Learn Useful Moroccan Arabic Phrases and Common Darija Expressions
Learn Useful Moroccan Arabic Phrases and Common Darija Expressions

Moroccan Arabic, also known as Darija, is the variety of Arabic spoken in Morocco. With its unique pronunciation, vocabulary, and expressions, learning some basic Moroccan Arabic can be extremely useful if you plan to travel to Morocco.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn the most common Moroccan Arabic phrases and expressions to help you communicate during your trip.

Key Takeaways on Moroccan Arabic

  • Moroccan Arabic (Darija) is the commonly spoken dialect in Morocco, enriched by various linguistic influences.
  • Learning just a few basic words and useful phrases can greatly enhance your travel experience and communication.
  • Focus on proper pronunciation by listening and repeating after native audio lessons.
  • Master greetings, questions, shopping phrases, and situational expressions like ordering food.
  • Use hands-on practice methods like labeling items in your home or watching Moroccan TV.
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes – Moroccans will appreciate you trying to speak Darija!

Being able to speak some Moroccan Arabic will allow you to have more authentic interactions to better understand the culture and local lifestyle.

Use this guide to pick up the most essential Moroccan Arabic words with pronunciation to improve your vocabulary for your upcoming trip!

What is Moroccan Arabic Language and Why Learn It?

Moroccan Arabic, or Darija, is a dialect of Arabic spoken mainly in Morocco. It developed from a blend of Classical Arabic with Amazigh (Berber), French, and Spanish influences.

There are several great reasons to learn Moroccan Arabic before traveling to Morocco:

  • It will help you communicate basic needs like ordering food, asking for directions, making purchases, etc.
  • You’ll be able to interact more easily with locals beyond just “tourist” conversations.
  • Moroccans really appreciate when foreigners make an effort to speak even a few words in Darija.
  • You’ll gain a better cultural understanding of Moroccan daily life.

Even if you only learn a few key expressions and words in Moroccan Arabic, it can make a big difference in having a more authentic travel experience in Morocco.

Moroccan Darija Alphabet and Pronunciation

Moroccan Arabic contains 28 letters. It is written in the Arabic script from right to left. While it looks very different from English, the good news is that Moroccan Arabic is mostly spoken rather than written.

Here are some key pronunciation notes:

  • The letter “qaf” is pronounced like a hard “g”.
  • The “dhad” letter makes a “th” sound as in “this”.
  • The “ghayn” letter is pronounced like a French “r”.
  • Double consonants are held longer.
  • Stress is generally on the last syllable.

Focus on listening to the audio of native speakers to pick up proper Moroccan phrases with pronunciation.

Useful Phrases and Words in Moroccan Arabic – Greeting and Others

Here are some of the most handy phrases in the Moroccan Arabic language you should know:

Common Greetings

  • Sabah al-khayr – Good morning
  • Masa al-khayr – Good afternoon
  • Masa l-kheir – Good evening
  • Lyla saida – Good night
  • As-salaam alaykum – Hello (reply: Wa alaykum salaam)
  • Lah shhal? / Nashal? – How are you? (reply: Labas al hamdul’Allah – Fine thanks, praise God)
  • Ahlan / Ahlan bik – Hello / Welcome
  • Bsaha / Bsaha lik – Hello (reply)
  • Ma’a salama – Goodbye

Key Questions

  • Ashnu ismik? – What is your name?
  • Manish msawer? – Where are you from?
  • Kifash halak? – How are you?
  • Ash khadamt? / Ash khadamta? – How may I help you? (to offer help)
  • Fhamt/Fhemtti? – Do you understand?
  • Kayen…? – Where is…?
  • Ashnoo hada? – What is this?
  • Bqait shi haja? – Do you need anything else?

Shopping & Buying

  • Ash hal had lkhobz? – How much is this bread?
  • Bqait/Bqayt shi haja ukhra? – Do you need anything else?
  • nzid li… – Add for me…
  • Ana bghit… – I want…

Friendly Phrases

  • Mashi mushkil – No problem
  • Al hamdulillah – Thank God
  • Baraka fik – Bless you
  • Insha’Allah – God willing
  • Yalla – Come on / Let’s go
  • Mabrouk – Congratulations
  • Bsaha – Hello / Good health to you

Love And Romantic Expressions in Moroccan Arabic

  • Nhebbek/Nhebbik – I love you
  • Enta jmil/jmilah – You are beautiful
  • Ruhk jmilah – Your soul is beautiful
  • Ana bezzef mohim f hayat – You are very important in my life


  • Ana asif/asifa – I’m sorry
  • Smahli/Smahlia – Forgive me
  • Ana mchemel – I made a mistake


  • Shukran – Thank you
  • Shukran bezzaf – Thanks a lot
  • Jazak Allahu kheyran – May God reward you

Useful Words and Phrases by Category

Here are some more vocabulary words split into categories:

Basic Nouns

  • Wlad: boy
  • Bnat: girl
  • Oum: mother
  • Ab: father
  • Khauya: brother
  • Ukht: sister
  • Sadiq/Sadiqah: friend
  • Beit: house
  • Jrha: neighbor
  • Chari: street

Food & Drinking

  • Khubz: bread
  • Zit: oil
  • Mlah: salt
  • Sukkar: sugar
  • Skhen: knife
  • Mghala: fork
  • Ka’as: cup
  • Flen: napkin
  • Khal: uncle
  • Khzina: kitchen
  • Tbane: plate
  • Ma: water
  • Shrob: drink!

