Mastering the Art of Greeting: Saying Hello in Arabic with Confidence and Respect

Elly Kim9 min
Created: Apr 1, 2024Last updated: Apr 19, 2024
Hello in Arabic

Learning to say hello in Arabic is essential for anyone aiming to master this beautiful language. Some basic informal and formal greetings should be on your must-known list right after you decide to master this or any other tongue. It is a great way to enrich your vocabulary and show respect to people and their culture. That’s why today’s article is dedicated to the most common Arabic greetings. Let’s dive right in!.

How Do You Say Hello in Arabic: Formal Phrases

The way you greet someone is quite important, as it helps you make a first impression and set the tone for the entire conversation. Especially, it’s critical in terms of formal circumstances. Whether talking to your boss, colleagues, or just strangers, choosing the right Arabic greetings is vital. So, for starters, let’s explore some common formal ways of saying hello.

  • السلام عليكم – [as-salāmu ʿalaykum] – Peace be upon you.

This is the traditional Islamic greeting that is widely used across Arabic-speaking countries. It’s appropriate for both formal and informal situations and shows respect and goodwill towards the person you’re addressing. And don’t worry, if you’re not Muslim, using this greeting is still considered appropriate and highly respectful. For example:

السلام عليكم، كيف حالكم؟ (As-salāmu ʿalaykum, kayfa ḥālukum?) – Peace be upon you, how are you?

السلام عليكم، أتمنى لك يوماً سعيداً. (As-salāmu ʿalaykum, atamannā lak yawman saʿīdā) – Peace be upon you, I wish you a happy day.

  • كيف حالك؟ – [kayfa ḥāluk?] – How are you?

This phrase is another common and casual way to inquire about someone’s well-being. It’s appropriate for both formal and informal situations and shows that you care about the other person’s welfare. For example:

كيف حالك؟ أتمنى أن تكون بخير. (Kayfa ḥāluk? Atamannā an takūn bi-khayr) – How are you? I hope you’re well.

كيف حالك؟ هل كانت لديك يوم جيد؟ (Kayfa ḥāluk? Hal kānat ladayka yawm jayyid?) – How are you? Did you have a good day?

  • أهلاً وسهلاً – [ahlan wa sahlan] – Welcome.

This Arabic expression is used to welcome someone warmly. It’s a hospitable and friendly greeting that can be used in various contexts, such as welcoming guests to your home or customers to your business. For example:

أهلاً وسهلاً بك في منزلنا! (Ahlan wa sahlan bika fī manzilinā) – Welcome to our home!

أهلاً وسهلاً في مطعمنا، كيف يمكنني خدمتك؟ (Ahlan wa sahlan fī maṭʿaminā, kayfa yumkinuni khidmatuk?) – Welcome to our restaurant, how can I help you?

Hi in Arabic: Informal Expressions

In Arabic, like in any other language, there are numerous phrases and greetings for more relaxed and casual settings. For example, in English, we can say “Hello,” “Hi,” “What’s up,” and plenty of other informal expressions. But what about Arabic? Let’s find out together!

  • مرحباً – [marḥabā] – Hello.

This Arabic hello is a versatile greeting that can be used in both formal and informal settings. It’s a friendly and common way to say hello to someone you know or someone you’re meeting for the first time. You can use it in person, on the phone, or even in written correspondence. For example:

مرحباً! كيف حالك اليوم؟ (Marhaba! Kayfa ḥāluk al-yawm?) – Hello! How are you today?

مرحباً، هل يمكنني مساعدتك؟ (Marhaba, hal yumkinuni musa'adatuk?) – Hello, can I help you?

  • هلا – [hālā] – Hi.

This phrase is a casual and informal way to greet someone, commonly used among friends, family, or acquaintances. It’s an easygoing and relaxed greeting that can be used in various social situations. For example:

هلا! كيف الحال؟ (Hālā! Kayfa al-ḥāl?) – Hi! How’s it going?

هلا، شو أخبارك؟ (Hālā, shū akhbārak?) – Hi, what’s up?

  • أهلين – [ahlan] – Hey there.

