basic Latin script.

Arabish emerged amid a growing trend among Arab youth, especially in Lebanon and Jordan, to incorporate English into Arabic as a form of slang.

In this alphabet, there are four numbers to memorize: 2, 3, 5, and 7. (Click on links to hear the sounds in the right hand columns, or click on the YouTube video below)

- 2 = e or a (just the sound, not the letters- "Hamzah" in Arabic) >> Glottal stop (la2 = No)

- 3 = >> voiced epiglottal fricative (3ain = eye or water source)

- 5 = kh >> voiceless uvular fricative   (e5teh = my sister)

- 7 = hh >> voiceless pharyngeal fricative (7ayeteh = my life)


Common Lebanese Terms and Phrases (I modified them by using the above numbers)


Lebanese [Generic/Masculine]

Lebanese [Feminine]

Hi, Hello



How are you doing?



I am fine?






Are you sure?



This is




Eh / na3am





Good morning 

The most used phrase is the French Bonjour, pronounced Bonjur. Nharkon sa3iid is a Lebanese phrase that is used too.


Good evening

The most used phrase is the French Bonsoir, pronounced Bon swar. Masa l5eir is also used.


Thanks/ Thank you  

The French Merci is the most used, pronounced mehrsii. Thanks is the second most used. Yeslamo is a Lebanese term that is also used. Shukran is understood but not widely used.


You’re welcome    

If French is used for thanks, the reply will be De rien, pronounced Deuhr yan. If English is used for thanks, the reply will be Welcome. If Lebanese is used for thanks, the reply will be Ahlen or Tekram. If Arabic is used for thanks, you can reply in Lebanese or use 3afwan!







What is your name?


Shuu esmak?


         Shuu esmik?

My name is ….

Esmeh …


Pleased/ honored to meet you



I love you

Ana b7ebbak/ B7ebbak

    Ana b7ebbik/ b7ebbik




Do you speak Lebanese?

Bte7ke Lebnene?


I speak a little

Be7ke shway


I speak good Lebanese

Be7ke Lebnene mnii7


I don’t speak Lebanese

Ma be7ke Lebnene






Pardon [French] pronounced Pardon / 3afwan 


Bye  [English]





Very good

Ktiir mnii7























What time is it?

Adde esse3a?


I like/ I love

(Ana) b7ebb


I like to sleep

B7ebb nem


Let’s go/ come on 



do you have water?

3endak may?

3endik may?

I want to eat

Baddeh ekol


A little



Slowly/ little by little

shway shway


That’s too much

hayda ktiir



Ba3d eshway


There is/ there are



Is there/Are there?



Is there a restuarant here?

Fii maṫ3am hon?


Is there a restroom here?

Fii 7emmem hon?


Can you?



Can you come?

Fiik teje?

Fiikeh teje?

Can I bring my friend?

Fiiyye jiib rfii2e?

Fiiyye jiib rfii2te?

No one is here

Ma fii 7ada hon.


No one came

Ma eja 7ada


Can I try it on?

Fiyye jarrbo?

Fiyye jarreba?

Can I help you?

Fiyye se3dak?

Fiyye se3dik?

Can you help me?

Fiik tse3edne?

Fiike tse3diine?

Do you want to eat?

Baddak tekol?

Baddik tekle?

I don’t have time

Ma 3indeh wa2et


I am in a hurry



I am not hungry

Manneh Ju3an

 Manneh Ju3aneh

I am hungry

Ana Ju3an

Ana Ju3aneh

Are you hungry?



Are you sleepy?



Do you want coffee?

Baddak ahweh?

Baddik ahweh?

Yes Please

Eh or Na3am Please/ eza betriid

Please/ eza betriideh

No, thanks

No, or la2, mehrsii / shukran


Do you want more?

Baddak ba3ed?/ ba3ed baddak?

Baddik ba3ed?/ Ba3ed baddik?

That’s enough

Biikaffeh, khalas


Language Time

Why?                                       Ley?
Money                                     masareh
far                                            b3eed
Near                                        Areeb
Nice                                         7elo, Jameel
Please                                     please, eza betriid, men fadlak            please, eza betriideh, men fadlek
Delicous                                  Laziz
How much?                             Addey?

