Home Language HacksArabic How I Learned Arabic in 3 months (PLUS Arabic Travel Phrase Guide)

How I Learned Arabic in 3 months (PLUS Arabic Travel Phrase Guide)

by Michele
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Wondering how to learn Arabic fast? Or what the best app to learn Arabic is? In just 3 months I learned to speak Arabic in just 20 minutes a day. Hear about my challenges, successes, and how you can learn Arabic too!

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and learn a dream language of mine Arabic! Considered one of the oldest languages in the world alongside Greek and Hebrew, I’m going to share with you how to learn Arabic fast with the aid of the best app to learn Arabic, Spoiler alert. It’s Rosetta Stone! The best part? You can get started for free! But more on that later.

I’ve also included a bunch of useful Egyptian Arabic phrases for you to use in your travels. Keep reading!

I’m a perfectionist and my harshest critic. I’m constantly challenging and pushing myself to do better and excel in whatever I set my mind too. Plus, I’m as stubborn as hell. When I set my mind to something I have to give 110%.

I guess that’s the Italian testa dura in me.

I don’t think I’ve ever set myself a bolder personal challenge than I have with learning Arabic.

Earlier this year I booked a trip to the land of the pharaohs. That’s right, I’m off to Egypt! The land of one of the most advanced civilisations, hieroglyphics, the Nile, and teenage pharaoh King Tut.

So, why the obsession with Arabic?

Every since I was 9 years old I dreamed of going to Egypt to see the Great Pyramids of Giza. I dreamed of tracing the history of so many historical figures I’d seen immortalised in Hollywood’s golden era of blockbusters like Cleopatra and The Ten Commandments, and more recently The Mummy.

Even though I’ve been travelling the world for the past 12 years, for whatever reason, I’ve never fulfilled my childhood dream. Now this dream has turned into a passion project.

If you’re a regular follower of The Intrepid Guide, you’ll know that I’m a firm believer in learning the local lingo before travelling to a foreign land. Even learning a few basic phrases can dramatically alter how you see and experience a place.

There’s nothing like sharing those moments where you bond with locals over as you apologetically fumble through their language with a smile on face. There’s a special kind of connection that forms when the other person knows you’ve taken the time to try and communicate with them in their language, albeit mispronounced.

The Challenge

With this in mind, I’ve set myself the challenge of learning one of the most foreign languages to a native English speaker. I’m going to learn Arabic! …or at least try my very hardest. My odds are pretty good since I’m teamed up one of the best apps to learn Arabic with, Rosetta Stone. (Click here and get $150 OFF Rosetta Stone and experience what full immersion feels like.)

Psst, I’ve already started sharing my progress with three vlogs. Keep scrolling ;)

With three months up my sleeve before I jet off, I’ve set my sights on learning as much as I can so I can carry out basic tasks like ordering a falafel (obviously!), introducing myself, and asking how someone is, and exchange general pleasantries.

Whilst there are various spoken forms of Arabic, I’m somewhat lucky in that the most common and widely understood is Egyptian Arabic.

How will I learn Arabic?

I’ve chosen Rosetta Stone because it’s well-suited to learning a language like Arabic. Arabic is a language that is very unfamiliar to English natives and harder to get started with using traditional learning techniques. Rosetta Stone is also the father of language learning apps so I’m confident it will be able to guide me through this linguist feat.

I’ll be booting up the Rosetta Stone app each day to complete a few exercises and work my way through their unit. I know it will be a steep learning curve as I acquaint my ear with the tones and sounds of Arabic. I might even find some cool Arabic music to break things up a bit. Got any suggestions?

I’ll be documenting my journey through a series of video updates on which I’ll be posting to my YouTube channel plus sharing more updates here on my blog, my Instagram account, Twitter, and Facebook.

Be sure to bookmark this page as I will constantly update it with new videos.

Want to learn a language?

Want to take on a language challenge of your own? Click here and get $150 OFF Rosetta Stone and experience what full immersion feels like.

Rosetta Stone really is the best app to learn Arabic with. So, if you decide to join in on the language challenge, I’d love to hear how you progress.

Want to have fun whilst learning Arabic? Struggling to find decent Arabic language resources available? I also recommend getting uTalk. Available as a desktop site and app, uTalk is awesome for learning key words and phrases in Arabic, especially if you want to use it for travel purposes.  It’s great for beginners getting started in a language and invaluable for intermediates looking to fill in gaps in their vocabulary and pronunciation. 

What I love most about uTalk is that you can jump around their extensive library of topics and choose what you want to learn, when you want, and at your own pace.  Because I believe in uTalk so much, I reached out to them and we’ve teamed up to offer you an exclusive 30% OFF reader discount across all of uTalk’s 140 languages! This offer isn’t available anywhere else! Click here to claim your exclusive 30% discount.

