"Your garage is cold and your house is pretty, Sam."
Translation:كَراجَك بارِد وَبَيْتَك جَميل يا سام.
I am sorry for bothering you but I guess I will just ask here. I am a Korean learning Arabic but these days I am having a sort of dilemma. I wanted to ask you if it will be really 'okay' for me to stick to this app for learning Arabic. I know this app use mix of dialects and MSA but my friend from Egypt said its important for me to choose if I wanna speak either MSA or some dialect, not something 'in between,' She said this app is a bit too mixed up that If I keep using this one, I will end up speaking something that is not MSA nor even dialect. If I speak, I will be understood by the locals, but I will not speak correctly in any of those two. (either MSA or any dialects) So I thought I would ask you what your opinion is on this, given that Duolingo is my only learning source for Arabic. Do you think it pretty safe for me to keep learning Arabic here? Will my Arabic sound weird or not serious by Arabic speakers? Sorry for these long paragraphs....but I would really appreciate your reply..!
I somehow agree with your friend. Duolingo is not a good source for learning a language after what I've experienced with Russian and Turkish. Some are not bad I guess, like German and maybe Chinese, but I've realized there is a big deal of problems when it comes to easiness of learning with other languages, so much that sometimes natives do suggest some of the answers from learners are correct even more than what is proposed on Duolingo. Duolingo works on user-level, i.e. there is no academic level or personnel contributing or supervising the process (except maybe for some European languages?).
Despite all of that, Duolingo can serve as a starting point. I've been trying to learn since I was a teenager and Duolingo, for me, was a great breakthrough (despite some minor issues). Irish here also uses real voices and not machine-produced sentences so it was kind of better a bit. Nevertheless, that does not mean things would go easy. I've simply immersed myself in Irish before knowing Duolingo and afterward as well; I used to compose and post and translate into Irish and I did follow some Irish people and I read what they post. I took me some years so far and I still use a dictionary but I can tell that writing and reading is bcoming easier now. So, learning any language on Duolingo ALONE is not a choice. If someone wants to really learn it, they must do the extra mile.
Now, for Arabic. I would say learning a dialect AND the MSA but that might be so much to carry. Imagine yourself as an Arab child, how would they acquire the language? They learn their own dialects from the surrounding and everyday use, and then learn the MSA in schools. Maybe you want to take their footsteps. However, I have to say not all Arabs are good with MSA as well (myself included, I was a big fail in Arabic classes).
However, MSA has the advantage of not being localized. Official media, and official letters in workplaces, and most newspapers, are all in MSA. There is a wave of "pop culture" going thru and you can see it in ads mainly or maybe some TV programs, but those I'd say are dedicated to teenagers; In fact, I despite them myself.
This said, Egyptian dialect seems to be No.1, followed by dialects of the Levant, when it comes to learning Arabic dialects for foreigners. I remember a Japanese teacher here who used to speak Egyptian very well that if I didn't see his face and talk on the phone, I wouldn't doubt that he is Egyptian. He tried to learn our dialect here (Kuwait) and it was funny how it sounds; Egyptians trying to speak our dialect do have a specific tone and he automatically adapted to that tone because he was so immersed in Egyptian dialect. By the way, when I say "Egyptian dialect" I mean mainly the Cairo variety.
So, under the light of that, I'd say you might better be off learning a dialect but keep doing Duolingo in parallel for some MSA (crooked MSA that is), AND taking the grammar issues with a grain of salt (grammar is not really important with dialects), keeping your focus on the dialect, if conversing and talking to people is really important for your path.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
For some reason, I am not allowed to reply directly under your previous comment but I would have to say what you told me really helps and thank you SO much for such a kind, long comment! So I guess you are from Kuwait!(I always wondered where you are from.) And I actually started learning Arabic after listening to songs of a few Egyptian singers like Tamer Hosny(Please don't make fun of me xD). So far, all of my Arab friends have been saying a big 'EWW!' whenever I tell them I love his music which I kinda understand why haha. But anyway, I really appreciate your advice. It's a hard pill to swallow but I will keep studying and find another good source I can use in parallel instead of entirely relying on Duolingo only. At the end of the day, Arabic is a beautiful language, really. Thank you so much again, and have a nice day! <3
Good luck with your quest :)
Yep, I'm from Kuwait (born and raised). Ironically though I don't know much about Arabic music nowadays. I didn't really start listening to Arabic music till the age of 29-30, around that, when I started to give up hope on good western music gradually (the age of Romance ended with the 1990s). However, most of what I listen in Arabic is the old stuff, specially those in classical Arabic. I do listen from time to time to some modern ones (Moroccan or Algerian) for a change but my main "mood enhancer" are those old stuff, specially by Sabah Fakhry صباح فخري (a Syrian tenor who holds the world record for singing continuously for 10 hours or 14 as some say, in Caracas 1963). I remember reading and hearing about Tamer Hosny but I don't really follow celebrities news - my mind is stuck in the past i guess :)
Have a nice day yourself and stay safe!
