Levantine Arabic Corner

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-07, 3:31

voron wrote:Btw what do you guys think about the prepositions ل and ع with the meaning 'to' in the Levantine dialects? Is it that a given speaker only uses one, or both? If both, what's the rule of choosing between the two? Is it phonological or semantic?

From Pimsleur I got this impression that ل is used with words without the article, and ع otherwise:
لسوريا
لتركيا
but:
عالبيت
عالشام

Does it sound at all like truth, or am I making things up?


I've never properly thought about it :doggy: but it sounds plausible

I even hear it without ل or ع, as in رحت البنك, رحت تركيا

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-07, 13:09

eskandar wrote:Do you have a reference for that for MSA? I've never noticed that, but I haven't read much on MSA phonology.

I read about it in a Russian book (Ковалёв, Шарбатов "Арабский язык"). If you trust the wiki:
wiki wrote:/a, aː/
retracted to [ɑ] in the environment of a neighboring /r/, /q/ or an emphatic consonant (one that is uvularized, though customarily transcribed as if pharyngealized): /sˤ/, /dˤ/, /tˤ/, /ðˤ/, /ɫ/ and in a few regional standard pronunciations also /x/ and /ɣ/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_phonology#Vowels

Btw this feature of realizing vowels as more at the back after certain consonants is consistently used by Turks when transcribing Islamic texts into the Turkish alphabet. They use ı, u, a after the above consonants, and I guess after ع and ح too, and i, ü, e otherwise (except for Allah):
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
becomes
EUZÜ BİLLAHİ MİNE’Ş-ŞEYTANİ’R-RACÎM

This practice is so widespread that you can often hear prayers read this way by imams at mosques. I guess it may be the way students are taught at religious faculties.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-07, 13:16

voron wrote:
eskandar wrote:Do you have a reference for that for MSA? I've never noticed that, but I haven't read much on MSA phonology.

I read about it in a Russian book (Ковалёв, Шарбатов "Арабский язык"). If you trust the wiki:
wiki wrote:/a, aː/
retracted to [ɑ] in the environment of a neighboring /r/, /q/ or an emphatic consonant (one that is uvularized, though customarily transcribed as if pharyngealized): /sˤ/, /dˤ/, /tˤ/, /ðˤ/, /ɫ/ and in a few regional standard pronunciations also /x/ and /ɣ/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_phonology#Vowels

Btw this feature of realizing vowels as more at the back after certain consonants is consistently used by Turks when transcribing Islamic texts into the Turkish alphabet. They use ı, u, a after the above consonants, and I guess after ع and ح too, and i, ü, e otherwise (except for Allah):
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
becomes
EUZÜ BİLLAHİ MİNE’Ş-ŞEYTANİ’R-RACÎM

This practice is so widespread that you can often hear prayers read this way by imams at mosques. I guess it may be the way students are taught at religious faculties.



I feel so dumb here guys - I know nothing about phonology and grammar compared to you guys :rotfl:

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-07, 13:20

n8an wrote:I feel so dumb here guys - I know nothing about phonology and grammar compared to you guys :rotfl:

It is so unimportant actually. I learnt a lot about MSA phonology and grammar just because the very first book I used for MSA was so old-school and pedantic. I learnt next to no practical skills from it though; I wish I devoted all this time to listening to songs and communicating with people.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-07, 14:02

voron wrote:It is so unimportant actually. I learnt a lot about MSA phonology and grammar just because the very first book I used for MSA was so old-school and pedantic. I learnt next to no practical skills from it though; I wish I devoted all this time to listening to songs and communicating with people.


Maybe the grass is always greener :) but I do feel stupid compared to you guys with your technical terminology when the extent of mine is "sounds right" or "sounds wrong" haha

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-07, 19:29

voron wrote:
wiki wrote:/a, aː/
retracted to [ɑ] in the environment of a neighboring /r/, /q/ or an emphatic consonant (one that is uvularized, though customarily transcribed as if pharyngealized): /sˤ/, /dˤ/, /tˤ/, /ðˤ/, /ɫ/ and in a few regional standard pronunciations also /x/ and /ɣ/

Ah, I got confused because I thought this was a rule that only applied to تاء مربوطة . I am familiar with this process after /q/ and the emphatics though I don't think I've noticed it after /r/.

This practice is so widespread that you can often hear prayers read this way by imams at mosques. I guess it may be the way students are taught at religious faculties.

