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https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza

What Dialect of Arabic would you learn ?

CosmoKaiza
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First of all, for people who are unfamiliar with the term Dialect of Arabic, let me explain.

Arabic is a wonderful language, unfortunately, nobody speak the language. Yes it sounds strange, but I told you that I was going to explain. I am myself from Tunisia, so I consider myself speaking tunisian instead of Arabic. Why ? Because I do not understand what we call MSA, who stands for : Modern Standard Arabic. If you want to learn Arabic, you will learn MSA, but actually nobody speaks MSA in their daily life. Consider it as a lingua franca between arabic countries. I can only understand the dialect of one country beside Tunisia and it is the one from Algeria. I can't understand the arabic of my friends from Lebanon or other arabic countries. Fun fact, I understand more Maltese than Arabic itself.

Well anyway, now you should have an answer for my question. What dialect would you learn if you are learning MSA ?

There are various dialects and those are :

  • North African dialect / Maghreb : Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya

  • Egyptian Arabic : Egypt

  • The Levantine dialect : Lebanon, Syria, Koweit and Irak

  • The Arabic from Arabia : Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Oman

2 years ago

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/compicej

Interesting! Thanks for sharing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
PfifltriggPi
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Moroccan. I think it sounds the best and I really want to go to Morocco.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/compicej

Firstly, I'd like to learn MSA. After that, Maybe I'd study the Egyptian dialect or the Levantine dialect. Egyptian because I've heard it's the most popular one in the Arab world due to the media and Levantine because there are a lot of people from Syria and Lebanon here in Venezuela.

En primer lugar, me gustaría aprender AEM. Después de eso, quizá estudie el dialecto egipcio o el dialecto levantino. El egipcio porque he oído que es el más popular en el mundo árabe debido a los medios de comunicación y el levantino, porque hay muchísima gente de Siria y el Líbano aquí en Venezuela.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevinguy19
Kevinguy19
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¡Buenas habilidades de traducción!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/compicej

Gracias, mi pana :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gabzerbinatoEng
gabzerbinatoEng
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First of all, thanks for being the first person ever that I've had contact with from an Arabic country who does not claim to speak "Arabic", but the respective dialect.

I am very interested in Arabic myself. And also interested in complicated things, so I'd first learn MSA, given that there is a great amount of written material also. But when it comes to dialects, I believe I'd go for the Egyptian one, mostly because, from what I've heard from people from Arabic countries, it's the most popular and commonly understood one throughout the Arabic world. But I wouldn't stop there, I'd also learn the other dialects and possibly individual countries' regionalisms, depending on who I usually talk to.

And by the way, wouldn't it be more accurate to say that MSA is not used in daily life, rather than saying that it is not spoken? I'm asking this due to the fact that there are fluent/conversational people in the language. (I'm only asking for your opinion on this, and not implying any correction of what you said)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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Thanks for the answer :) ! My sister for example speaks also MSA, but she only use it when she talks to someone from Saudi Arabia for exemple. I define MSA as a lingua franca between Arabic countries. For exemple the arabic news are in MSA so each arabic speaking country has a chance to understand.

Also, good choice with the Egyptian dialect.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/htimsmr

I have considered eventually learning Egyptian Arabic because I hear that proportionately more media is produced in Egyptian Arabic, and it might be somewhat more widely understood because of that. That one-two punch of having more material to work with and potentially more people to speak to is an attractive quality.

Of course, I'd learn them all - and all other languages - if I had the time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/inthetropics

Egyptian Arabic because I believe it is the most widely understood. That said, when I was recently in Morocco with an Egyptian when they didn't understand her they switched to French.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/.luisito

Im currently learning the Egyptian dialect. Egypt is the "hollywood" of the MIddle East and most shows and forms of entertainment are in this dialect. Im not sure but I think its one of the most widely spoken ones.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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Yes, Egypt is indeed the hollywood of the Middle East. I don't know a lot of Egyptian shows, I usually stick with Tunisian shows but my family watch them a lot. It is on youtube by the way, you can fin egyptian movies subbed in English

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonardinh1
leonardinh1
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I have a question, in "English for Arabic speakers", what kind of Arabic is used? :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bachirdhm

MSA :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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I didn't try this course but I guess it would be MSA, if not the Egyptian one because they are using the flag of Egypt

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonardinh1
leonardinh1
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oh, I see... شكرا

