Sayings are pretty common in most languages. Just like English, Arabic also has its own sayings that you’ll hear in everyday conversations. Many of the Arabic quotes have their origins in religion or are related to culture. While some Arabic sayings can be translated almost literally into English, others are really unique to Arabic and might even sound funny when translated to English.
Here are some Arabic quotes about love and life that you should learn. I’ve included the Arabic saying in both the Arabic script as well as in the Latin script (transcription) for those who can’t read the Arabic alphabet.
Zyadet al khair khaireen
Let’s start with a common Arabic saying that can almost literally be translated into English. The Arabic zyadet al khair khaireen (زيادة الخير خيرين) is the equivalent of the English “the more the merrier”. This proverb can be used for anything you enjoy: from people to things. The more people, the better. The more music, the better. Or whatever you consider to make your life better.
Youm asal, wa youm basal
Youm asal, wa youm basal (يوم عسل، و يوم بصل) literally translates as “one day is honey, one day is onions”. It’s a typically Middle Eastern saying. It basically means that you can sometimes have a good day (honey), and sometimes a bad day (onions). What I love about this quote is that it actually has a deep meaning and can be used to cheer up people. If your friend or family member has a bad day or is going through a difficult period, tell them that the bad days will eventually end and good days will come by saying youm asal, wa youm basal.
Makani al mufaddal huwa ma’ak
Expressing love is a beautiful thing, especially in a romantic language like Arabic. From the pervasive habibi to the heartwarming ana bahebak (I love you), Arabic has many quotes to express love. One of my favorite ones is makani al mufaddal huwa ma’ak (مكاني المفضل هو معك). The literal translation of this love quote is “my favorite place is with you”. It basically means that you’re happy as long as you’re with your loved one, no matter the place. How cute, right?
By the way, read more about how to say I love you in Arabic.
El atabeh elna ou seder el beit elak
If you’re familiar with Arabic culture, you’ll surely know that hospitality is a big thing. In fact, Arabs are famous for their hospitality and guests are literally treated as kings. Therefore, it’s not surprising that there are some beautiful Arabic sayings that you’ll hear when being invited to someone’s house. A common saying is el atabeh elna ou seder el beit elak. It literally translates as “the doorstep is ours and the entire house is yours”.
Of course, a saying is just a saying, after all. If you’ve ever been invited to a typical Middle Eastern home, you might have noticed a few differences with the Western layout. Guests are most commonly seated in the reception area, which consists of a beautifully decorated area with seating, and of course a table where you’ll be served chai (tea) and other Arabian delicacies. The kitchen and bedrooms are usually private to the family – so don’t take this quote too literally.
El khouf la yamna min el mout wa lakenaho yamna min el hayat
Looking for a meaningful saying about life? A inspirational Arabic quote with a very strong meaning is el khouf la yamna min el mout wa lakenaho yamna min el hayat (الخوف لا يمنع من الموت ولكنه يمنع من الحياة). It translates as “fear doesn’t prevent death. it prevents life”. This quote comes from the Egyptian writer and Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz who has made it to many films and bookshelves. While it’s probably not a quote you’d use every day, this saying has a very deep meaning. It teaches us that our fears shouldn’t stop us from living our lives.
Ma ghareeb ela al shaytan
Did you meet a new person who means a lot to you? The Arabic saying ma ghareeb ela al shaytan (ما غريب الى الشيطان) might help you express your appreciation. It’s used to honor people as family or friends and tell them that they aren’t strangers to you.
Eli elo awal elo akher
Let’s end this list of Arabic quotes with a matching saying. Eli elo awal elo akher (اللي اله أول اله اخر) is the equivalent to the English “everything that has a beginning has an ending”. That’s a pretty common saying which I’ve seen not only in Arabic but in many languages. The most common context is to express that anything that starts also comes to an end eventually (nothing on earth lasts forever). Besides, it can also be used to calm someone down by conveying that every bad situation will eventually end.