How To Say I Love You In Arabic (Egyptian Dialect)
What's the purpose of learning Arabic if you cannot see moments of connection you’re having with other people and be able to express them in that language?
Learning new ways to tell people that you love and appreciate them can even introduce you to new modes of feeling and new layers of understanding to how other people and cultures experience the same universal feelings of love.
This guide is meant to help you with Arabic terms related to love, and the suitable ways you can use each of them.
It will also cover the different ways you can name your feelings towards your beloved ones.
Yalla, let’s begin.
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First things first, let’s learn how to say the word “love” and “I love you” in the most basic and common form.
|I love you (to male)||Bahibak||بحبَك|
|I love you (to a female)||Bahibik||بحبِك|
|I love you (to a group of people)||Bahibokom||بحبكم|
Love as a noun is “hobb” while “Bahib” means I love in action. The “Ak” and the “Ik” at the end are object pronouns to second person masculine, and second person feminine respectively. The “Kom” at the end is an object pronoun for second person masculine but plural. Grammatically it’s directed towards men but culturally it indicates a group.
What if you’d like to say, “ I love you so much?” You would then add “gedan” to the phrase.
Marwan and Menna are confessing their love to each other. Menna says “I love you” and Marwan answers, “Me too, I love you so much, Menna.”
|Menna: I love you, Marwan!||Menna: Bahibak ya Marwan!||منة: بحبك يا مروان!|
|Marwan: Me too, I love you so much, Menna!||Marwan: Wi Ana kaman bahibik gedan ya Menna!||مروان: وأنا كمان بحبك جدا يا منة.|
In this example, a phrase that you are bound to use a lot is “Ana kaman” or “Me too!”
Okay, onto terms of endearment.
Other ways to express your love
1. Habibi/ Habibti
This is the most important term for describing someone you love that you must have heard even before you started learning Arabic.
It’s the term for 'beloved'.
|My beloved (male)||Habibi||حبيبى|
|My beloved (female)||Habibti||حبيبتى|
“Habib” is the male beloved while “Habiba”is the female beloved. The “i” at the end of both is the possessive pronoun, meaning mine.
Habibi and Habibti are not only used in a romantic context. You can call your friends or family members so, because Habib(a) literally means “the one who is loved.” So, you can say for example: Baba Habibi or Mama Habibti.
No, this is not similar to “Hubby” but just from reading the previous example we have “Hob” meaning love and then “i” for the possessive. MY LOVE!
I think you have already got the gist, right? “Alb” means heart while “i” is mine.
4. Habib Albi / Habibit Albi
You know all the words to this term now! “My heart’s beloved”
|My heart’s beloved (male)||Habib Albi||حبيب قلبى|
|My heart’s beloved (female)||Habibit Albi||حبيبة قلبى|
|My heart’s beloved (f), enough work today.||Habibit Albi kefaya shoghl elnahrda keda||حبيبة قلبى كفاية شغل النهاردة كده.|
Take a look at this early 2000s song by Raninn called “Habib Albi”
It was one of those songs that we all learned how to dance to as teenagers. It’s also a very catchy song!
This one is a favorite of mine. This is another term of endearment that literally means “My soul”
Rouh means soul, and the “i” meaning mine as you already know by now.
Arabic is a sentimental and a beautiful language, we call our loved ones as our soul and lives.
Rouhi and Hayati should only be used in romantic contexts only. You can’t really call your friends that unless you’re officially flirting with them and want to move categories from friends to not so much.
|My life||Ya Omri||يا عمرى|
This is also one of my favorites because it’s very difficult to translate to English. The nearest most appropriate translation for “Omr” would be life. This is why I wanted to include it right after Hayati.
Hayati in Arabic means my life, but Omri or the word “Omr” actually means the time spent alive. If you do a simple google translation, it will be translated to “Age”, however it doesn’t give the same deep implication.
Let me explain this in the best way I know how. Through Umm Kulthum’s words from one of her eternal classics and one of my all time favorites, called “Enta Omri”
“All that I once saw before my eyes saw you
Was time wasted, Why do they say it was mine?
You are my life, a light that has started my day
How much of my life before you was wasted
Oh my love, how much of my life has gone by
And my heart has seen no happiness before you
Nor did it taste anything but bitterness in this world.
I have only just started to love my life
I've only just started to fear the passing of time”
Here Umm Kulthum is trying to tell her beloved that people have counted time out of her life that she has not lived, has not enjoyed, until he came in. He is the time she spent alive. This is the “Omr” that I am trying to explain. Can you now understand the complexity and the beauty of the term? How beautiful it is when you tell someone “Enta Omri”?
8. Assal/ Sokkar
It’s time for all that is sweet.
Here the use of “Honey” is different from its use in English. In Arabic, Assal and Sokkar mean that someone is so incredibly sweet and could be funny in a sweet way.
A common example would be:
|He’s really sweet/funny! He’s so quick witted.||Da Assal gedan begad! Dammo Khafif awi.||ده عسل جدا بجد! دمه خفيف أوى.|
|Auntie is so sweet. Sitting with her is nice.||Tant de sokkara. El a‘da ma‘aha helwa.||طنط دى سكرة. القعدة معاها حلوة|
In these two examples, we read about two different people who are charming and funny. Both of these people do not necessarily need to be described as Assal or Sokkar in a romantic context.
