Darija Arabic Phrases to Use in Morocco

With the help of my friends in Morocco, I learned a good amount of phrases to use during the three months we lived there. These are the Darija Arabic phrases that have been most useful in Morocco, all tested and approved.

Note: Many of the phonetic spellings that are written here are not the official spellings, but the ones  that I feel are easiest to understand and say.

Hello. People in Morocco greet each other by saying Salam Alaykom. In friendly situations this is followed by a kiss on both cheeks. This literally translates to peace be with you, and the correct response is Wa-Alaikum Salaa. You can also shorten this phrase and just say Salam.


Boat ride in El Jadida

If god wills it. Inshallah is one of the most commonly used phrases. You can say inshallah pretty much whenever you like. “I’ll see you later, inshallah. ” “I’ll come on the trip, inshallah”. I’ve also discovered that this can be used to get out of awkward marriage proposals and third dinner invites.

Thank god. Where as Inshallah is used for things that might happen in the future Al hamdullah is used to express happiness or gratitude for something that has just happened. It literally translates to “with thanks to god.” similarly, Mashallah, is an expression to show the same feeling of thankfulness at something that someone else shares.


Kathryn and I in traditional Moroccan dresses

Sorry/Excuse me. Another very important word that can get you out of many situations is smeh-lia.

How are you? Labess? Means “how are you?” The correct response is Labess, wenti(wentu for a man). This translates to “good, and you?”

Beautiful. Zwina.


Seen in the Atlas Mountains

Delicious. Bnine. You will definitely be using this word often because food in Morocco is always delicious.

A little bit. ShwiyaThis word technically means “a little bit” but I’ve heard it in so many different contexts that I think it has a multitude of meanings. You can use it for asking for bread at the bakery “Shwiya khobz, afaak”, when someone asks how you are, if someone asks if you speak Arabic, and ect. 


Dates for sale in Fez

Please. Afaak

Thank you. Choukran (“No, thank you” is La, Choukran)

Colors and Culture of the Moroccan Medinas

Shoes for sale in Essaouira

Ok, enough, ect. The word Safi is constantly being used in many different situations. It can mean anything from “ok” at a cashier, “enough” at the bakery, or if said in a harsher tone, “leave me alone”.

How much? Bshhal. (say Bzeff if the price is to high)

Morocco travel and markets

A market in Berrechid

Numbers 1-10. One, wahed. Two, jooj .Three, tleta. Four, arba. Five, hamsa. Six, sita. Seven, saba. Eight, tmenia . Nine, tisa. Ten, ashra.

Simple foods. Chicken, djej. Vegetables, khodra. Bread, khobz.


Moroccan Breakfast