Haha, I've heard this in mosques in Turkey. It's even worse in Iran, where Arabic is often read (even in prayer) as if it were Persian. :ohwell:
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-13, 8:45

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby Meera » 2017-07-13, 15:48



omg Thank you!!!!
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True Love: (hi)
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-07-13, 16:35



Omg, that's my thread :rotfl:

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-13, 16:46


There is this message from the user Interprete in that thread:
I'm not sure if it can be of interest to anyone, but I am currently learning Syrian Arabic with a teacher who transcribes the Syrian TV series Al-nadam (available on youtube), episode after episode. That's a lot of text, which to me proved a lot more useful than most textbooks which are usually geared towards beginners with little knowledge of MSA and which tend to stick to the basics. I could ask her if she would be willing to share the transcriptions if anyone is interested.


Does anyone what happened to it? Anyone tried to contact this user?

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-07-13, 19:06

voron wrote:Does anyone what happened to it? Anyone tried to contact this user?

I just sent them a message. I'll share the transcriptions if I hear back from them.
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-07-14, 9:05

eskandar wrote:I just sent them a message. I'll share the transcriptions if I hear back from them.

Thanks! That would be better than any textbook.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby voron » 2017-08-03, 22:55

I have stumbled across this vlog while surfing through youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwX3zP ... qqbH3KVdVw

The guy sounds so pleasantly understandable! I don't even know which Levantine dialect it is (it doesn't sound Syrian, so it's probably Lebanese or Jordanian), but I can understand a lot of what he says. I am happy. :) I was avoiding watching anything in Arabic for the fear I won't understand anything and get discouraged*, but this video has made me more confident.

*Really, sometimes I hear people talking in Arabic on youtube or in the streets, and I cannot understand any freaking word. Is it because for some reason I happen to stumble across non-Levantine people I wonder. I haven't exposed myself to anything but Levantine so even Egyptian is impenetrable for me.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-08-04, 0:00

The About page on his Youtube channel says he's from Jordan. :)
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-08-04, 1:56

voron wrote:I have stumbled across this vlog while surfing through youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwX3zP ... qqbH3KVdVw

The guy sounds so pleasantly understandable! I don't even know which Levantine dialect it is (it doesn't sound Syrian, so it's probably Lebanese or Jordanian), but I can understand a lot of what he says. I am happy. :) I was avoiding watching anything in Arabic for the fear I won't understand anything and get discouraged*, but this video has made me more confident.


It's definitely Jordanian or Palestinian :D I can't easily tell the difference between those two, especially because Palestinian is quite varied (Gaza vs. Jerusalem vs. Nablus vs. Galilee are very different).

*Really, sometimes I hear people talking in Arabic on youtube or in the streets, and I cannot understand any freaking word. Is it because for some reason I happen to stumble across non-Levantine people I wonder. I haven't exposed myself to anything but Levantine so even Egyptian is impenetrable for me.


How have you been studying? It could be that they're not from the Levant, but it's also possible that they're speaking a slightly different dialect to the "main" dialect of their country - for example, they could be from Hassakeh in Syria, which is extremely different to Damascus.

Egyptian is totally understandable to me in music, but when an Egyptian actually tries to converse with me, I'm like :silly: no comprendo! I think I'm actually slightly better at understanding Iraqi and Khaleeji.

For example, in this interview with Juliana Jendo (the famous Assyrian singer), she's speaking perfect (I think) Iraqi but her actual accent isn't quite the same. The interviewer sounds way more Iraqi. Juliana almost sounds like a a Lebanese or Syrian person speaking Iraqi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2N0fC2GC-Y&t=601s

I understand her quite well.

But this Egyptian interview with Sherine is actually harder for me to understand. I can kind of follow it, but not fully. I guess I'm unusual :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_QYsdJkKDg

I think it's because I actually studied Iraqi a bit, but Egyptian I just picked up bits and pieces from music and TV.

For some reason, Iraqi is often considered "Khaleeji". I don't see it that way. I see it as almost a transitional dialect between Levantine and Khaleeji, but with its own unique flavour - it has way more influence of its indigenous languages plus Kurdish and Persian.

Kuwaiti Arabic has lots of similarities to Iraqi (most striking is the shared "aku/maaku" for "there is/isn't" where most other dialects use "fi/mafi or mafish"), though it has been creeping closer to "general" Khaleeji over the decades.

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-08-04, 2:20

Here's a guy impersonating different dialects from within Syria.

This is really interesting because I didn't know how much difference there actually was between dialects of Syria.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19MgMRp9jX8

I think the order is:

- Homs
- (0:48) Damascus
- (1:57) Hama
- (3:12) I don't know what this one is :doggy:
- (3:48) Sweida
- (4:25) Jableh
- (5:08) Halab/Aleppo


- I can't really understand too much of Homs :D
- Damascus is the stereotypical "Syrian" accent that Lebanese people tend to impersonate and is probably the "easiest"
- Hama is somewhat understandable but not as easy as Damascus
- This one is really divergent. It sounds almost Iraqi or Khaleeji (especially elements of Bahraini for some reason!?!? :rotfl: ) so I'm guessing it's somewhere in the north.
- Sweida is much easier than the last one
- Jableh is quite difficult
- Halab is almost as easy as Damascus

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-08-04, 3:05

n8an wrote:For example, in this interview with Juliana Jendo (the famous Assyrian singer), she's speaking perfect (I think) Iraqi but her actual accent isn't quite the same. The interviewer sounds way more Iraqi. Juliana almost sounds like a a Lebanese or Syrian person speaking Iraqi.

I was surprised by how easily I could understand both of them - not that I understood everything (far from it) but usually Iraqi is damn near impenetrable for me. I think it's the coolest dialect but honestly most of the time it might as well be Chinese for me. I wonder if part of the reason you could understand this much better than the Egyptian interview you posted, aside from the fact that you're stronger in Iraqi than Egyptian, is that the Iraqis are speaking much more slowly here, and at times their language (to my ears) sounds a bit toned down, like لغة بيضة, whereas the Egyptians in that interview speak rapid-fire and in full-blown Egyptian dialect.

By the way, at like 1:20 in the Iraqi interview, Juliana says "talibootha ya3ni khuTooba" and the interviewer responds "bale" like in Persian/Kurdish!?!?!?!?!??!?! (Of course, the origins of Persian بله are from classical Arabic بلی ... but I don't think this word is used this way in any other dialect!!)

Kuwaiti Arabic has lots of similarities to Iraqi (most striking is the shared "aku/maaku" for "there is/isn't" where most other dialects use "fi/mafi or mafish"), though it has been creeping closer to "general" Khaleeji over the decades.

I actually like Kuwaiti Arabic too. I've spent many Ramadans watching Fahad al-Kandari's Youtube programs wherein he tends to vacillate between fuS7a, Kuwaiti "white dialect", and full Kuwaiti. That, along with the English subtitles, made it pretty easy for me to follow him. (Also he enunciates very clearly, doesn't always speak too quickly, and often isn't saying anything too complicated-- like in his مسافر مع القرآن series practically half the show was him listening to various randos recite the Qur'an and then saying سبحان الله. تبارك الرحمان. صوت جميل، قراءة رائعة :lol: ) Kuwaiti also seems to have a good deal of Persian and other languages in it. It blew my mind to hear the girl ask سچ؟ (from Hindi/Urdu) and the guy say خاک تو سرت (from Persian) in this clip starting at 17:49!
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-08-04, 3:29

eskandar wrote:I was surprised by how easily I could understand both of them - not that I understood everything (far from it) but usually Iraqi is damn near impenetrable for me. I think it's the coolest dialect but honestly most of the time it might as well be Chinese for me. I wonder if part of the reason you could understand this much better than the Egyptian interview you posted, aside from the fact that you're stronger in Iraqi than Egyptian, is that the Iraqis are speaking much more slowly here, and at times their language (to my ears) sounds a bit toned down, like لغة بيضة, whereas the Egyptians in that interview speak rapid-fire and in full-blown Egyptian dialect.


Yeah, definitely. Juliana's accent is definitely not a typical Iraqi one and neither is the rhythm of her speech. As far as I know, Juliana is actually from Hassakeh (Syria), so that really does explain a lot - this just sounds like a person speaking very good Iraqi Arabic with a foreign accent.

Normal Iraqi is much harder, as you say :D

By the way, at like 1:20 in the Iraqi interview, Juliana says "talibootha ya3ni khuTooba" and the interviewer responds "bale" like in Persian/Kurdish!?!?!?!?!??!?! (Of course, the origins of Persian بله are from classical Arabic بلی ... but I don't think this word is used this way in any other dialect!!)


Yup, Iraqi Arabic has a stronger Persian (and Kurdish) influence than most other dialects. It's true that Khaleeji dialects also have a Persian influence, but not to this extent.

The interesting thing is that Assyrian neo-Aramaic also has a strong Persian influence to a larger degree than the other Aramaic languages. I think it's just an example of how much Iran and Iraq have influenced each other over time!

Kuwaiti Arabic has lots of similarities to Iraqi (most striking is the shared "aku/maaku" for "there is/isn't" where most other dialects use "fi/mafi or mafish"), though it has been creeping closer to "general" Khaleeji over the decades.

I actually like Kuwaiti Arabic too. I've spent many Ramadans watching Fahad al-Kandari's Youtube programs wherein he tends to vacillate between fuS7a, Kuwaiti "white dialect", and full Kuwaiti. That, along with the English subtitles, made it pretty easy for me to follow him. (Also he enunciates very clearly, doesn't always speak too quickly, and often isn't saying anything too complicated-- like in his مسافر مع القرآن series practically half the show was him listening to various randos recite the Qur'an and then saying سبحان الله. تبارك الرحمان. صوت جميل، قراءة رائعة :lol: ) Kuwaiti also seems to have a good deal of Persian and other languages in it. It blew my mind to hear the girl ask سچ؟ (from Hindi/Urdu) and the guy say خاک تو سرت (from Persian) in this clip starting at 17:49![/quote]

Wait, "sedj" comes from Hindi/Urdu!? I always figured that it was a Kuwaiti/Bahraini/Emirati pronunciation of صدق or something, since those dialects often pronounce ق as "j" (as in a proper hard "j", not the Lebanese "zh") as in رفيق = rafij, قدام = jedam, قديم = jideem etc. That's crazy if it comes from Hindi/Urdu!!!

I wanna listen to this guy then! He sounds interesting :D

I used to hang out with lots of Kuwaitis and Emiratis but I haven't for a long time. This is interesting!

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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby eskandar » 2017-08-04, 4:00

n8an wrote:The interesting thing is that Assyrian neo-Aramaic also has a strong Persian influence to a larger degree than the other Aramaic languages.

Wow, super interesting - any examples that come to mind?

Wait, "sedj" comes from Hindi/Urdu!? I always figured that it was a Kuwaiti/Bahraini/Emirati pronunciation of صدق or something, since those dialects often pronounce ق as "j" (as in a proper hard "j", not the Lebanese "zh") as in رفيق = rafij, قدام = jedam, قديم = jideem etc. That's crazy if it comes from Hindi/Urdu!!!

Hmm, you're probably right... since I Googled the word and it seems to be صج and not سچ as I'd thought. Some pages online claim it's from Hindi, but it's the Internet so who knows. There are other Kuwaiti/Khaleeji words that must be from Hindi/Urdu though, like seeda "straight" (from H/U سیدھا).

I wanna listen to this guy then! He sounds interesting :D

Well, if you like squeaky-clean Islamic televangelists, then knock yourself out. :wink: (I do like the مسافر مع القرآن program though. He travels to lots of interesting places, and the Qur'an recitation is beautiful).
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Re: Levantine Arabic Corner

Postby n8an » 2017-08-04, 5:46

eskandar wrote:[Wow, super interesting - any examples that come to mind?


I admit that I didn't read the journal article, but on Wiki there's this

Loanwords in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic came about mostly due to the contact between Assyrian people and Arabs, Iranians, Kurds and Turks in modern history.[2] Assyrian is one of the few languages where most of its foreign words come from a different language family (in this case, Indo-European).[3]

Unlike other Neo-Aramaic languages, Assyrian has an extensive number of Iranian loanwords[4] Depending on the dialect, Arabic loanwords are also reasonably present.[5] Some Turkish loanwords are Turkified words that are of Arabic origin.[6] To note, some of the loanwords are revised (or "Assyrianized"), and therefore would sound somewhat different to the original word.[7] Furthermore, some loanwords may also have a slightly different meaning from the original language.[8]


There's a short list of words that are borrowed from other languages in the wiki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_l ... ite_note-4

It's true that it depends on the dialect, in my experience too. The Nineveh (or "Chaldean") dialect is full of Arabic words. The way that some of them speak it's almost an Aramaic/Arabic hybrid. This is of course the result of Saddam's Baathist Arabisation policies that worked much harder on Chaldean Catholics than other Assyrians in Iraq.

The Urmia Iranian dialect is even more full of Persian words today. My Urmian friends say "merci" for "thank you" instead of "baseema/basimta". :D

Hmm, you're probably right... since I Googled the word and it seems to be صج and not سچ as I'd thought. Some pages online claim it's from Hindi, but it's the Internet so who knows. There are other Kuwaiti/Khaleeji words that must be from Hindi/Urdu though, like seeda "straight" (from H/U سیدھا).


I think I kind of assumed that by myself, since my Khaleeji friends hadn't even give it much thought themselves...so I could be wrong!


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