different arabic dialects

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What is you most favorite dialect?

MSA/Classic
13
28%
Egypt
8
17%
Syria/Lebanon
12
26%
gulf
2
4%
Tunisian
1
2%
algerian
4
9%
Bedawi
1
2%
Iraqi
1
2%
Yemen
2
4%
Sudanese
2
4%
 
Total votes: 46

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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Babelfish » 2013-08-30, 14:14

:lol: Some of these are different enough to justify him, although I'm quite sure it isn't what they had in mind...
(anyway he could still be very useful for them, speaking all those different dialects, whether or not counting them all as different languages or not)
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby eskandar » 2013-08-31, 13:17

In my opinion it's not much different from boasting of speaking many different Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, etc). No one would bat an eye if you counted Spanish and Portuguese as two separate languages, yet I think they're much more similar to one another than, say, Moroccan Arabic and Iraqi Arabic.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby xNia » 2013-11-17, 0:02

shprakh wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyldgH6pzmc

She advises her students to go for MSA because the differences between the dialects are very large. She even says sometimes it feels like some of them are different languages. Another of her reasons is that without Standard Arabic you're basically illiterate, which is true.

I wonder though if she really speaks MSA when she meets another native speaker (who is not an Arabic language teacher) from a country other than Palestine.

That's a good question, indeed!

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I'm adding Benny Lewis' interview with Nevein because I think the way she describes the situation is more authentic (so to speak...) :)
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby rockisht » 2013-11-24, 22:05

Since every educated Arab knows MSA, I think people should learn MSA first, and maybe learn to passively understand colloquial dialects, because you can speak dialect only in one country but you can speak MSA to everyone.

And if someone uses dialect to speak to you, you can have a passively bilingual conversation, with you speaking MSA to them and let them speak whatever dialect they want. You don't have to reply back in dialect if they can understand you fine with MSA, which most Arabs can.

MSA is the most studied variety of Arabic, its the register that is used in the media, literature and in the classroom, and its pretty much the most important.

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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby YngNghymru » 2013-11-25, 6:17

I would dispute that. I'm all for learning MSA, but a 'passive conversation' where you speak MSA and the other side speaks dialect is far more difficult than you'd imagine. In fact I'd suggest that the other way around is often easier in some countries! Taxi drivers will speak an MSA-esque form of their dialect with you in Jordan for example if they think you can't speak dialect properly, even if you're speaking dialect to them. If you learn to converse in Egyptian or Shami, everyone in the Arab world will understand you and you can just ask a person to speak more MSA-ly and ask them what words mean. Dialects do differ a lot and unless you're willing to learn to comprehend every dialect (which will come naturally with time I guess if you spend enough time absorbed in Arabic but in that case this entire point is moot since you'll be fluent anyway) then the idea of you speaking MSA and them responding in dialect is quite an amusing one. You might as well learn Egyptian or Levantine - which ultimately will probably put you in a better position to understand other dialects than a passing knowledge of MSA will - and converse that way.

Also people speaking MSA sound ridiculous outside certain contexts, and you might make people laugh.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Meera » 2013-11-25, 7:21

YngNghymru wrote:I would dispute that. I'm all for learning MSA, but a 'passive conversation' where you speak MSA and the other side speaks dialect is far more difficult than you'd imagine. In fact I'd suggest that the other way around is often easier in some countries! Taxi drivers will speak an MSA-esque form of their dialect with you in Jordan for example if they think you can't speak dialect properly, even if you're speaking dialect to them. If you learn to converse in Egyptian or Shami, everyone in the Arab world will understand you and you can just ask a person to speak more MSA-ly and ask them what words mean. Dialects do differ a lot and unless you're willing to learn to comprehend every dialect (which will come naturally with time I guess if you spend enough time absorbed in Arabic but in that case this entire point is moot since you'll be fluent anyway) then the idea of you speaking MSA and them responding in dialect is quite an amusing one. You might as well learn Egyptian or Levantine - which ultimately will probably put you in a better position to understand other dialects than a passing knowledge of MSA will - and converse that way.

Also people speaking MSA sound ridiculous outside certain contexts, and you might make people laugh.

yes this is of the most difficult things about Arabic. For example I was in one shop and spoke to an Arabic speaker in Egyptian, he was morrocan and laughed at me and gave me a whole lecture on how it wasnt Arabic and I need to speak fush7a with him. Then I met another Arabic and spoke fus7a and they laughed at me, and I ended up speaking Egyptian (it turned out they were Egyptian).
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby eskandar » 2013-11-25, 18:17

rockisht wrote:you can speak dialect only in one country but you can speak MSA to everyone.