Getting Around

  • Fein…?: Where is…?
  • L’ayen…?: Which way to…?
  • Daba: now
  • Katter: train
  • Tmam: finished, done
  • Mashi: go! / okay!
  • Sefr: travel
  • Jib li taxi: call me a taxi


  • Waja’: pain, hurting
  • Mridh: sick
  • Al-humdulilah mabqa madare: Thank God, I’m no longer sick
  • Al-afya: health
  • Azul: headache
  • Afi shafa: get well soon


  • Otel: hotel
  • Ghrif: room
  • Miftah: key
  • Takhlat: shower
  • Shamsiya: sun
  • Dar: house
  • Riad: guest house

Helpful Moroccan Arabic Expressions

Beyond individual words and phrases, here are some key expressions that will help you have natural conversations in Moroccan Arabic:

  • Inshaalah – If God wills (hopefully)
  • Mashi mushkil – No problem
  • Kulshi tamam – Everything’s great
  • Kayn shi mohim? – Is everything okay? / Is there a problem?
  • Rah bezaf – Too expensive
  • Ma bghitsh – I don’t want it
  • Men fadlek – Please
  • Jazak Allahu kheyran – Thank you
  • Al-hamdullilah – Thank God
  • Mush mushekle – Don’t worry about it
  • Ahlan wa sahlan – You are welcome
  • Kifash halak? – How are you?

Moroccan Arabic Phrases for Different Situations

Here are some key Arabic phrases that will help you in different common travel situations:

At the Hotel

  • Bghit ghrifa – I want a room
  • Bghit nfatah bab – I want to open the door
  • Ma kaynsh moya – There’s no water
  • Kayn shi mohim? – Is everything okay?
  • Wach kayn shi mohim? – What’s the problem?


  • Rah ghalia – That’s expensive
  • Ash hal had lkhobz? – How much is this bread?
  • Bghit shwiya min had lbanana – I want some of these bananas
  • Ma bghitsh had – I don’t want this

At the Restaurant

  • Ash khdamt? – How may I help you? / What can I get for you?
  • Kayn menyu? – Do you have a menu?
  • Bghit shorba – I want soup
  • Vian mkali – Grilled meat
  • Ma bqitsh ajaja – I don’t want eggs
  • Lhasa tafadhal – Enjoy your meal / bon appetit

Asking for Help

  • Min fadlek.. – Please…
  • Kayn..? – Where is…?
  • Mama, ana mayfhmtsh – Mom, I don’t understand
  • Kifash nzid ngoul..? – How do I say…?
  • Hawli li bi… – Translate for me…
  • Sidi, urid musaada – Sir, I need help

Knowing these kinds of phrases can really prepare you for all sorts of situations you might encounter in Morocco!

Tips for Learning Moroccan Arabic – Learn Darija With Ease

Here are some tips to help you effectively learn and practice Moroccan Arabic:

  • Focus on memorizing key phrases and vocabulary. Master the basics before trying to learn full sentences.
  • Use audio lessons and pay close attention to pronunciation from native Moroccan speakers. Proper pronunciation is key.
  • Listen and repeat after audio of native speakers to get proper pronunciation.
  • Watch Moroccan TV shows, vlogs, or movies to hear authentic conversational Moroccan Arabic and Darija.
  • Use a Moroccan Arabic dictionary or translation app like Google Translate to quickly look up new words.
  • Practice speaking out loud and having simple conversations with a language tutor.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Moroccans will appreciate the effort.
  • Immerse yourself in the language by labeling objects in your house or listening to Moroccan music.
  • Learn some Arabic script letters if you want to read signs, menus, etc. Start with letters from the phrases you know.

With some time and practice before your trip, you’ll be conversing with Moroccans in Darija in no time!

FAQs about Learning Moroccan Arabic

What is the best way to learn Moroccan Arabic?

Some great ways to learn are using audio lessons, watching Moroccan media, labeling items in your house, and practicing conversations with a tutor.

Focus on picking up vocabulary and phrases through listening first before grammar rules. Immerse yourself in the language as much as possible.

Below is one of the best YouTube channels to learn Moroccan Arabic phrases & expressions.

Should I learn modern standard Arabic or Moroccan Arabic?

It depends on your goals. Modern standard Arabic is used in writing, media, and formal settings but isn’t a spoken dialect. Moroccan Arabic is more useful for conversational interactions during everyday life and travel in Morocco.

Learn both if you’ll be reading Arabic texts or interacting in professional settings.

How long does it take to learn Moroccan Arabic?

To pick up basic conversational skills, most learners need 2-4 months of regular practice focusing on mastering vocabulary, pronunciation, and common phrases.

Reaching fluency takes most people 1-2 years depending on prior language experience and time spent practicing or immersed in the language. Be patient and focus on consistent practice.

What Arabic alphabet letters should I learn first?

When starting the Arabic alphabet, focus first on learning the letters in the key phrases and vocabulary you already know.

Also learn letters that are similar to English like b, s, n, h. Learn letters in your name and common words like “hello”. Sticky note your items at home with Arabic letters.

Should I get an Arabic tutor or use an app/audio?

Using a variety of resources is best.

  • Apps and audio help build vocabulary and listening skills.
  • An Arabic tutor provides feedback on your pronunciation and helps you build natural conversational abilities through roleplaying real-world scenarios.

Try free language exchange apps to practice with native Arabic speakers.

How much Arabic do I need to know to travel to Morocco?

Focus first on mastering greetings, polite expressions, questions, money/numbers, and key travel phrases for directions, transportation, ordering food, shopping, etc.

Just knowing basics like “hello”, “thank you”, “how much?”, and “where is…?” will help you get by. Moroccans will appreciate any effort you make to speak and learn Darija.

For more tips on experiencing Moroccan culture and sights, check out these helpful articles:

Also, here are some travel guides to explore Morocco and Best things to do there:


Leave a Reply