I want to go to …                     baddeh rou7 3a …

Common Lebanese Phrases  (I modified them by using the above numbers)


Generic or Masculine form

Feminine Form

Please sit down.

23ohd pliiz.

23edeh pliiz.

Do you know how much it costs?

Addey 7a22o?

Addey 7a22a?

Did you take your medicine?

A5adet dawayetak?

A5adteh dawayetik?



Are you sure?



More than that.

Aktar min heyk.

More than 200 kilometers.

Aktar min miiteyn kiilomitir

A few / little



I’m here on business.

Ana hon bi sheghel.

I’m hungry.

Ana ju3an.

Ana ju3aneh.

I’m happy.

Ana mabsu.

Ana Mabsua

I’m not American.

Ana mesh Amerkeneh.

Ana mesh Amerkeniiyyeh.

I’m married.

Ana mjawwaz.

Ana mjawwazeh

Is it nearby?

Ariib shii?

Ariibeh shii?

Anything else?

Ayya shii teneh?

At what time?

Ayya se3a?

At amra street

B shere3 el 7amra.

Outside the hotel.

Barrat el otel.

I’m just looking.

Bas 3am bettalla3

Did you send me flowers?

Ba3attelleh wahred?

Ba3attiili wahred?

Beirut is very beautiful

Bayrut ktiir 7elweh

Beirut is very crowded

Bayrut ktiir 3aj2a.

Are you okay?

Bek shii?

Beki shii?

As soon as possible.

Bii a2rab wa2et.

My daughter is here.

Benteh hon.

Do you know him?



Do you know what this means?

Btaxref hayda shu bye2neh?

Bta3erfi hayda shu bye3neh?

Do you know how to swim?

Bta3ref tesba7?

Bta3erfi tesba7eh?

Do you know how to cook?

Bta3ref tebokh?

Bta3erfi eṫobkheh?

Do you know where she is?

Bta3ref wayna?

Bta3erfi wayna?

Do you know her?



Do you know any good restaurant?

Bta3ref shii ma3am mnii7?

Bta3erfeh shii ma3am mnii7?

It takes about 2 hours by car.

Btekhod shii se3ten be ssiyyara.

Do you accept U.S. Dollars?

Btekhod dolar?

Btekhdeh dolar?

He/she will arrive shortly.

Halla2 Byual.

Halla2 Btual.

Did it rain yesterday?

shattet mbere7 shii?

Is it hot?

Fii showb?

Business is good.

El sheghel mnii7.

Do you know what this says?

shu bi2ul hayda?

shu bit2ul haydeh?

A little.


I’m lost



Male or female?

Dakar walla inteeyi.

I’m leaving tomorrow.

Felil bukra.

Felleh bukra.

Are there any concerts?

Fii 7afleh el yom?

Can we have some more bread?

Fiik tjebelna khebez zyedeh?

Fiikeh tjiibiilna khebez zyedeh?

Do you have any coffee?

Fii 3endak ahweh?

Fii 3endek ahweh?

Do you have Internet?

Fii 3endak Internet?

Fii 3endek Internet?

Can you please say that again?

Fiik t2ula ba3ed marra please?

Fiikeh t2uliiya ba3ed marra please?

Can you give me an example?

Fiik ta3iini matal?

Fiiki ta3iini matal?

Can you show me?

Fiik tfarjiini?

Fiiki tfarjini?

Can you hold this for me?

Fiik t hadiili hayda?

Fiiki t hadiili haydi?

Can you carry this for me?

Fiik ti7milli hayda?

Fiiki ti7imliili haydi?

Can you do me a favor?

Fiik ta3melleh khedmeh?

Fiiki ta3emliileh khedmeh?

Can you help me?

Fiik tse3edneh?

Fiiki tse3diineh?

Can you speak louder please?

Fiik t3alli awak pliiz?

Fiiki t3alli awtik pliiz?

Can you repeat that please?

Fiik t3iida pliiz?

Fiiki t3iidiya pliiz?

Can you fix this?

Fiik tżabbo?

Fiiki tżabii?

Can we sit over there?

Fiina ne23od hown?

Can I bring my friend?

Fiiyyi jiib rfii2i?

Fiiyyi jiib rfii2ti?

May I speak to John please?

