So you're planning on a little visit to Bahrain?


NOTICE: Guide works best with IE or  Firefox's IE tab (table's might not show up properly in Firefox)

 

First off, you should know three things:

  1. Most places in Bahrain are already well-versed in English (3-5 star hotels, shopping malls, banks...etc) So even if you can't or don't want to learn the language, you'll be fine
  2. The official language is Arabic in Bahrain
  3. There are 2 kinds of spoken arabic: Local and Formal

Guide

  • Bold indicates that the pronounciation of the letter should have some weight placed on it.
       (Like the "th" in this/that/though versus thank you)
  • Italics indicate that the pronounciation of the letter should be sharp
  •    (e.g. "h" sound is similar to the sound made when clearing your throat.)
  •    (e.g. "Kh" sound is made from the end of the mouth as if your going to spit - BUT PLEASE DON'T. SAY IT, DON'T SPRAY IT!)
  • apostrophe ( ' ) indicates the sound you make when hesitating (e.g. ummmm, but only the very first part)

 

 

This guide will mostly cover the basics of local dialect. So let's start - Here are some important phrases to help you around Bahrain.


                      Gratitude
Phrase Variants / Pronunciation   Meaning  History / Application  Classification
 Shukran

Mashkoor / Mashkoora


Shook-rann
Mash-koor
  • Thank you

Shukran can be both singular or plural
Mashkoor for male, Mashkoora for females

Local
 Afwan Af-wann
  •  You're welcome
Return a "shukran" with this Local / Formal
                              

                     Greetings

 Phrase

 

 

Variants / Pronunciation 

 

 Meaning

 

 History / Application

 

 Classification

 

 Salaam

 

 Al-Salam Alaikum

 


(Pronounced: As-salam A-lay-kum)

 

  •  Peace 

     

  • (May) Peace be upon you

     

 A formal greeting mostly synonymous with the religion of Islam. Muslims use this phrase to greet one another mostly upon entry into one's place. It can also be used when leaving a place of dwelling/work.

 

 Local / Formal

 

 Ahlan

 

 Ahlan wa Sahlan

 


(Pronounced: Ah-lenn)

 

  •  Welcome

     

  • (You are) Most welcome

     

  • Hi!

     

N/A

 

Local /
Formal

 

 Marhaba

 

 Mar-ha-ba

 

 Same as "Ahlan"

 

N/A

 

Local /
Formal

 

  Sabah il-Khair

 

 Sa-bah il-Khair

 

  •  Blessed Morning

     

  • Good Morning

     

N/A

 

Local /
Formal

 

 Masa' il-Khair

 

 Masa' il-Khair

 

  •  Blessed Evening

     

  • Good Evening

     

N/A

 

Local /
Formal

 


                                      Shopping

 Phrase Variants / Pronunciation   Meaning  History / Application  Classification
 Cham

Eb Cham


(Pronounced:
Ib-chamm)
  •  How much?

N/A

Local
 Hathi Hath-ee
  •  This
Used in combination:
Eb Cham Hathi?
Local
 Hathak Hath-akk
  • That
N/A Local
 Wayid Wa-yidd
  • Much / Too much
Used to negotiate price/quantity Local
 Shway Sh-wai
  •  Little / Too little
Used to negotiate quantity
(removed price - everybody wants things cheaper!)
Local
 Khalas Kha-lass
  •  Enough
  •  Nevermind
Walk away from that deal if you're not satisfied! Local

 

                         Requests /Commands / Directions

 Phrase Variants / Pronunciation   Meaning  History / Application  Classification
 Rooh  Imshi
Roo-h
  •  Go / Move
 N/A  Local
 Ta'al  Ta-'aal
  •  Come / come here
 N/A  Local
 Lao Samaht  La-ou Sa-ma-ht
  •  Excuse m.e.
  •  If you could ...
 N/A  Local
 Wagif  Wag-gif
  •  Stop
 N/A Local 
 Yimeen  Ye-meen
  •  Right
 N/A Local 
 Yissar  Ye-saar
  •  Left
 N/A Local 
 Foug  F-oug
  •  Up / Above
 N/A Local
 Tahat

 Ta-hat

  •  Down / Underneath
 N/A Local
 Warah  Wa-rah
  •  Behind
 N/A Local
 Jiddam  Jid-daam
  •  In front
 N/A Local

 

                              Yes / No / Maybe / Don't know

 Phrase Variants / Pronunciation   Meaning  History / Application  Classification
 Ee

Aywa
(Pronounced: Ai-wah)


 eeeeeee
  •  Yes

Aywa is more of a confirmation than "Ee"

 Local
 La  La'
  •  No
 N/A  Local
 Yimkin  Yim-kin
  •  Maybe
 N/A  Local
 Madri  Maa-d-ree
  •  Don't know
 N/A  Local