Discover Jordan's Nature & Cultural Heritage


A visit to Jordan would provide an ideal opportunity to brush up on your Arabic! Arabic has been one of the world’s dominant languages for the last 14 centuries. Over 200 million people in over twenty countries speak this rich and enduring language. In addition to that of Jordan, Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It is the language of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam and, as such, Muslim followers study it all over the world. Therefore, while spoken Arabic consists of various dialects, the written language as preserved through the holy Qur’an remains constant throughout the years. Speakers of different Arabic dialects may experience problems understanding one another, however they all understand its classical form as exemplified in its textual representation. A Semitic language, Arabic is written from right to left.

The following list of useful phrases should help you get started with your introduction to the Arabic language as it is spoken in Jordan. Good luck!

  • Hello: Marhaba
  • Good-bye: Ma’a salaameh
  • My name is… : Ismee...
  • What is your name? : Shoo ismek?
  • Thank you : Shukrun
  • You’re welcome : Afwan
  • Please : Lao samaht
  • Excuse me : An iznek
  • What time is it? : Edesh el sa’aa?
  • How much does this cost? : Bikaam hatha?
  • One : Waahid
  • Two : Tinain
  • Three : Talaateh
  • Four : Arba’a
  • Five : Khamseh
  • Six : Sitteh
  • Seven : Sab’a
  • Eight : Tamenyeh
  • Nine : Tis’a
  • Ten : ‘Ashra
  • Where is the nearest restroom? : Wen il hamaam?
  • Left : Shmaal
  • Right : Yameen
  • Straight : Dughree
  • Do you accept credit cards? : Mumkin adfaa’ bi kart masrafi?
  • Could you speak more slowly please? : Mumkin tehkee shway shway?

Arabic numbers are easy to read - indeed, Western numerals are derived from the Arabic system. Unlike the words, Arabic numbers read from left to right. Look at the picture for the Arabic numbers.

A good way to practice is by reading car number plates which carry both sets of numbers. (A watch with Arabic numerals makes an unusual souvenir.)