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NicholasOKane
NicholasOKane
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Egyptian. With 85 million speakers it has close to 40% of all Arabic speakers, and given the cultural/media influence of Egypt probably the best dialect understood outside its core territory (apart from MSA). Also I disagree with some of your dialect classifications (or rather many people do, I can't speak Arabic myself). Iraqi Arabic (spoken in Iraq and Kuwait) is usually classified as a separate dialect to Levantine. Levantine covers Palestine and Jordan as well as Syria and Lebanon. Also worth mentioning are the more obscure Mauritanian, Chadian and Sudanese dialects

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SpaghettNeo
SpaghettNeo
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Hello! How different is the MSA or the Egyptian dialect different from other dialects? As in, is it different ways you pronounce words, different grammar, or different words, etc? I know they're all under the umbrella term "Arabic", but I know MSA is more for news and formal writing, while other dialects are spoken. Just wondering about the differences! Thank you! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KyledelPue
KyledelPue
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Probably the "Arabian" or Egyptian dialects if I had to pick two.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xGequili
xGequili
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I would most likely learn Arabic from Arabia or Egyptian Arabic.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Q_Q
_Q_Q
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I will learn the tone of the Arabian Peninsula! Why? Because the origin of the Arabic language of the Arabian Peninsula. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForgedbyHistoria

I'm learning Iraqi with MSA. Iraq is the Middle Eastern country I'm most interested in along with Syria and Yemen. So far, the process complements one another. I haven't had much exposure to the dialects of the Levantine. Is Iraqi close to Syrian? I didn't know Iraq was a part of the Levant.

Great discussion topic by the way. Arabic is such a mystery to many of us in the West. Hopefully some more Arabs comment on this to help the rest of us understand.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Q_Q
_Q_Q
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هل تتحدث العربية الآن أم تتعلمها؟

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForgedbyHistoria

I'm not ready for conversation like that yet, but you're asking me if I speak Arabic?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Q_Q
_Q_Q
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yes yes ^_^

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForgedbyHistoria

I can speak simple sentences. I study from a couple books with an audio CD and memrise.com for vocabulary. I'm going to take Arabic classes at my school next semester. I can't wait.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Q_Q
_Q_Q
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If you need any help in the Arabic language, I can help you. (:

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForgedbyHistoria

Shukran sadiq. I appreciate your help.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olbapz
Olbapz
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Probably, if I could learn an Arabic dialect (lack of time and resources), and if I would learn an Arabic dialect (other languages with greater priority for me personally at the moment) then it would be the Maghreb variety. I've wanted to visit that "region", really just Morocco and maybe Tunisia and Algeria.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbelhh
sbelhh
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Moroccans understand the MSA, the Moroccan dialect is the least useful if you want to visit other countries aswell ): (not Algeria)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olbapz
Olbapz
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Okay...hmmm...thanks for the info...did you read what I wrote? Like I said I have always wanted to visit Morocco and perhaps Tunisia and Algeria, in other words I was answering the OP's question, which dialect would you learn? Haha...I know Maghreb Arabic would be useless elsewhere, but I didn't mention that I had any intentions of going anywhere else so thanks for being critical for no apparent reason. So what if I want to learn the "least useful dialect", I never said I wanted to go anywhere else. Sorry it just struck me odd that you inserted your opinion around a question of preference where you had no invitation to point out the obvious and be critical.
It's like saying after being asked how I want to spend my afternoon in a park around green growing things because my favorite color is green. Then you say, "but if you like green then how would you ever enjoy going to the beach and seeing the blue water". Well I never said I wanted to go to the beach. It's a question of preference is all. Perhaps you want to visit somewhere other than Morocco, but haha yet here you are bringing up your opinion. Which comes off rather narcissistic if you ask me. Haha...wow!

In this case, what you could have said under my comment was, "well that's interesting, do you want to go anywhere else other than Morocco?" And then I say, no...no... no I don't.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbelhh
sbelhh
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Sorry I meant no harm! Just warning you..

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olbapz
Olbapz
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For sure, I feel warned. And I apologize about the tone, my many faults include being direct in my communication. So have you visited the middle-east then? Or perhaps you're from there? What's your preferred dialect, unless that's a sensitive topic?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbelhh
sbelhh
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Nope and I'm Moroccan but was born and raised in Europe. I like the Syrian/Palestinian one

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wyqtor
wyqtor
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I'd learn Moroccan Arabic because Morocco totally exceeded my expectations. It is quite a developed country (except for the isolated parts in the Atlas and the Sahara maybe), the food was great, and the people I met there were friendly and they did not follow harsh religious laws like in other Muslim countries. Our guide was great, he even drank a glass of champagne with us as a sign of friendship, even though he had told us previously that technically he wasn't allowed to drink any at all according to his religion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nefetz
Nefetz
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Morrocco and Tunisia is the most "western" arab countries, and also Lebanon. However Tunisian or Moroccan arabic is the most distinct from all the dialects as far as I heard... So If you want to have a good time in arabia , Go to morocco again, or Tunisia, and maybe Lebanon

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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I can confirm that. Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon are the most western arab countries. However like I said the Tunisian dialect is very distinct while the Moroccan dialect is very unique.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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Can I ask, because you seem to be an honest person - when you divide Arabic into those four groups of dialects, is it reasonable to expect that if you learn the Arabic from one of those countries, you have a good chance of understanding/being understood by people from the other countries in the same group?

