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Unless you’re in a hurry, having small talk with people is pretty common in the Arabic culture. This applies notably when meeting people of the same gender.

How to Say “How Are You” in Arabic?

The choice of words largely depends on the person you’re referring to. Generally speaking, kaif al hal? (كيف الحال؟) is a rather formal and universal way of asking how someone is doing.

In Jordan and other Levantine countries (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria), the short form kefak? (كيفك) (to a man) or kefek? (كيفك) (to a woman) are common.

I’m Fine in Arabic

Men would answer mneeh (منيح), and women would answer mneeha (منيحة) (good). There are many ways in Arabic to express good feelings. You could also reply with kwayes (kwayesa for women) or tamam (تمام) (equally used by men and women), both meaning “good”. Adding alhamdulillah (الحمد لله) (thanks god) to your answer is pretty common among muslims.

Grammar Rule

While Arabic greetings for example are universally used for both men and women, you’ll see masculine and female versions of some expressions in this article. Note that the Arabic language makes a grammatical difference between men and women. This difference sometimes depends on who the said is about. Addressing a person, you’d have to adapt your wording according to the gender of the person you’re talking to (e.g. in the case of kefak/kefek). When referring to yourself, you’ll use your own gender (e.g. in the case of mneeh/mneeha).

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