15 Expressions You Will Definitely Use if You Live in Jordan

Every country, culture, and region has its colloquial expressions that you can’t get away from using and hearing all day long. Jordan and the Levant region are definitely not an exception.

The following 15 expressions are brought to you by the team at Shababeek Language Center, located near 8th Circle. Shababeek specializes in teaching the local Jordanian dialect for foreigners with a Growing Participation Approach (GPA). So if you’re looking for classes, either private or group sessions, to learn Jordanian Arabic in Amman, be sure to get in touch:

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email icon jk@shababeekcenter.com

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Without further ado, here are the 15 Expressions You Will Definitely Use if You Live in Jordan:

Ahlan wa sahlan (أهلاً و سهلاً)

Means “Welcome”. This phrase can be used to greet guests to your home or workplace.

ghazi shababeek Ghazi, Nurturer

Shukran ( شكراً)

The simplest way to say “Thank you”.

duha shababeek Duha, Nuturer

Masha’allah (ما شاء الله)

Whenever you see a cute baby, fancy car or house or anything else that impresses, say this.  If you neglect to, some consider it possible that something bad could happen to the person or object of admiration.  You’ll often see this phrase written on cars or above the front door of a nice home as a protection over it.

tuqa shababeek Tuqa, Nurturer

Ala rasi (على راسي)

The literal meaning is “On my head” – Men say this in reply to a request. It means “Of course, I’d be happy to.”

shababeek amjad Amjad, Team Leader

Ma’alesh (معلش)

Can be used when requesting something. “Do you mind if I do this?”

It can also be said in response to an apology. “Not a problem, no big deal.”

randa shababeek Randa, Training Team Leader

Inshallah (ان شاء الله)

A reply to every question.  Can mean everything from “yes, if God wills”.  Often used to brush someone off or when one doesn’t want to say no to a request. For example, are you coming to work early tomorrow? Inshallah.

shababeek noor Noor, Nurturer

Asalamu alaykom  (السلام عليكم)

When entering a home or store or a room, greet them with peace. “Salam” means peace.

nabeel shababeek Nabeel, Nurturer

Ya’atyk ala’afiyeh (يعطيك العافية)

Similar to “Asalamu alaykom”. Said when you get into a taxi, stop a taxi, or arrive at your destination.  In addition, can be used when you enter or leave a store.

Also used to thank someone generally.

waed shababeek Wa’ed, Nurturer

Tfaddal (اتفضل) / Tfaddali (اتفضلي)

Used when handing someone something or serving them food or beverages. Also said when opening the door for someone. Means something similar to, “Go ahead”.

*Tfaddal (masculine). Tfaddali (feminine).

basel shababeek Basel, Nurturer

Min ayuni (من عيوني)

Literally means “From my eye.” Said in the same situations as Ala rasi (على راسي), but this can be used by both men and women.

*Important note:  Women do not say this in response to men.  It can be seen as flirtatious.

rawan shababeek Rawan, Head of Training & Development

Absher (ابشر)

Yet another way to say, “I’m happy to do that for you.”  Used in the same contexts as Ala Rasi and Min Ayuni when someone makes a request of you.

wala shababeek Wala’a, Nurturer

Hagak/Hagik Alay (حقك علي)

This is an important statement of humility or apology to communicate that it was your fault.  Can mean “You are right, my bad.”

*Hagak (masculine). Hagik (feminine).

ahlam shababeek Ahlam, Resource Development Team Leader

Ba’d iznak/iznik (بعد اذنك) or An iznak/iznik (عن اذنك)

Said, first and foremost when you are with someone and want to be polite when you are leaving.  Can also be said when requesting that something be done for you or handed to you.

*Iznak (masculine). Iznik (feminine).

leena shababeek Leena, Head of Administration

Ghalabtak/Ghalabtik (غلبتك)

Said after someone has gone through the effort to do something for you, however small. Means, “I troubled you.” It honors them for the work they’ve done for you.

*Ghalabtak (masculine). Ghalabtik (feminine).

anwar shababeek Anwar, Unit Head for Resource Development

Allah yikhaleelak yahom (الله خليلك اياهم)

Whenever children are spoken of, this expression is added to the conversation as a blessing.  “May God Bless and Keep them”.  If they are your children, you can respond: Yasalam تسلم (m) Yaslamy تسلمي (to females).

Abeer shababeek Abeer, Nurturer


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