I only ask because I knew 'Arabic' as we know it is more like a family of languages than a language itself, but I don't know how deeply the language barriers run between each country. If there really are only four main branches, that would be very interesting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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Well, I can't confirm that for the Arabic from the Middle East, but even if I speak the dialect of Tunisia, I still have a hard time to understand the one from Morocco. And I can barely understand the one from Libya and Algeria. And this is because the arab countries are huge, there are dialects in the country itself. So saying the Moroccan dialect is generalizing all the dialect in the country. It is very confusing, but if you learn MSA + the dialect of a region, you will do just fine.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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It is quite a fascinating situation. It seems to me like it is something like the situation in Europe with Latin, while it was still an international language... Different countries published books and communicated with each other in Latin, but the language of the people was unique to each country. But Latin was an immense unifying influence, most of the words we share between different European languages can be attributed to Latin.

I don't really know how I feel about it though, I mean I am interested in languages that people really speak day to day, use in music and film, i.e. something I can personally relate to. I have a couple of Latin books collecting dust on my shelf... but if say, Latin and Romanian were to come out on Duolingo on the same day, I would choose Romanian without flinching.

I think I feel the same way about MSA... even though everyone says it is the most practical place to begin, I would much rather understand a dialect like Tunisian or Egyptian - even if it is only limited to one country. I think it is just much more engaging, and I have no intention of passing myself off as a scholar, in any case. I want something with a personal touch...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nefetz
Nefetz
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I would learn Levantine Arabic or Egyptian but I didn't even finished with hebrew D:....

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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You still have time ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brittalexiswm

Egyptian and Moroccan, since they are honestly the only two arabic-speaking countries I would visit. Plus I work with someone who speaks Egyptian Arabic fluently.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbelhh
sbelhh
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I have never heard about someone who never wants to visit UAE (especially Dubai), Lebanon and Tunisia.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brittalexiswm

I actually had never heard of Dubai until now. I just fell in love

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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Me too. It is the first time that someone doesn't want to visit the UAE

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cathou8808
cathou8808
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مرحبا! I would like to learn the Northern Levantine Arabic (the Lebanese dialect) and maybe also the Egyptian Arabic...I still don't know for Egyptian Arabic...

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anthony688899
Anthony688899
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I would personally want to learn leventine but Egyptian would probably be more useful Because you'd be understood throughout the arab world due to there movie and music scene but hey if your passionate about one dialect I'd do that instead of something that's "more useful" Because if your not passionate about a language it makes it harder to learn you know

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/William294923
William294923
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Which dialect of Arabic is easier for native English speakers? I am interested in learning an Arabic dialect.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StephanVog9

I am not aware of any solid study, which does give an answer to this question. Obviously, one difficulty is pronunciation, when the foreign language has some sounds not used in the native language, as is the with Arabic.
One answer on Quora (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-easiest-Arabic-dialect-to-learn-for-English-speakers) claims that the Lebanese (Levant) variant is the easiest, as it eliminates some of the sounds not used in English.

Many people advise to first start out with MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), others take an equally strong stand on starting with a dialect.

I think it boils down to a number of factors: - Why do you want to learn Arabic? What would you use it for? Traveling to counties? Watching movies? Reading news? If some country interests you in particular, then go for this dialect. - What is the way you learn best? Mostly by listening to spoken material, e.g. recorded dialogs, are do you need to read and write to learn a language (as is the case for me). Given that there is no standardized orthography for the spoken dialects, I think the material then focuses on auditory learning pathway, using Romanization to represent the Arabic, instead of using the Arabic script. If you are interested in being able to read Arabic, then MSA would be the way to go. - What kind of material and courses do you find, which matches your way of learning. There are many online courses, apps, youtube material etc. Often, they do not even mention if it is MSA or a particular dialect - very annoying! I have looked at a lot of them and have not yet found any, which captivated me, as I need lots and lots of repetition, but not the Memrise style of repetition, but repetition with variations and small increments. DL does this to some extent. But I am not sure it would be sufficient for a difficult language like Arabic.

Und weiterhin viel Erfolg beim Erlernen der Deutschen Sprache!

1 month ago