Lebanese Arabic 101: Mastering Mingling and Key Letters

Hello everyone! It’s me again, and I’m excited to share another lesson with you. In this video, we’ll dive into the art of mingling in Lebanese Arabic. We’ll start with some basic introductions and questions you might use when meeting someone new. I know some of these questions might sound cliché, but trust me, they’re essential! Later on, we’ll also delve into the fascinating world of Arabic letters, specifically the ج and ح. I’ve received feedback from many of you about the challenges of writing these letters, so I’ve made sure to break it down step by step. Whether you’re looking to strike up a conversation or simply improve your writing skills, this lesson has got you covered. Let’s get started!



Hello! Marhaba, keefkoun? I want to say thanks a lot for all your comments and ideas. I’m sorry if I didn’t reply to all of you. Of course, I’m willing to reply, and every time I have a comment, a new one, I’m happy to read it.

Today’s Lesson: Mingling

So today, my lesson is about mingling. Introducing yourself, or maybe asking more about the person next to you. I know the questions here are a bit cliché, let’s say: What’s your name? What do you do? But I thought of starting with the basics. Later, maybe we can learn how to ask questions that are lighter or, I don’t know, more metaphysical. Anyway, I will start by asking: what’s your name?

Phrases and Translations

  • What’s your name?
    • Arabic: shou esmak(m.) / esmik(f.)?
      • shou: what
      • name: esem
      • your name: esmak(m.) or esmik(f.)
    • So: shou esmak? shou esmik?
  • What do you work?
    • Arabic: shou bteshteghil(m.) / bteshteghleh(f.)?
    • (Answers to these questions can be found in lesson number 1.)
  • What do you study?
    • Arabic: shou btedrous(m.) / btedrseh(f.)?
      • Because “study” means “dares.”
    • You can also say: shou btedrous enta? or enta shou btedrous? But we don’t need the pronoun “enta” here. We can just say “shou btedrous?” for men and “shou btederseh?” for women.
  • What are you studying now?
    • Arabic: shou 3am tedrous(m.) / tederseh(f.)?
  • What did you study?
    • Arabic: shou daraset(m.) or shou darasteh(f.)?
  • Where are you from?
    • Arabic: mn wein enta(m.) / ente(f.)?
  • Where do you live?
    • Arabic options:
      • wein sekin(m.) / sekneh(f.)?
      • wein a3id(m.) / a3deh(f.)? (a3id can mean “I am sitting” or “where do you live?”)
      • wein 3ayish(m.) / 3aysheh(f.)?
  • What do you do after work?
    • Arabic: shou bta3mil(m.) / bta3mleh(f.) ba3ed sheghlak(m.) / sheghlik(f.)?
      • ba3ed: after
      • sheghlak(m.) / sheghlik(f.): your work
  • Do you do sports?
    • Arabic: bta3mil(m.) / bta3mleh(f.) sport?
      • Note: “Sport” in Arabic means “riyada,” but we say “sport” more than “riyada.”
  • What’s your phone number?
    • Arabic: shou ra2mak(m.) / ra2mik(f.)?
  • I’ll call you and maybe we go out:
    • Arabic: ra7 e7kik(m.) / e7kikeh(f.) barkeh mna3mil shi.
      • Note: “barkeh” or “balkeh” both are correct. “shi nhar” means “someday.”

Writing Arabic Letters

Today, I will teach you how to write the ج and ح. They are a little bit difficult. I will grab the camera and tell you about it. So, yalla, let’s study.

  • The Letter ج:
    • It looks like this.
    • How do you write it? Think of a triangle. Imagine you have a triangle that is flying, or doing some acrobatics and it is going down. Instead of the usual orientation, you flip it. This flipped triangle is the starting point for writing your ج.
    • It has a point here.
  • The Letter ح:
    • It looks like this.
    • Unlike the ج, the ح has no point.

Now, I will give you a word with ح and ج: حبّ(7obb). Notice that when the ح is at the beginning of the word, it looks different than when it’s at the end. The word 7obb means “love”. So, 7obb translates to “love”. The symbol you see, the shaddeh( ّ), is used because we stress on the ‘b’, so we put this shaddeh ( ّ) on it.

Then, there’s the letter ج. I have some words for the ج, but they might be specific to the Lebanese dialect, not the standard Arabic (fusha). One such word is حجّة (7ejjeh). It’s a challenging word. What does 7ejjeh mean? It translates to “excuse”. In the word حجّة (7ejjeh), the ج is in the middle.

I’ll write it again for clarity.

By now, you should know how to write the letters أ (a), ب (b), ت (t), ث (th), ج(j), and ح(7).


English Lebanese (Latin Letters)Lebanese (Arabic Alphabet)
How are you?keefkoun?كيفكن؟
What’s your name?shou esmak/esmik?شو اسمك؟/شو اسمك؟
What do you work?shou bteshteghil/bteshteghleh?شو بتشتغل؟/شو بتشتغلي؟
What do you study?shou btedrous/btedrseh?شو بتدرس؟/شو بتدرسي؟
Where are you from?mn wein enta/ente?من وين انت؟/من وين انتي؟
Where do you live?wein sekin/sekneh?وين ساكن؟/وين ساكنة؟
Your worksheghlak/sheghlikشغلك/شغلك
Do you do sports?bta3mil/bta3mleh sport?بتعمل/بتعملي سبور؟
Phone numbershou ra2mak/ra2mik?شو رقمك؟/شو رقمك؟
I’ll call youra7 e7kik/e7kikehرح احكيك/رح احكيكي
Somedayshi nharشي نهار

Spread the dialect!

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