Fiyyi i7ki ma3 John pliiz.

Can I use your phone?

Fiyyi ista3mil telefonak?

Fiyyi ista3mil telefonik?

Can I try it on?

Fiyyi jarrbo?

Fiyyi jarriba?

Can I help you?

Fiyyi se3dak?

Fiyyi se3dik?

Open the window.

Fta7 esh shebbek.

Fta7eh shshebbek.

Open the door.

Fta7 el beb.

Fta7i l beb.

Did your wife like Tyr?

7abbeta martak la ur?

Are they the same?

Hawde mitil ba3un?

About 300 kilometers.

7awela tletmiit Kiilometr.

Please speak slower.

7kii 3a mahlak pliiz.

7kii 3a mahlek pliiz.

Please speak English.

7kii ingliizi please.

7kii ingliizi please.

Over here.


Over there.


Are you American?

Inta Amerkeni?

Inteh Amerkeniiyyeh?

Are you married?

    Inta mjawwaz?

Inti mjawwazi?

Are you ready?



Are you coming this evening?

   Jeyi llayli?

Jeyi llayli?

Are they coming this evening?

   Jeyiin llayli?

Bring me my shirt please.

   Jibli l amii pliiz.

Jibiili l amii pliiz

Did you come with your family?

   Jiit max ahlak?

Jiite max ahlik?

Are you hungry?



Is John here?

   John hon shii?

Let’s share.

   khallina netsherak.

Let’s meet in front of the hotel.

   khallina nitle2a eddem el otel.

Cheers! (to all)



Are you afraid?





How can I get to the Hotel?

   Kiif b yualo 3al Otel?

Are you here alone?

   La 7alak?

La 7alek?

Can I have the bill please?

   Le7seb pliiz.

Pick up your clothes.

   Lemm tyebak.

Lemmeh tyebik.

Let’s go have a look.

   Ta3a ta nshuf.

Ta3eh ta nshuf.

Let’s go

   Ta3a nrou7

Ta3eh nrou7

Are you busy?

   Mashghul shii?

Mashghuleh shii?

I’m not ready yet.

   Mesh jehiz ba3ed.

Mesh jehzeh ba3ed.

I’m not afraid.

   Mesh khayef.

Mesh khayfeh.

I’m not busy.

   Manni mashghul.

Manni mashghuleh

I’m not married.

   manni mjawwaz.

manni mjawwazi.

I’m not going.

   Manni raye7.

Manni ray7a.

My appointment is next Wednesday.

Maw3adi l 2ereb3a l jeyi.

Is it possible?



Do you have a pencil?

Ma3ak alam?

Ma3ek alam?

Do you have enough money?

Ma3ak maari kfeyi?

Ma3ik maari kfeyi?

Do you have any money?

Ma3ak maari?

Ma3ik maṡṡari?

Do you have another one?

Ma3ak wa7ad teni?

Ma3ik we7di tenyi?

I’m not sure.

Mish akiid.

Mish akiidi.

A long time ago.

Min Zamen.

Are you comfortable?



Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?



Are you waiting for someone?

Nair 7ada?

Nara 7ada?

Be careful while driving.

Ntibih inta w 3am tsu2.

Ntibhi inti w 3am tsu2i

Be careful.



Please come in.

Pliiz tfaḋḋal.

Pliiz tfaḋḋali.

Are you going to the wedding?

Rayi7 3al 3eres?

Ray7a 3al 3eres?

Is it supposed to rain tomorrow?

Ra7 tshatte bukra?

Are you going to take a car or bus?

Ra7 tekhod ssiyyara 2aw l bus?

Ra7 tekhdi ssiyyara 2aw l bus?

It’ll be cold this evening.

Ra7 tsa22e3 llayle.

Are you going to help her?

Ra7 tse3ida?

Ra7 tse3diiya?

Salwa is Sam’s girlfriend.

Salwa sa7bet Sam.

Are you sick?

Sakhen shii?

Sakhneh shii?

My car was hit by another car.

Siyyara arabetli siyyarti.

My car isn’t working.

Siyyarti mish meshyi.




Do you hear that?

Sme3et hayda?

Sme3teh hayda?

Do you feel better?

Seret a7san?

Serteh a7san?