However, it is important to note that you wouldn’t call your aunt “Ya Assal” because that will imply a flirtatious undertone. To put it simply, you can describe someone as being sweet and that could be considered platonic, but if you call them “sweetie” that is definitely non-platonic.
Ah, the sun and the moon! A classic! In Arabic, when it comes to love and describing the sheer beauty of a woman, we use “Ammar”
|Literally: what is this moon! Meaning: How beautiful!||Eih el amar da!||ايه القمر ده!|
|Literally: O moon, how beautiful do you look today!||Eih ya amar el halawa de elnahrda!||ايه يا قمر الحلاوة دى النهاردة!|
A late nighties classic pop song is “Amarin” by Amr Diab.
Give it a listen!
Amarin means two moons. Amr Diab describes his lover’s eyes as two moons. He asks:
Are these two moons or eyes?
Smooth in nineties terms? Definitely.
11. Ghali / Ghalia
This is one of my favorites and a perfect way to give a Lord of the Rings reference! MY PRECIOUS!
|Precious (for a male)||Ghali||غالى|
|Precious (for a female)||Ghalia||غالية|
Ghali or Ghalia literally means expensive but in this context, it means the precious one. So, if I call someone “Ya Ghali” It means “O precious one.”.
There is a famous saying in Egyptian that says:
He is the precious one son of the precious one.
It’s a very beautiful saying that implies that someone is very dear to you and whose parent was/is as well.
12. Gamil / Gamila
This is an interesting one and can give you an idea about how the concept of beauty is understood in Arabic even when it comes to the same exact word describing a man or a woman.
You can describe a man as a beautiful man but you would be thinking of his inner beauty. He is a good man. That would not really indicate how good looking he is.
Quite similarly if you use ده شخص جميل.
|This is a beautiful person||Dah Shakhs gamil||ده شخص جميل|
It would also mean that this has nothing to do with the looks of the person, but their inner beauty.
However, when we talk about women, and describe one using beautiful as an adjective, it could mean either her looks or how good of a person she is. But, most of the time it would actually be a reference to her looks unless otherwise emphasized.
13. Ayouni / Nour El Ain
|Light of the eye.||Nour El Ain||نور العين|
In the Arab culture and old Arabic poetry, the eyes are used as a metaphor for the most precious part of the body and possession.
Ayouni is how you would usually respond when someone dear to you asks you for a favor. As you know by now, Arabic usually takes the extra mile when it comes to phrases. So, “Anything for you” would be “My eyes, the most precious thing I possess and half is yours.”
Let’s look an example in practice:
|Ahmed, can I ask for a favor?||Ahmed, momken talab?||أحمد ممكن طلب؟|
|Literally: My eyes (My eyes are for you)||‘ayouni (‘ayouni leiki)||عيونى (عيونى ليكى)|
Okay, moving on the “Light of my eye”
Well, what is more precious than someone’s eyes? The light of their eyes.
I told you we’re extra when it comes to romance and endearment.
Let’s take another example from the king of 90’s pop, Amr Diab.
The title of this song is “Nour el-Ain”
He starts the song with saying “Habibi ya Nour El-Ain” and now you know exactly what that means!
14. El hetta el shemal
Now, this one is deeply entrenched in informal contemporary culture. Instead of describing someone dear to you as “Albi” meaning heart, you’d say “Dah/Di fil hetta el shemal”
|He/She is in the left side (of my chest)||Dah/Di fil hetta el shemal||ده ـ دى فى الحتة الشمال|
Let’s look at an example:
|Do you know Mohamed?||Te‘raf Mohamed?||تعرف محمد؟|
|Do I know him?! He’s in the left side (of my chest)||A‘rafo?! Dah fil hetta el shemal||أعرفه؟! ده فى الحتة الشمال|
15. Wahashtini / Wahashtiini
Oh, how I have missed you!
|I missed you (to a male)||Wahashtini||وحشتنى|
|I missed you (to a female)||Wahashtiini||وحشتينى|
AL-Wahsha means to be alienated or desolated. So, Wahashtini or Wahashtiini means I felt alienated without you. Beautiful right?
16. Kont(y) fi Bali
|You were on my mind (to a male)||Kont fi Bali||كنت فى بالى|
|You were on my mind (to a female)||Konti fi Bali||كنتى فى بالى|
You were running through my mind. You were there, present.
There is also the simpler way to say “I was thinking about you” or “I have been thinking about you.”
|I was thinking about you||Kont bafakkar feek/ki||كنت بفكر فيك (فيكى)|
|I am thinking about you||Bafakkar feek/ki||بفكر فيك (فيكى)|
17. Bamoot Feek(y)
|Literally: I die in you (to a male)||Bamoot feek||بموت فيك|
|Literally: I die in you (to a female)||Bamoot feeky||بموت فيكى|
Bamoot Feek or Bamoot Feeky are basically “I love you to death” but in Arabic, “I die in you”. I have always imagined this expression as someone melting in someone else.
It’s worth noting that new generations don’t really use this expression as much.
That’s it, everyone! This is a wrap for the Arabic guide for love expressions.
What is your favorite expression that you’ve learned from this guide? Do you have a favorite expression that we forgot to mention here? Feel free to share in the comments or email us.
Until then, مع السلامة!