12 Lebanese Phrases You Should Absolutely Learn Before Visiting

@mesosoup | Cudoo

As you prepare to explore Lebanon, don’t miss the chance to connect with its people on a deeper level.

Whether strolling through bustling markets or sharing stories over aromatic dishes, mastering these seven essential Lebanese phrases is your ticket to an enriched travel experience.

Sabaho [Saba7o]

A native way of saying “Hello” could be using the day timing as in “Saba7o” for the morning period and “masa el kheir” for the evening time.


While “Marhaba” is commonly used in Lebanon meaning “hello,” it is actually Syriac. The literal meaning of Marhaba is as per its Syriac origin: Mar: God. Haba: Love. Marhaba: God is love.

You could also go all Lebanese mode saying “3ash meen shefak,” to emphasize the fact that you haven’t seen that person for a while. Basically, you’re saying “Good to see you, it’s been a while.”


Use this word to greet close friends by saying “Ahla w Sahla.” You may also hear this word when going to your local market as they greet you with “Ahla Habibe.”


Another friendly greeting, “Ahlein,” is perfect for both newcomers and old friends.


Show gratitude by saying “Yeslamo,” which means “thank you.” Politeness goes a long way, no matter where you are.

You can use this in pretty much every situation where you’re trying to say thank you to a Lebanese. You can add ‘Habibi’ after to make it sound even more native.


Engage in conversations by asking “Keefak?” meaning “How are you?” It’s a great way to connect and show your interest in the local culture.


This versatile phrase means “please” or “you’re welcome.” Use it when offering something or receiving someone like a guest, and you’ll be embracing Lebanese etiquette.

La2 [La’]

Need to decline or say “no”? Use “la'” to politely communicate your decision without causing any offense.

Eh [2e]

Respond with “yes” using “2e” to keep conversations flowing smoothly.

The proper way is naam (Na3am) but in fact, Eh is actually in our native language, Syriac. Which means “yes.”


This phrase is widely in Lebanese culture. It means “God willing” and is used to express hope or the uncertainty of future plans.

If you are unsure of accepting a trip offer or some other project, just say inshallah. It’s the Lebanese way of saying no sometimes. Lebanese kids hear this a lot and when your parent says Inshallah then whatever you requested is out the window.

Saha [Sa7a]

Embrace the joy of sharing a meal with locals by saying “Sa7a” before eating. It’s the Lebanese way of saying “bon appétit.”


Express excitement and enthusiasm or mere urgency with “Yalla,” meaning “let’s go.”


Conclude discussions with “Khalas,” signifying “finished” or “done.”

Practicing these Lebanese phrases brings you closer to the heart of Lebanon, enhancing your interactions and making your journey truly memorable.

Related: 20 Typical Lebanese Slang Expressions

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