It’s 11:30pm.

Sse3a 7da3sh w noss

It rained very hard today.

Shattet ktiir l yom.

Call the police.

Talfen lal Poliis.

Talfneh lal Poliis.

Call me back later

Talfenleh ba3den.

Talfniileh ba3den

Call me.



Please call me.

Talfenleh pliiz.

Translate this for me

Tarjimli hayda.

Tarjmiili haydi.

Come here.

Ta3a la hon.

Ta3i la hon.

My cell phone has no reception.

Telefoni ma 3endo Ersel.

My cell phone doesn’t work.

Telefoni mish mesheh.

All day.

Kell ennhaar.

And you?

W Inta?

W Inti?

Behind the bank.

Wara l bank.

where can I can get a taxi?

Wen fiiyyi e5od taksii?

Wen fiyyi e5od taksi?

Where are my glasses?

Wen 3wayneti?

Are your children with you?

Wledak Ma3ak?

Wledik ma3ik?

Our children are in America.

Wledna bi Amerka

Did you get my email?

Wosollak iimeyli?

Wosollik iimeyli?

At 7 o’clock in the morning.

Esse3a sab3a ṡṡobe7.

At 7 o’clock at night.

Esse3a sab3a 3ashiyyeh.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Esse3a tleteh ba3d eddohor.

At 3 o’clock.

Esse3a tleteh.

Please fill out this form.

3abbiileh hal form pliiz.

Do you like it here?

7abbeyt hon?

7abbayteh hon?

I’m searching.

3am fattish.

I’m just kidding

3am bimza7

Numbers (Ar2am)

 1 : wa7ad

 2 : tnén

 3 : tlété

 4 : arb3a

 5 : khamsé

 6 : setté

 7 : sab3a

 8 : tméné

 9 : tes3a

 10 : 3ashra

 11 : 7da3sh

 12 : tna3sh

 13 : tlatta3sh

 14 : arba3ta3sh

 15 : khamesta3sh

 16 : setta3sh

 17 : sabeta3sh

 18 : tmanta3sh

 19 : tese3ta3sh

 20 : 3eshrin

 21 : wa7da w 3eshreen

 22 : tnén w 3eshreen

 23 : tléta w 3eshreen

 30 : tléteen

 40 : arb3een

 50 : khamseen

 60 : setteen

 70 : sab3een

 80 : tméneen

 90 : tes3een

 100 : miyyé

 200 : mitén

 300 : tlet miyyé

 1000 : alf

 2000 : alfén

 1,000,000 : malyon

 1,000,000,000 : melyar


+ Check out the following sites:

·         Lebanese Arabic Words & Phrases Transliterated

·         Lebanese Arabic Phrasebook


Useful Links & References:

Lebanese Language:

Common Lebanese Terms & Phrases


How to Learn the Lebanese (Arabic) Language?

How to Learn Lebanese Arabic

Lebanese Arabic Words & Phrases Transliterated

Lebanese Arabic Phrasebook

Lebanese Arabic

Learning Lebanese Arabic

Learn Arabic (Lebanese) - Lessons on You Tube

Learn Lebanese Online: Abjadiye

Arabic You Need (Lebanese), CDs & text 

Arabic (Lebanese dialect) : (CD/Guide Book)
Keefak Application (on cell phone)


Lebanese Language Institute

The Lebanese Latin Letters

How to Learn Lebanese Online

  • "Visit the Lebanese Language Institute website at lebaneselanguage.org. This site is dedicated to teaching the modern Lebanese language. Click on the "LLL Script" tab at the top of the page, and begin learning the Lebanese-Latin letters, the English pronunciations, and the sample words. From there, you can click on tabs to progress easily to the various lessons. Sections are devoted to strategy, grammar, language, downloads and more."


How to Learn Lebanese Online | eHow.com


"Two useful texts are available for English-speakers wishing to learn Lebanese: Hadia Harb's "Arabic You Need" and "Spoken Lebanese" by Maksoud N. Feghali. Both come with coordinated audio recordings, which are important in learning Lebanese, giving you the chance to hear native speakers interacting with each other and thus the best idea of the language's sounds. Feghali's book uses only Latin characters, which enhances the idea is that Lebanese is truly a spoken language."