In the Arabic language, every phrase seems to hold a much more profound meaning than what it’s intended for. Saying good night or good morning is no exception. While تصبح على خير tusbih ealaa khayr, is the most common way of saying good night in Arabic, there are still many different options, each with a different meaning and different response. So, here are 5 different phrases you can use to wish someone goodnight.
Good Night in Arabic at a Glance
All the Ways of Saying Good Night in Arabic
مساء الخير Masa’ alkhayrمساء الخير Masa' alkhayr translates more accurately into “good evening”, but used often at night as a greeting. It is the most common and easiest phrase to use because it doesn’t require any special conjugations. Whether you’re speaking to a male, female, or a group, the phrase stays the same.
مساء الخير Masa’ alkhayr is a part of MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), it is also used in spoken Arabic and is recognized in most Arabic Speaking countries. The common reply to مساء الخير masa’ alkhayr, is مساء النور masa’ alnoor, which as you’ll see in the next section, can also be used as a greeting.
مساء النور Masa’ alnoor
We got a quick intro into مساء النور masa’ alnoor in the previous section. It is used commonly in spoken conversations as a reply toمساءالخير masa’ alkhayr.
This lovely phrase translates into: ‘this evening is full of light’ (as in the light of your presence). It also doesn’t need any special conjugations so it’s fairly easy to use.
If someone greets you with “مساء النور masa’ alnoor”, you would respond with “مساء الخير masa’ alkhayr”. But it is much more common for people to start the greeting with مساء الخير masa’ alkhayr.
تصبح على خير Tisbah ala khairتصبح على خير Tisbah ala khair is the closest equivalent to the way people use the word good night in English. It is used as a way to say farewell in the evening. This is a personal favorite, as it translates into ‘I hope you wake up to all that is good’. It’s a very hopeful statement and it’s commonly used on departure if someone is leaving another’s house at night, or someone is leaving the room announcing they’re heading to bed.
When directed at a male it’s pronounced as it is, but when you’re speaking to a female it’s تصبحي على خير tusbihy ala khair. If you’re using it with a group, it’s changed into تصبحوا على خير tusbiho ala khair.
Read next: 11 Essential Ways to Say Goodbye in Arabic
أحلاماً سعيده Ahilaman saeidatanأحلاماً سعيده Ahilaman saeidatan translates into sweet dreams in Arabic, but it’s not commonly used in conversations. This is the kind of phrase you can find in a children’s book or some might use ironically in an attempt to seem formal.
It still can be used every now and then, and if you do choose to use it, it won’t need any conjugations. It’s also replied to with the same phrase or a thank you: شكراً shukran
طابت ليلتك Tabat laylatakطابت ليلتك Tabat laylatak means ‘have a good night’. It’s a versatile phrase because it can be used as both a greeting and a farewell. This phrase is not universally used in all Arabic-speaking countries. It is spoken in Maghrebi and Gulf dialects, but you’ll have to check with locals or listen for it to see if it’s used. Nevertheless, it doesn’t need any conjugations and is replied to with the same phrase.
Hopefully, now you’ll feel comfortable using one of these expressions to say goodnight in Arabic! If you want to keep things simple, know that مساء الخير masa’ alkhayr is the most commonly used expression when greeting someone and تصبح على خير tusbih ealaa khayr is the most commonly used expression to say farewell. Wherever the Arab person comes from and whatever dialect they speak, the odds are, they will understand and will most likely use these expressions often!