This phrase is an informal and non-religious friendly greeting commonly used among peers or with people you’re familiar with. It’s a laid-back way to say hello and make someone feel welcome. For example:

أهلين! كيف الحال؟ (Ahlan! Kayfa al-ḥāl?) – Hey there! How’s it going?

أهلين، وين رايح؟ (Ahlan, wayn rāyiḥ?) – Hey there, where are you going?

Time-Specific Muslim Greetings in Arabic

There are also plenty of Arabic greetings that are great to use during specific periods of the day, for example, in the morning or in the evening. Learning such phrases is essential for better understanding the language and selecting appropriate greetings throughout the day. So, how to say good morning in Arabic? Check out these essential phrases.

  • صباح الخير – [ṣabāḥ al-khayr] – Good morning.

The first greeting on this list is used specifically in the morning. It’s a polite and respectful way to acknowledge the start of the day and extend good wishes to others. For example:

صباح الخير! كيف حالك اليوم؟ (Ṣabāḥ al-khayr! Kayfa ḥāluk al-yawm?) – Good morning! How are you today?

صباح الخير، لقد أحضرت لك قهوة. (Ṣabāḥ al-khayr, laqad aḥdharat lak qahwa) – Good morning, I brought you some coffee.

  • مساء الخير – [masā’ al-khayr] – Good evening.

This expression, like the previous one, is dedicated to a specific time of the day and is mostly used in the evening. For example:

مساء الخير! كيف حالك اليوم؟ (Masā’ al-khayr! Kayfa ḥāluk al-yawm?) – Good evening! How are you today?

مساء الخير، هل لديك خطط لهذه الليلة؟ (Masā’ al-khayr, hal ladayka khutat lihādh al-laylah?) – Good evening, do you have plans for tonight?

  • مساء النور – [masā’ al-nūr] – Good evening.

As you can see, this greeting slightly differs from the previous one, although it means the same thing. That’s because this phrase is typically used as a response to the previous one. It’s a polite way to acknowledge the greeting and reciprocate the well-wishes. For example:

مساء النور، شكراً. كيف حالك؟ (Masā’ al-nūr, shukran. Kayfa ḥāluk?) – Good evening, thank you. How are you?

مساء النور، أتمنى لك يوماً سعيداً. (Masā’ al-nūr, atamannā lak yawman saʿīdā) – Good evening, I wish you a happy day.

  • ليلة سعيدة – [laylah saʿīdah] – Good night.

The last expression on this list is used specifically when bidding someone good night. If you’re looking for a polite way to say your late-night greetings or farewells, this expression should be your go-to choice. For example:

ليلة سعيدة! نتحدث غداً. (Laylah saʿīdah! Natḥaddathu ghadan) – Good night! We’ll talk tomorrow.

ليلة سعيدة، أتمنى لك أحلاماً جميلة. (Laylah saʿīdah, atamannā lak aḥlāman jamīlah) – Good night, I wish you beautiful dreams.


Slang Ways to Say Hello in Arabic Language

Slang is an integral part of any language, and Arabic is no exception. In addition to traditional polite and more relaxed informal greetings, there are plenty of colloquial expressions widely used by native speakers. And, of course, we will tell you about the most common ones! Here’s how to say hello in Arabic in a slang way.

  • وش الأخبار؟ – [wesh al-akhbār?] – What’s the news?

This is a slang greeting used among friends or peers to ask what’s new or what’s happening. It’s a casual and relaxed way to start a conversation. For example:

وش الأخبار؟ وين كنت طول الفترة؟ (Wesh al-akhbār? Wayn kunt ṭūl al-fatrah?) – What’s the news? Where have you been all this time?

وش الأخبار؟ عملت شي ممتع في الويكند؟ (Wesh al-akhbār? ʿamilt shay mumtiʿ fī al-wīkend?) – What’s the news? Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

  • هلا والله – [hālā wallah] – Hey there!

This phrase is another slang greeting used to casually greet someone in a friendly manner. It’s informal and relaxed, often accompanied by a smile or a nod. For example:

هلا والله! شلونك؟ (Hālā wallah! Shlūnak?) – Hey there! How are you?

