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Haven’t seen your significant other, your parents or your good friend in a while? How about telling them I miss you in Arabic?
As you might know, Arabic is a very beautiful and romantic language. Whether it’s greetings, I love you or I miss you, there are many different ways to express your feelings. Each translation for I miss you in Arabic serves a different purpose depending on the context.
In this article, we’ll explore the most common ways to say I miss you in Arabic to a man and a woman. I’ll explain to you the meaning, English equivalents and how to reply to each phrase.
The most commonly used way to say I miss you in spoken Arabic is eshta’tellak (اشتقتلك). It’s the literal translation and equivalent of the English I miss you. This expression is used in the Levantine dialect (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine…). Since it’s very close to Modern Standard Arabic, it’s widely understood across most dialects of Arabic.
Eshta’tellak is used when it’s been a long time since you’ve seen someone. That could be your significant other, a good friend or a relative, such as a cousin or an uncle.
If you’re familiar with Arabic, you might know that many phrases have a masculine and a feminine form. In most cases, there’s just a small, yet slightly audible difference between the two.
In this case of eshta’tellak, you’ll use eshta’tellak (اشتقتلك) when saying I miss you to a man. When speaking to a woman, you’ll say eshta’tellek (اشتقتلك). The difference in both forms is a short vowel, which is slightly audible but omitted when writing the word in Arabic script.
Are you the lucky one that gets to hear I miss you? Then you can reply wa ana kamaan (وانا كمان) (me too), which is both used by and for men and women. Another possible reply is eshta’tellak al afia (اشتقتلك العافيه) when speaking to a man, or eshta’tellek al afia (اشتقتلك العافيه) when speaking to a woman. This reply doesn’t have a literal translation, but it basically means to say that you hope that the other person has good health.
Whether you haven’t seen someone for a day or for a long time, weenak (وينك) is a great way to tell them I miss you in Arabic. The literal translation to this expression is “where have you been?”. The equivalent in English would simply be “You have been missed”.
When speaking to a man, you’ll say weenak. The feminine form is weenek. The typical reply to this phrase is haini (هيني) meaning “Here I am!”.
3. Ahlain Taloo
Ahlain taloo (اهلا طلو) is a cute or flirtatious way of saying I miss you in Arabic. The literal translation is “finally, they have shown up”. This expression is a great way to show that the person was missed dreadfully during their absence and that people are relieved and overjoyed that they are finally back. Yes, Arabs can be veeery emotional and dramatic.
Ahlan taloo is used for both men and women. That’s because it’s grammatically plural, although in reality, it’s used when addressing one person. The reply to this phrase would usually be ahlain feek which in this context means welcome.
Looking for a way to say I miss you in Arabic to your significant other? Then you can say wahashtni (وحشتني). It literally means I miss you, but it implies loneliness and longing. Don’t worry, it’s not understood as desperate or clingy at all. It’s a very beautiful and romantic way to say I missed you.
Wahashtni (وحشتني) is used for men, wahashteeni for women (وحشتيني). It’s a very common expression in Egyptian Arabic, but also understood across other Arabic dialects.
5. Wishak wala dow al qamar
Another fun and flirtatious way of saying I miss you in Arabic is wishak wala dow al qamar (وشك ولا ضو القمر).
The literal translation to this very beautiful saying is “your face or the moonlight.” This is to imply that since moonlight comes every 14 days, you haven’t seen that person since you last saw the moonlight. In this expression, there’s a small grammatical difference between the masculine and feminine version. When talking to a male, you would say wishak wala dow al qamar (وشك ولا ضو القمر). When talking to a female, you would say wishek wala dow al qamar (وشك ولا ضو القمر).
6. Ta’alan alaina
The phrase ta’alan alaina (تاألان علينا) is used to say I miss you and to hint to the other person that he or she is playing “hard to get”. It could also imply that the person using this expression believes that the other person may have been gone due to anger or unhappiness.
Let me give you an example. Imagine you and your friend had an unpleasant conversation the last time you met. After that, you didn’t speak to each other for a while. Once you meet again, you can say ta’alan alaina to tell them that you missed them and hint to the fact that the other may still be upset about something.
