Habibti is an Arabic word that you’ll hear on a daily basis when you’re around Arab people. The word has become hugely popular, even beyond the Middle East. It doesn’t only sound nice, but the word habibti actually has a beautiful meaning. Let me introduce you to the meaning of habibti and when to use it.
Although we use the word habibti quite often, it has a deep meaning in the Arabic language.
Literally translated, habibti means my lovely. It derivates from the adjective habib which means lovely in Arabic. Habibti means darling, dear, my love or sweetheart.
Does this mean that we love everyone? Not necessarily. Habibti is a great example of the Arabic culture and language which are very polite, loving and elaborate. Arabs love to “be nice” with each other.
Habibi or Habibti: What’s the Difference?
You might or might not have noticed the letter t in habibti. No, that isn’t a typo. In the Arabic language, there is a grammatical difference between masculine and feminine nouns. That’s something that doesn’t exist in English. If you speak any other language than English (such as Spanish, French or German), you’re surely familiar with grammatical genders.
Habibti is the feminine form of the word habibi. Habibi is used for men (though you’ll occassionally hear men saying habibi to a female). Habibti is used for women.
Whether you should use habibi or habibti depends on the gender of the person you’re talking to, regardless your own gender. When talking to a woman, you’ll use habibti, when talking to a man, you’ll use habibi.
Habibti in Arabic Writing
By the way, if you’d like to write habibti in the Arabic script, it’s written حبيبتي . Note that Arabic is written from right to left.
Habibti is quite easy to pronounce. If you are familiar with the Arabic alphabet, you might know that there are two letters for the Latin h in Arabic. Habibti starts with the letter ح which is called a guttural letter. This basically implies that it’s pronounced more from the back of the throat. Basically, that just means that it sounds a little stronger than a regular h. However, even if you pronounce the h in habibti just like a regular English h (like in hello), people will perfectly understand!
The word has three syllable with the emphasis is on the second syllable. In Levantine Arabic, people tend to stress the first i a bit more: habiiibti. In other dialects, such in Egyptian Arabic for instance, the i is much shorter.
By the way, the Arabic letter i is pronounced like English letter e in the word “free”, not like the English i (like in “hi”).
When to Use: Do’s & Dont’s
While there’re (almost) no faux pas when talking to the same gender, pay attention when talking to the opposite gender. You might be aware of the fact that in Arab culture, men don’t approach women as freely as in Western cultures. In most places, it would be considered inappropriate for a man to approach random women on the steet, especially when she’s married.
As a man, you should only say habibti to a woman if she’s either your relative or a good friend. The same applies to women. Use habibi when talking to a relative or a close friend.
Daily Life Examples
Here are a few examples of sentences you’ll hear in daily life.
|Come on darling||yallah habibti|
|Oh darling (when addressing someone)||ya habibti|
|Thank you darling (more on thank you in Arabic)||shukran habibti|
|Thank you darling||yeslamou habibti|
|Congratulations darling||mabrouk habibti|
|Darling I’m sure (extract from a song)||habibti ana akeed|
|Where are you darling?||weenek habibti?|
|How are you darling? (more on how are you in Arabic)||kefek habibti?|
|I love you darling (more on I love you in Arabic)||ana bahebek habibti|
Since habibti is the feminine form of habibi, you’ll only use habibti when talking to female friends and family, like your sister, a cousin or a colleague at work. When talking to a man, simply substitute by habibi.
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