هلا والله، وين كنت غايب؟ (Hālā wallah, wayn kunt ghāyb?) – Hey there, where have you been hiding?

  • هاي – [hāy] – Hey.

This is a loanword, a slang greeting similar to “hey” in English. It’s informal and commonly used among friends or in casual settings. For example:

هاي! وين كنت طول النهار؟ (Hāy! Wayn kunt ṭūl al-nahār?) – Hey! Where have you been all day?

هاي، شونك اليوم؟ (Hāy, shūnak al-yawm?) – Hey, how are you today?

  • صباحو – [ṣabāhu] – Morning.

Now that you know sabah al khair meaning, it is time to expand your vocabulary even more, and memorize its shortened form, also known as an informal greeting in Arabic. It’s casual and commonly used among peers or friends. For example:

صباحو! كيف الحال؟ (Ṣabāhu! Kayfa al-ḥāl?) – Morning! How’s it going?

صباحو، شونك اليوم؟ (Ṣabāhu, shūnak al-yawm?) – Morning, how are you today?

How to Say Hi in Arabic: Find Out with Promova

Learning Arabic greetings can be quite a challenge, especially when you’re just starting to get the hang of the language. It’s a whole different ball game compared to English, French, or other languages you might be familiar with. But fear not! Mastering it is totally doable with a little help from some extra resources. And yes, we are talking about Promova – your one-stop solution for fluency.

Right now, Promova offers a convenient mobile application suitable for various iOS and Android devices. Within the app, you can learn Arabic, English, Spanish, French, German, Korean, and many other languages. The application provides quite a lot of benefits for both experienced learners and those who have just started their language-learning journey.

  1. Engaging interactive lessons. All of the materials within the app are created by language professionals to make your studying as exciting and informative as possible. You won’t be bored by tedious classes – instead, you’ll practice all the essential skills using a convenient, user-friendly application.
  2. Bite-sized learning. Some people are afraid of starting a new language because it looks like an impossible challenge for them. But with Promova, you can spend only a few minutes a day learning things that really matter and avoid feeling overwhelmed by unnecessary materials.
  3. Easy access. Another benefit of the Promova app is its convenience. You can easily install it from the Play Store or App Store and access all the materials anywhere and anytime you want. Whether staying at home or standing in the line, you can always spend a few minutes practicing with the Promova app.

As you can see, after installing the application, you access quite a lot of benefits. Whether you’re aiming to learn Arabic greetings or Korean farewells, Promova has got you covered! Here, you can find tons of useful materials for various fluency levels. Get the application now, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the results!


To sum up, we can say that learning Arabic greetings is essential for anyone who aims to learn this language. Yes, it might look a bit challenging at first, but it will definitely make your social interactions more pleasant and exciting. We hope that with the help of today’s article, you’ll learn enough Arabic greetings to start your small talks with native speakers. And we’re looking forward to seeing you in the next one!


Is it important to learn different greetings in Arabic?

Indeed! It is probably one of the first things you should memorize when learning Arabic or any other language. Greetings play a crucial role in social interactions and help establish rapport and goodwill with others. They also demonstrate respect and cultural awareness, which can go a long way in building positive relationships.

Are there any tips for memorizing Arabic greetings?

Sure, there are many! First and foremost, remember to practice regularly. Repeat the greetings frequently until they become second nature. Practice saying them aloud, writing them down, or using flashcards for reinforcement. Also, try to break down longer greetings into smaller components and learn them one step at a time. Focus on mastering individual words before putting them together into complete phrases.

What are some mistakes to avoid when saying hello in Arabic?

Some of the most common ones include using wrong greetings, mispronouncing words, and forgetting to respond to other people. So, to avoid them, make sure to use the appropriate greeting based on the time of day and the level of formality, practice correct pronunciation, and don’t forget to respond when someone is greeting you.

How can I say goodbye in Arabic?

There are several phrases, but the most common one is مع السلامة – [maʿa as-salāmah] – Goodbye. It is a standard farewell in Arabic, suitable for both formal and informal conversations.