beginning, intermediate

ArabicPod101’s video “Making apologies”

Post-It note: sorry“Making apologies” is a video in ArabicPod101’s “Arabic in 3 Minutes” series. In it, presenter Carole teaches you how to ask someone if they speak your language.

This video is rather easy and introduces relatively little new material, so this article will also be rather short. Here is the video:

Getting someone’s attention

Carole introduces these two expressions that can be used to get someone’s attention.

عَفْوًا الْمَعْذِرة
ʕafwan ’al-maʕdhira
‘excuse me; you’re welcome’ ‘excuse me’

As Carole explains, the following phrase meaning ‘please’ can also be used to get someone’s attention:

مِنْ فَضْلك
min faḍl-ik
more formal: min faḍli-ki
min faḍl-ak
more formal: min faḍli-ka
‘please (fem.)’ ‘please (masc.)’


The easiest way to apologize is the one that you may have already learned in the Bite-Size Arabic book:

أَنا آسِفة. أَنا آسِف.
’anaa ’aasifa. ’anaa ’aasif.
‘I’m sorry (fem.).’ ‘I’m sorry (masc.).’

If you’ve committed a more serious blunder, you can ask for forgiveness:

سامِحِيني سامِحْني
saamiḥii-ni saamiḥ-nii
‘Forgive me (fem.).’ ‘Forgive me (masc.).’

The gender here is a matter of who you are speaking to, not your own gender. The word سامح saamiḥ is the imperative of the verb يسامح yusaamiḥ ‘to forgive’.

“See you next time”

If you haven’t learned the phrase إلى اللقاء ‘goodbye; see you’, you might want to watch this ArabicPod101 video about greetings. A new phrase here is this one:

في الْمَرَّة الْقادِمَة
fii l-marra l-qaadima
more formal: fii l-marrati l-qaadima
‘next time’

In this phrase, مرّة marra means ‘a time’ and قادم qaadim means ‘coming, next’.

Be sure to check out the other videos in ArabicPod101’s “Arabic in 3 Minutes” series.


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