Moroccan Arabic: Darija
Here at Moroccanguides Travel, your private guide will speak your native tongue and take care of most (if not all) of the translating you need and/or require throughout your time here.
However, brushing up on a few key words and phrases before traveling doesn’t take a lot of advance preparation and the rewards are well worth any level of effort.
It’s safe to say that many people are intimidated by Moroccan Arabic (Darija). It can seem onerous and challenging along side the fact that many don’t want to be bothered with the embarrassment that comes with making mistakes when trying to speak a foreign language. That aside, we are here to encourage you that you don’t have to be able to discuss philosophy; knowing just enough to be courteous goes a long way.
We will start with some inside cultural tips: Greetings and farewells (goodbyes) are two important aspects of Moroccan life. Greetings are not to be compared with the quick western, “hi”. It takes time for two people to exchange different questions and answers which interest them about each other, their families, and life in general.
Greetings change from one region to another, both in the questions posed and in the fashion of the greeting (i.e. shaking hands, kissing cheeks head or hands, or putting one‘s hand over one‘s heart after shaking hands).
It’s also important to note that it is also not necessary to give an overly detailed response to a greeting; only the usual response is expected. For example, “how are you?” requires only a simple, “fine, thanks be to God.”
Greeting Expressions & Appropriate responses:
A: Peace be upon you
B: And peace be upon you (too)
wa عalaykum s-salam
A: Good morning
B: Good morning
Good night: layla saعida
What’s your name?: ash šnu smitk?
my name: smiti
your name: smitk
his name: smitu
her name: smitha
Nice to meet you: m’šharfin
How are you (masc.)?: kif dayr?
How are you (fem.)? kif dayra?
Are you fine?: labas?
Good, thanks be to God: labas, al-нamdullah
Fine, thanks be to God: bikhir, l-нamdullah
Everything is fine: kulši bikhir
Additional Important Expressions:
In the name of God (said when you begin an activity: eating, drinking, working, studying, traveling, etc.): bismillah
Thanks to God (said after finishing a meal, or after expressing that all is well in life): al-нamdullah
I don‟t eat … meat eggs
fish chicken : ma-kan-akul-š … l-lнm / l-biḍ / l-нut /
.I drink tea / coffee without sugar: kan-šrb atay / kaowa bla skkar.
.I eat everything: kan-akul kulši
.I eat vegetables only: kan-akul ġir l-hoḍra
.I don’t feel like eating: ma-fiya ma-y-akul
.I want just/only: bġit ġir …
The food is delicious: l-makla bnina.
I’m full: šbعt.
I want to learn how to cook: bġit n-tعllm n-ṭiyb.
May God replenish / reward you. (said after a meal to thank host): llay-khilf.
To your health (said to someone after eating, drinking, coming out of the hammam, wearing new clothes, having a hair cut, etc.): bṣṣннa.
May God grant you health too. (response to the above): lla y-عtik ṣṣннa
Thank you: shukran