What’s your name? Where are you from? Introducing yourself is one of the first things we do when meeting new people. For this reason, it makes sense that self-introduction is among the basic lessons when learning a new language.
In this article, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in Arabic. I’ve compiled the most common expressions and useful vocabulary along with some cultural insights.
1. Start with a Greeting
Every good conversation starts with a greeting. So before you start talking about who you are, you might want to say hello or good morning.
There are plenty of Arabic greetings, from easy ones to more creative ones. If you’d like to keep things simple, you can just start your conversation with marhaban (مرحبا) which is a universal way to say hello in Arabic. This expression is used and understood among (almost) all Arabic dialects, and can be used for any gender and at any occasion.
2. My Name in Arabic
Be it in a business conversation or casually, a person’s name is really one of the first things we would like to know. In Arab culture, it’s quite common to address people with their first name. Furthermore, repeating a person’s name during a conversation is considered polite and much more common compared to English.
That said, let’s start a conversation in Arabic by saying our name.
Same as in English, there are two ways to say your name in Arabic. My name is Kitty, or simply, I’m Kitty. Both ways are used the same way in the Arabic language too.
To say “my name is” in Arabic, you’ll say ismi (اسمي) followed by your name. For example, ismi Kitty (my name is Kitty).
Ism means name in Arabic. The -i added behind ism is a possessive pronoun to indicate that you are referring to yourself. Unlike English, possessive pronouns aren’t separate words before a noun, but so-called suffixes which are added at the end of a noun.
If that sounds complicated, you can simply say ana (انا) followed by your name. For example, ana Kitty, meaning I’m Kitty.
If you’d like to learn more expressions about names in Arabic, feel free to check out my full article on how to say your name in Arabic.
3. Where Are You from in Arabic
If you’re reading this article, I think it’s safe to assume that Arabic isn’t your first language and that you’re interested in learning a thing or two in Arabic.
While Arabic is an important language, there aren’t many people who learn Arabic as a foreign language. Foreign languages taught in school are often limited to Spanish, French or German.
That said, Arabs do not usually expect foreigners to speak Arabic at all. It’s a very pleasant surprise to hear a non-Arab speak Arabic! Consequently, people will be very curious about you, where you are from and where you live. So let’s have a look at that.
To talk about your origin (where you are originally from), you can simply say ana min + country/city of origin (I’m from country/city).
Sometimes, our place of birth is different from where we live. You might identify yourself as French for instance if you were born in France or your parents are originally French, but it could very well be that you’ve been living in a different country for a long time.
If you’d like to indicate where you live in Arabic, you can do so by saying sakin bi + city/country (I live in city/country). For example, sakin fi holanda (I live in the Netherlands. Yes, I really do…).
4. Say Your Age in Arabic
In Arab culture, age isn’t the first thing you’d ask a person. In fact, we’d rather talk about our profession or family status rather than mention our age. Nevertheless, you might want to disclose that information when introducing yourself. So let’s have a look at how to say your age in Arabic.
Talking about your age in Arabic is quite simple. In spoken Arabic, there’s just one way that people commonly use.
To tell your age, you’ll say omri + number + sana. For example, omri talateen sana (عمري ثلاثون سنة) (I’m 30 years old. Yes, I’m really that old…).
Since this expression isn’t a literal translation from English, let me explain to you what each word means. Omri means my age. It’s based on the same logic as when saying your name, with the possessive pronoun added as a suffix at the end of the noun. Sana means year in Arabic. Same as in English, the number (your age) is added between omri and sana.
Chances are you aren’t 30 years old as my example, so you might want to have a look at the numbers in Arabic to talk about your age.
5. Nice to Meet You
Last but not least, let’s round up our introduction by saying nice to meet you.
There are multiple ways of saying nice to meet you in Arabic, which mainly depend on the dialect you’re learning. If you’d like to stick to spoken Arabic (Levantine Arabic), the best expression is tasharrafna (تشرفنا). Tasharrafna basically means “It was an honor” and is a polite way of saying pleased to meet you at any occasion.
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 correct pronunciation if you can’t read Arabic. Learning the Arabic alphabet will greatly help you with the correct pronunciation of Arabic words.
|English Equivalent||Arabic (Latin Script)||Arabic (Arabic Script)|
|My name is (your name)||ismi||اسمي|
|I am (your name)||ana||انا|
|I’m from the US (America)||ana min amrika||أنا من امريكا|
|I’m from Jordan||ana min al urdun||انا من الأردن|
|I live in Amman (masc.)||ana saken bi Amman||انا ساكن بعمان|
|I live in Amman (fem.)||ana sakneh bi Amman||انا ساكنة بعمان|
|I’m 30 years old||omri talateen sana||عمري ثلاثون سنة|
|Nice to meet you||tasharrafna||تشرفنا|
Learn Arabic with Me!
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.