My mother used to tell me that the English words “please” and “thank
you” go a long way, meaning that using polite words will help you get
what you want from other people. Thinking about this, I guess that is
pretty much true in any language or culture. So, that’s the idea behind
this post: how to say “please” and “thank you” in Arabic so that you can
go a long way in your Arabic language learning.
In Arabic, the words لو سمحت (law samahat) and من فضلك (min fadhlik) can both mean “please”, but there are other words for “please” in Arabic and all of them can be used in different situations. For example, let’s say you’re in a restaurant and you want someone to pass the salt. You could say َمن فضلِك (min fadhlika) for a male and ِمن فضلِك (min fadhliki) for a female. Or you could use لو سمحت (law samaht) for a male and لو سمحتِ (law samahti) for a female. In another situation, let’s say you are in dire need of some help with something. In this case, you would say َأرجوك (arjooka) for a male, and أرجوكِ – (arjooki) for a female both of which literally means “I beg you!” So, no matter the situation, you can still be polite by using these Arabic words for “please”.
Moving on to “thank you”, there are probably just as many words for this a there are Arabic dialects, but here are just a few ways you can say it:
There most commonly used word for “thanks” used nearly everywhere and understood by all Arabs is “شكراً. Adding a pronoun such as “شكراً لكَ / لكِ” (shukraan laka/laki) will add to the specificity of who you’re thanking. Other ways to say “thank you” are with variations of shukraan are:
أَشْكُرُك – (ashkuruka/ ashkuruki : male/female)
I thank you.
مَشْكُور / مَشْكُورة – (mashkoor / mashkoorah) (male/female)
“You are deserving of thanks.”
مُتَشَكِّر / مُتَشَكِّرة (mutashakker / mutashakkerah) (male/female)
“I’m all thanks to you.” (Used mostly in Egypt).
شَاكِرٌ لك / شَاكِرةٌ لك (shakeron lak / shakeraton lak) (male/female)
“I’m thankful for you.”
بِتْشَكَّرَك / بِتْشَكَّرِك (betshakkarak / betshakkarik) (male /female)
“I’m thanking you.” (Used in the Levant region.)
جزاك الله خيراً (jazaka allahu khayran):
Another common phrase which takes thank you to a higher level is جزاك الله خيراً -( jazaka allahu khayran) meaning “May Allah reward you goodness,” and because the word خيراً is an indefinite noun, it makes all that goodness you’re wishing endless. Variations include the Arabian Peninsula’s الله يجزاك خير – (allah yejzak khayer).
مُمْتَنٌ لك / مُمْتَنةٌ لك (mumtanon lak / mumtanonaton laka) :male / female):
A very common form of it is “مَمْنُونَك” – (mamnoonak) used mostly in Levant region.
ما قَصَّرْت/ ما قَصَّرتِ (ma qassart):
Meaning something like “Thanks for trying and giving it your best.”
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