Not true. Hardly any major dialects are limited to one country. It's more useful to think along the lines of regional dialect spectrums, with North African (Maghrebi), Egyptian-Sudanese, Levantine (Shaami) and Gulf being the major ones. If you learn one dialect, you'll at least be understood by most within that spectrum (ie. learning one Levantine dialect or one Gulf dialect will allow you to communicate, for the most part, with Arabs from other countries within those dialect groups). And, more importantly than that:
YngNghymru wrote:If you learn to converse in Egyptian or Shami, everyone in the Arab world will understand you
This.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby languagepotato » 2013-12-08, 22:43

eskandar wrote:
YngNghymru wrote:If you learn to converse in Egyptian or Shami, everyone in the Arab world will understand you
This.


that's only partially true
that's only if you watch quite a lot of egyptian/shami tv, for example, i'm a native speaker of moroccan arabic, but understanding egyptian arabic is difficult for me, because most arabic tv i watch is moroccan. i understand most dialects just fine, but egyptian is like a different language to me, i recently tried to watch an episode of an egyptian series, i was like this is definitely arabic but WTF are they saying?!

in terms of mutual intelligibility
i'd say it's like this on a scale from 1 to 4 (1 is i understand it so well, i wouldn't even realise they're from another country until somewhere half-way the conversation, 2 i understand it quite well, but yeah i can definitely hear they're from another country, 3 i have some troubles communicating with them, but sooner or later we'll understand eachother, 4. this is arabic, but WTF are they saying?):

1. algerian
1.5 tunisian
2. libyan
3. mesopotamian dialects, and the arabian peninsulan dialects
3.5 shami dialects
4. egyptian, chadic, sudanese
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby voron » 2013-12-08, 23:06

languagepotato: Is there an "official" way of spelling Maghrebi dialects with the Arabic alphabet? What written language do people use in everyday life? E.g. if I were a jeans seller at a market, and I wanted to put a note on my stall saying "I will be back in 15 minutes", how would I write it?

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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby languagepotato » 2013-12-09, 11:04

voron wrote:languagepotato: Is there an "official" way of spelling Maghrebi dialects with the Arabic alphabet? What written language do people use in everyday life? E.g. if I were a jeans seller at a market, and I wanted to put a note on my stall saying "I will be back in 15 minutes", how would I write it?


i dont know about the rest of the maghreb but in morocco either you'd tell it to the people in the stalls next to you, or if you wanted to write it down, you'd either write it in french or standard arabic, usually both
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Merouane » 2014-03-07, 16:48

voron wrote:languagepotato: Is there an "official" way of spelling Maghrebi dialects with the Arabic alphabet? What written language do people use in everyday life? E.g. if I were a jeans seller at a market, and I wanted to put a note on my stall saying "I will be back in 15 minutes", how would I write it?


No, there is no official spelling of Maghrebi Arabic. When I chat with friends, we always use latin characters, although some people use the arabic script (to be frank I don't even know the layout of the arabic keyboard… -_- ). If I have to write down something I'd write it in Arabic script, with a very loose orthography… As far as I know, dialectal arabic has no official status in any Arab country (for now).

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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby YngNghymru » 2014-05-11, 14:05

languagepotato wrote:
that's only partially true
that's only if you watch quite a lot of egyptian/shami tv, for example, i'm a native speaker of moroccan arabic, but understanding egyptian arabic is difficult for me, because most arabic tv i watch is moroccan. i understand most dialects just fine, but egyptian is like a different language to me, i recently tried to watch an episode of an egyptian series, i was like this is definitely arabic but WTF are they saying?


Morocco is a bit of a special case though isn't it, since your dialect is incomprehensible to non-north Africans and presumably vice-versa

At least in the Mashriq everybody watches Shami and Egyptian TV... practically all the Arabic-language films are Egyptian and all of the serieses are dubbed into Syrian. I don't know enough about the rest of North Africa's viewing habits to comment as to whether you're unusual in not watching Egyptian films, either as a Moroccan or a North African. But certainly as far as the Mashriq goes, everybody will understand you speaking Egyptian or Shami.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Zireael » 2014-07-22, 11:43

Merouane wrote:
voron wrote:languagepotato: Is there an "official" way of spelling Maghrebi dialects with the Arabic alphabet? What written language do people use in everyday life? E.g. if I were a jeans seller at a market, and I wanted to put a note on my stall saying "I will be back in 15 minutes", how would I write it?


No, there is no official spelling of Maghrebi Arabic. When I chat with friends, we always use latin characters, although some people use the arabic script (to be frank I don't even know the layout of the arabic keyboard… -_- ). If I have to write down something I'd write it in Arabic script, with a very loose orthography… As far as I know, dialectal arabic has no official status in any Arab country (for now).


My Tunisian friends use French or Arabizi (latin characters) when on Facebook. I can count on one hand the number of times when they used Arabic script.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Meera » 2014-07-25, 18:09

I know a lot of Egyptians who write in Romanized Arabic on FB and Twitter as well.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Utopist » 2014-08-28, 22:00

Jordanian/Palestinian, I prefer this variety most of all
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby TeneReef » 2014-09-13, 23:42

my favorite is Darija
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby Michael » 2014-10-17, 5:13

Don't mean to necro, but I voted MSA (الفصحى) and Lebanese (اللبنانية).
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby atalarikt » 2014-10-20, 14:02

My favorite dialect would be the classic dialect, because it's the most used Arabic dialect in Indonesia. Besides, it can be used to learn some really old Arabic texts.
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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-05, 1:06

The dialect I'm focusing on is definitely Levantine Arabic (primarily, though not exclusively, Damascene), but gosh, there is so much interesting linguistic variation in Arabic. Maltese keeps kind of tickling my interest, too, since it's descended from Siculo-Arabic.

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Re: different arabic dialects

Postby cHr0mChIk » 2018-03-02, 23:41

Classical Arabic/MSA isn't a dialect :lol:
Anyway, my favourite are the Levantine dialects... especially Palestinian :D
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