Here is Part One!

Want more?

Here’s Part Two!

Watch as I order lunch in Arabic and visit the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum.

Here’s Part Three!

Watch as I haggle in Arabic!

Be sure to follow along and share your language learning journey with me. I’d love to hear how you learn languages. And if you’re just curious, leave a comment on my video asking me anything from language learning, Rosetta Stone, learning Arabic or travel.

Going to Egypt? Here are 24 things you should know before you go to Egypt.

Basic Arabic Words for Beginners

Basic Arabic Phrases for Travellers

Just to make things even easier for you, I’ve collated a bunch of basic Arabic words for beginners so you can hit the ground running. These Egyptian Arabic phrases even come with a pronunciation guide because that’s just the kind of girl I am.

Happy Learning!

Want the infographic to take with you? Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Speaking Arabic

English Egyptian Arabic Pronunciation


Hello أهلا/  مرحبا. marhaban / ahlan
Good morning صباح الخير sabāh el-khair
Good evening مساء الخير masā’ el-khair
Good night تصبح على خير tisbah `ala khair
Good night (in response)  وانت من اهل الخير wa-anta min ahl el-khair
Goodbye (informal) باي باي bāy bāy
Peace be with you. (formal) السلام عليكم as-salāmu `alaykum
Thank you [very much]. شكرا جزيلا shukran [jazīlan].


How are you? كيف حالك؟ kaif(a) hālak? (male singular)
kaif(a) hālik? (female singular)
Good جيد jayyid
Very good جيد جدا jayyid jiddan
Fine, thank you بخير, شكرا bi-khair shukran
Please من فضلك. min fadlak (male)
min fadlik (female)
Thank you (very much) شكرا جزيلا shukran [jazīlan].
Yes ايوا aywa
No لا
Maybe ممكن mumkin


What is your name? اسمك ايه esmak ēh?
ismak? (to a male)
ismik? (to a female)
My name is ______ اسمي ismi
Nice to meet you تشرفنا tasharrafna lit. “You honor us”
You’re welcome عفوا afwan

Speaking Arabic

Excuse me (getting attention) لو سمحت law samaht
I’m sorry انا اسفه / انا اسف ana āsif (male)
ana āsifa (female)
I can’t speak Arabic [well] لا اتكلم عربي جيدا Lā atakallam `arabi [jayyidan]
Do you speak English?  هل تتكلم الانجليزية hal tatakallam el-ingliziyya?
Is there someone here who speaks English? حد بيتكلم انجليزي؟ had beyetkallem ingelīzi?
Excuse me  إسمحلي  ismahli


Who? من man
What? ما/ماذا mā/mādha
When? متى mata
Where? اين ayn
Why? لماذا limādha
How much? بكم bi-kam
How much is this? بكم هذا bi-kam hādha
Where are you from? من أين أنت min ayn anta
Understand? مفهوم؟ mafhūm
What is this? ما هذا؟ mā hādha?


1 واحد wāhid
2 إثنان ithnān
3 ثلاثة thalātha
4 اربعة arba`a
5 خمسة khamsa
6 ستة sitta
7 سبعة sab`a
8 ثمانية thamāniya
9 تسعة tis`a
10 عشرة `ashara
20 عشرون ishrūn
30 ثلاثون thalathūn
40 اربعون arba`ūn
50 خمسون khamsūn
60 ستون sittūn
70 سبعون sab`ūn
80 ثمانون thamanūn
90 تسعون tis`ūn
100 مئة mi’a


Monday يوم الاثنين (yaum) el-ithnayn
Tuesday يوم الثلاثاء (yaum) eth-thulātha
Wednesday يوم الأربعاء (yaum) el’arbi`a’
Thursday يوم الخميس (yaum) el-khamīs
Friday يوم الجمعة (yaum) el-jum`a
Saturday يوم السبت (yaum) es-sabt
Sunday يوم الأحد (yaum) el’ahad)


Turn left / Turn right لف يمين / لف يسار lif yasser / lif yameen
Wait / stay  انتظر  intadhir
Straight ahead على طول `ala tūl
Here / There هناك / هنا huna / hunāk
Go / Stop وقف  / ذهب  dhahaba / waqif

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Learn Arabic Fast with the Best App to Learn Arabic

Best App to Learn Arabic

Want to know more about learning languages? Start here!

Travelling to Egypt? Get my Egypt Travel Tips guide 

Want more language inspiration? Visit my handy language resource guide.

Plus, if you want to know how the experts learn languages,  I asked 11 top polyglots to share their language learning secrets. Find out how they start learning a new language, overcome plateaus, and maintain multiple languages.

Over to you!

Do you have a question about how to learn Arabic fast? Ask me below! 
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