Lebanese Arabic is a dialect of the Arabic language which is native to the North-Levantine region of the Middle East, commonly spoken in Lebanon.
If you are planning on visiting Lebanon or interact with the Lebanese people frequently, then you must learn these useful Lebanese Arabic phrases. These five common phrases/words in Lebanese Arabic are used frequently by the Lebanese people to express how they feel, and you would need to be soaked in the Lebanese culture to understand them.
‘min ouyoune’ literally means ‘from my eyes’. In Lebanese culture when you ask someone to do something for you and if the person replies ‘min ouyoune’, then he/she is telling you that they will do it with joy.
You too can say ”min ouyoune’ when someone asks you to do something for them, you will make the other person feel valued and appreciated.
OUF SHU TAYBE
‘ouf shu taybe’ means ‘it tastes good’, when eating or drinking during a meal.
In the Lebanese culture, if you say ‘ouf shu taybe’ while enjoying a meal served by your host, you will be expressing your admiration and joy for what you have been served and that you love it. It is sure to make your host feel extremely pleased and happy.
‘Sahtayn’ in Lebanese Arabic means ‘twice the health’. It is commonly used in Lebanon to wish someone “sahtayn” just before or after their meal.
It’s a very nice gesture similar to ‘Bon Appétit’ in French, and can be used between friends, family or colleagues as a way to make them feel happy and wish them good health.
‘Habibe’ means ‘my dearest’ or ‘my beloved’ in Lebanese Arabic. In Lebanon ‘habibe’ is used regularly with anyone and is added to almost every sentence.
For example, you can say — Hello habibe! How are you habibe? Can you get me a glass of water, please habibe?
When ‘habibe’ is used in between sentences, it shows love and admiration towards the person you are speaking to.
In Arabic ‘Afwan’ can be used as either ‘excuse me’ or as ‘welcome’ depending on the context. However, in Lebanon it’s commonly used to call-out someone you don’t know to ask for something.
For example, you can say “Afwan” to call-out someone on the streets to ask for directions. It is commonly used in Lebanon and anyone responds to it.
There you have it! The 5 useful Lebanese Arabic phrases that are commonly used in Lebanon, and not well known elsewhere. Let us know which is your favorite Lebanese word/phrase in the comments below: