Meera's Arabic

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Meera » 2011-09-14, 15:45

My Arabic class in Uni starts today. I'm really excited and a little nervous because I hope the teacher doesn't make fun of my terrible Arabic prounciation. lol
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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-09-17, 8:40

I'm sorry that i didn't keep on following this thread... I had some problems with acces to Unilang while i was in Morocco. :oops:

I think the Moroccan dialect is frowned upon, because of the Berber influence on the grammar and the French/Spanish influence on the vocabulary (If anyone knows of Berber influence on vocabulary or French/Spanish influence on grammar, please let me know!) and because it is not widely understood in the Arab world: Morocco doesn't have the same influence as Egypt. I found a lot of Arabs saying that Moroccans are not really Arabic, like they lost the true path or something. Every time the Moroccans or their culture, language,... is connected to the Arab world in some utterance, it's with looking down on them, like they should be ashamed to not be truely Arabic (and believe me, most of the Moroccans are ashamed of their dialect).

I believe Moroccan has also some features in common with the other dialects. Personally i know only some little 3Ammiyya. 3Ammiyya has a bi-imperfect, Moroccan has a ka-imperfect and in both of them the plural is simplified 'we, you, there' (no other persons). In Egyptian the dual almost disappeared, in Moroccan too. Egyptian has the possessive word 'bita3', Moroccan has 'dyal'. I guess they have a lot more in common, how they deal with certain grammar aspects of fouS7aa.

I think this whole attitude of emphasizing the differences between Darija and 3Ammiyya (or the other non-Maghrebi dialects in general) is not gonna do any good for Darija, neither for the Moroccans and imho they could use some support. In Egypt the most-selled books are written in 3Ammiyya, let alone that there is a an 3Ammiyya book production, in Morocco this is still pretty rare. One can find some books in Darija, but most of the times it's children's books, traditional tales or prevention pamphlets from the governement. Most Moroccans don't believe it's possible to write a (literary) book in Darija, because they believe it's an incomplete language or a language handicapé.

Egyptians feel proud enough of their dialect to write in it and to say it's the one closest to fouS7aa (although this makes no sense): this idea has even perpretated Morocco where some people believe that 3Ammiyya is fouS7aa or that 3Ammiyya is the dialect the closest to fouS7aa.

I have nothing against Egyptian, i've studied it with pleasure, but it's not really the dialect that needs more support from outsiders.

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-09-17, 8:55

Gaile Irene wrote:Hi, Hannahanneke!

Thanks for your insight about learning Arabic in Morocco. I am glad that the program there provides better instruction for you than what you could receive in Belgium. How does what you are learning compare with what you expected - or what you really want to learn?

Are you speaking French most of the time when you aren't in school? I have met North Africans who would not speak Arabic, but only French or Berber. Do you think the Berber angle influences why the Moroccan dialect is frowned upon, as you state? Or is it because the dialect is not the classical or standard form of Arabic?

Sorry for my extremely late answer :oops:... I wished i learned more how to listen, speak and write in fouS7aa. These skills are the hardest to learn in my opinion, in any foreign language, so now i'm back home and trying to learn some more on my own :D. The classes were great to get a whole collection of new Arabic material: articles, audio files, book tips,... and to know what the students of the universities in the Netherlands were studying.

Out of school i spoke English with my partner. I spoke Darija in the streets and in local small shops, in the beginning with a lot of fouS7aa words in it, 'cause i didn't know the Darija words. Cultural activities (theater, movie theater, book presentations) were most of the times in French. We worked together with some students of the ILCS, who follow their studies in English, so we spoke English with them and some students of the universities of Rabat and Casablanca, who we spoke Dutch and Darija/fouS7aa (they were studying Dutch) with.

I have to admit that a lot of Moroccans are better in French than in fouS7aa (my partner and i saw a poster with شكران on it and we couldn't stop laughing, but maybe we should have been crying), but i think we can hardly blame them for this, thanks to their excellent education and job system *ironic* :|. The language policy certainly needs to be changed in Morocco.

As i said in my post above this one, i think the Berber influence is one of the aspects where Moroccans are frowned upon (by outsiders). For me, it only made them unique and different :D.I think Darija not being close to fouS7aa is only a cheap excuse: Egyptian is no fouS7aa as well.

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby eskandar » 2011-09-17, 18:27

Hannahanneke wrote:(If anyone knows of Berber influence on vocabulary or French/Spanish influence on grammar, please let me know!)
Are you just looking for examples, or something more substantive? Two examples of 'Berber' words commonly used in Moroccan Arabic that come to mind are 'mazyan' and 'bzaf'.