By the way, ta’alan alaina is used when speaking to a man. The female version is ta’alana alaina.
7. Shu hal ghaiba
The literal translation to shu hal ghaiba (شو هالغيبه) would be “what’s this absence” and it’s also a popular way of saying I miss you in Arabic. This phrase would be the same for both genders. A typical reply to this phrase would usually be an explanation of why the missing person has been absent for a period of time.
As you can see from the previous ways to say I miss you in Arabic, there’s a message you can transmit with every expression. Sometimes it’s obvious (you literally say what you mean), and sometimes it’s subtle.
Another way to say I miss you and to imply that you are longing for the other person is mishtaq (مشتاق). If you’d like to emphasize on how much you miss the other person, you can say mishtaq kteer (meaning: I miss you a lot).
Mishtaq (مشتاق) is used when speaking to a man, mishtaqa (مشتاقه) when speaking to a woman. A common reply to this expression is ana aktar (انا اكتر) (meaning: me more).
9. Zaman anak
Let’s end this list with an expression that you can perfectly combine with the ones I’ve already explained to you. Zaman anak (زمان عنك) literally means “it’s been a long time”. The English equivalent would be “long time no see”.
When speaking to a man, you’ll say zaman anak (زمان عنك). For a woman, you’ll say zaman anek (زمان عنك). A typical reply would be zaman anak inta kamaan (زمان عنك انت كمان) (to a man) meaning it’s been a long time since I saw you too. When speaking to a woman, you’ll reply by saying zaman anek inti kamaan (زمان عنك انت كمان).
Expressions at a Glance
Below is a summary of the expressions used in this article and their English equivalent. The Latin script can help you with the pronunciation if you can’t read Arabic. Learning the Arabic alphabet will greatly help you with the correct pronunciation of Arabic words.
Note that all expressions in this article are used in spoken Levantine Arabic. This is the dialect that people in countries like Lebanon, Syria and Jordan use on a daily basis. Check out my article on Arabic dialects to learn more on the differences between the different varieties of Arabic.
|English Equivalent||Arabic (Latin Script)||Arabic (Arabic Script)|
|I miss you (Levantine Arabic) (to a man)||eshta’tellak||اشتقتلك|
|I miss you (Levantine Arabic) (to a woman)||eshta’tellek||اشتقتلك|
|Reply to eshta’tellak (to a man)||eshta’tellak al afia||اشتقتلك العافيه|
|Where have you been? (to a man)||weenak||وينك|
|Where have you been? (to a woman)||weenek||وينك|
|Reply to weenak (lit. here I am) (man/woman)||haini||هيني|
|Finally, you showed up! (man/woman)||ahlain taloo||اهلا طلو|
|I miss you (Egyptian Arabic) (to a man)||wahashtni||وحشتني|
|I miss you (Egyptian Arabic) (to a woman)||wahashteeni||وحشتيني|
|Reply to ahlain taloo (to a man)||ahlain feek||اهلا فيك|
|Your face or the moonlight||wishak wala dow al qamar||وشك ولا ضو القمر|
|I miss you (playing hard to get)||ta’alan alaina||تاألان علينا|
|What’s this absence?||shu hal ghaiba||شو هالغيبه|
|I miss you (longing for you) (to a man)||mishtaq||مشتاق|
|I miss you (longing for you) (to a woman)||mishtaqa||مشتاقه|
|Reply to mishtaq (lit. me more) (man/woman)||ana aktar||انا اكتر|
|Long time no see (to a man)||zaman anak||زمان عنك|
|Long time no see (to a woman)||zaman anek||زمان عنك|
|Me too (man/woman)||wa ana kaman||وانا كمان|
|Reply to zaman anak. (lit. it’s been a long time since I saw you too) (to a man)||zaman anak inta kaman||زمان عنك انت كمان|
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Looking for more expressions in Arabic, or are you interested in Arab culture? You’ve come to the right place! This blog is about all things Middle Eastern. You’ll find plenty of useful articles here to immerse yourself in the Arabic language, culture and cuisine.
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