Language Guide and MP3s
Kurdish is the most spoken language in Iraqi Kurdistan and belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. Additionally, many people will understand basic Arabic or English, the latter being compulsory in schools so many young people will usually understand some English.
The two most widely spoken dialects of Kurdish are Sorani and Kurmanji. Sorani is spoken in Erbil and Sulymaniyah, while Kurmanji is spoken in Duhok. It is important to note that many people can either speak or at least understand both of the major dialects and like most cultures of the world would appreciate any traveller expressing a few key phrases, the rough Latin equivalents which we have given below.
We have produced a typical scenario, played by Alan - a tour guide with Kurdistan Adventures and Shannon, an Australian guest about to join the escorted tour - click play to listen.
The accompanying script (PDF) to the scenario is available here.
The complete set of the MP3 files (0.4 MB) is available free for download here.
|English||Sorani Kurdish||Click play to listen|
|Good morning||Bayani bash|
|Good afternoon||Newaro bash|
|Good night||Shaw bash|
|Good day||Roj bash|
|How much is this?||Ama ba chanda?|
|You’re welcome||Shayani niya|
|Mr Ahmed||Kak Ahmed (honorific term for men)|
|Miss/Mrs Sayran||Sayran Khan (honorific term for women)|
|With pleasure||Ba sar chaw|
|Excuse me||Ba yarma teet|
|Do you speak English?||Janabit inglizi ezani?|
|I don’t Speak Kurdish||Min kurdi nazanm|
|Tea without sugar||Chai ba bey shakr|