I agree very much with your observations and opinions on the politics and situation of language in Morocco. I would add that a lot of this mentality stems from the colonial policies of France and Spain in Morocco, when Berber peoples were treated as lesser than Arabs, who in turn were treated as lesser than Europeans. The anti-colonial response had a strong element of Arab nationalism which also marginalized Berbers and Berber identity in Morocco. These policies extend across the Arab world; in Egypt, for example, British colonial policy discriminated against Nubian (black) Egyptians as well as darker-skinned Egyptian Arabs, and that mindset was taken up by some later Egyptian dictators (Sadat and Mubarak) to promote Egyptian national chauvinism against Maghrebis.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-09-21, 18:01

eskandar wrote:
Hannahanneke wrote:(If anyone knows of Berber influence on vocabulary or French/Spanish influence on grammar, please let me know!)
Are you just looking for examples, or something more substantive? Two examples of 'Berber' words commonly used in Moroccan Arabic that come to mind are 'mazyan' and 'bzaf'.

I agree very much with your observations and opinions on the politics and situation of language in Morocco. I would add that a lot of this mentality stems from the colonial policies of France and Spain in Morocco, when Berber peoples were treated as lesser than Arabs, who in turn were treated as lesser than Europeans. The anti-colonial response had a strong element of Arab nationalism which also marginalized Berbers and Berber identity in Morocco. These policies extend across the Arab world; in Egypt, for example, British colonial policy discriminated against Nubian (black) Egyptians as well as darker-skinned Egyptian Arabs, and that mindset was taken up by some later Egyptian dictators (Sadat and Mubarak) to promote Egyptian national chauvinism against Maghrebis.

I had no idea that 'mezyan' and 'bezzaf' are derived from Berber :oops:. I'm interested in both examples and something substantive :). I find it hard to find up-to-date articles about it.

Thank you very much for your explanation about the Berber identity during the French colonisation! I wanna add that King Muhammad VI has passed a new law in which he made Berber one of the official languages of Morocco. Since a few years, it's also being taught on the schools as part of the curriculum.
It is unclear which Berber language is the official language: Tarifit, Tamazight or Tachel7eet, but if the King would follow the ideology of the IRCAM (Institut Royal de la Culture Amazighe), the official Berber language will be an artificial Berber language, composed of the 3 dialects and of the 'original' Berber language (the Berber of the Touareg, it's their idea of the 'original' Berber) and from which all the Arabic influences are taken away. The Dutch professor of Berber languages, Harry Stroomer, said that he doesn't understand this artificial language, most of the native speakers of any Berber language don't understand it as well.
The problem of teaching Berber in schools is that most teachers don't know Berber themselves, because they grew up and studied in one of the bigger towns. Another problem is that Berber is only taught 1 or 2 hours a week, which is insufficient.
To be honest i hope that the future will prove that my critics are false...

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Meera » 2011-10-19, 3:04

As much as it kills me to say this my Arabic teacher this year is just absoutly awful. She doesn't seem to relize it is Arabic 2. No one can understand her english at all, she doesn't really teach us all we do is come to class and do bookwork and then all the homework is bookwork. Which of course is good, but the whole class just doing drills and writting is a bit boring. We also don't get to hear it spoken very often. Also the drills she assigns are way to easy and mindless, I'm not learning anything new. I don't know what happened to the other Arabic teacher she was a lot better :( Anyway I really hate to say this because my teacher is extreamly sweet and willing to help. I'm thinking maybe its her first year teaching... I dont know lol. Or maybe its just me I don't know :P
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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Meera » 2017-04-24, 17:13

Reviving this thread for extra Arabic practice. I can not believe my Arabic has come this far, when I first made this thread I could barely read it and now I am done Al-Kitaab part 2 (still am awful at arabic btw :P).

I have a question about the ذات possession, when do you know when to use ذات and when to use idafa? Is there a grammatical rule for this?
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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby eskandar » 2017-04-26, 22:52

This page might be helpful for you. Here's their first example:

الطالب ذو الشعر الأسود مصري
The student with black hair is Egyptian

You might use the iDaafa in a different kind of sentence, like this:

شعر الطالب المصري أسود اللون
The Egyptian student's hair is black (lit. black-colored)

Let's do another comparison. Another example from that site is

جميع أصدقائي هم من ذوي الأخلاق الحميدة
All my friends have high (lit. praiseworthy) morals

You could use the iDaafa to say something similar:

أخلاق جميع أصدقائي حميدة
The morals of all my friends are high (praiseworthy)

Do these examples help make it clear or is it still confusing?
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby voron » 2017-04-27, 11:35

This rule might be helpful: if you can translate it with "possessing" or "having", use ذو in Arabic.
جميع أصدقائي هم من ذوي الأخلاق الحميدة
All my friends are from (those) possessing high moral qualities.

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Re: Meera's Arabic

Postby Meera » 2017-07-02, 15:46

Thank you Eskandar and Voron!! Those explanations were really helpful. :mrgreen:
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