Ilana145213, there are some forums (outside the Arabic course) in Duolingo site posted regularly by a member that uses Standard Grammar (She wrote the posts at a year ago). Those posts are long explanations - longer than TJ_Q8's.
Well, since you are already gone, and only TJ_Q8 "the Oldman" is left here, so I don't think I need to write the forums' links :) (≧▽≦)
Ilana145213, thanks for showing up so I have a reason to share these links :)
1) The following are some posts written by RuwaydaAtH, all are about Arabic Grammar. I notice that her posts are with the ending sounds so they are good for the basic level. Almost her posts are gathered in this link here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/32951150/Grammar-in-Arabic
But, I have found that she don't include her post about the Genitive Case at the link above - it is separated: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33138449
So probably, there are still her other forums.
2) The following is the Guideline of studying Arabic for English speakers by daKanga. He/she talked about MSA and provides many links related!
Nb: I thought Korean people like their own 가요 ^___^
Can you tell us MSA books (Titles and their authors) that you all have learned (for example, when you were still at school)?
I have read some Arabic language books, like "sharh qaTr an-nada li ibn Hisham", "al-mughni al-labib", and the similar books. But, I don't think those books are MSA.
I'm interested what you have learned there. Thanks in advance. :))
In schools were learned from school books (i.e. books prepared according to a specific syllabus, printed, and distributed by the government). That was long time ago anyway and the educational system now have changed.
Personally, I didn't get into the Arabic language thoroughly till I got around 30 years old or so. If I need some info or check some info, I would simply search the net about it right now.
However, there is an old book (which got re-printed several times I think) and I do read it from time to time to refresh my memory, but it is quite deep. The book is called: قُل وَلا تَقُل (qul walá taqul: say, and do not say), by an Iraqi linguist called Mustafa jawad مصطفى جواد (PhD). Just to note, this man died already in the 1930s, when Iraq was still a monarchy. Just to imagine how old this book is. Still, this book is considered by many one of the pillars for correcting and adjusting the Arabic language. Notice that this book is not a grammar book; It is a book about the language, the words, and how to derive and what to say and what not to say (as the title suggests). Also, in the book, there are several suggestions to replace foreign borrowed words (e.g. dictator) with words that do already exist in Arabic for the same meaning (e.g. جبّار or مُتجبّر for dictator, which people STILL to this very day use it in Arabic as ديكتاتور).
Mustafa Jawad, also, in this book, exposed the conflict that was (and still) going on in between the Arabic language assemblies across the Arab world, specially with the assembly of Cairo, which according to Mustafa Jawad, made a mess in some aspects of verbal derivations, and he discusses that a bit in length.
Anyway, as I've said, this book is kind of deep and it is intended and directed to Arabs themselves to correct their language rather than for non-Arabs to learn the language.
سلام يا ت.ج_ق٨!
Hope you're doing great there!
TJ_Q8, actually I have found the download link for the قل ولا تقل book a while after I finished read your comment above.
Volume I: https://www-kutub--pdf-net.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.kutub-pdf.net/amp/book/%D9%82%D9%84-%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%84-%D8%AC%D9%801.html?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQHKAFQArABIA%3D%3D#aoh=16062254669291&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kutub-pdf.net%2Fbook%2F%25D9%2582%25D9%2584-%25D9%2588%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2582%25D9%2584-%25D8%25AC%25D9%25801.html
Volume II https://www-kutub--pdf-net.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.kutub-pdf.net/amp/book/%D9%82%D9%84-%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%84-%D8%AC%D9%802.html?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQHKAFQArABIA%3D%3D#aoh=16062254669291&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kutub-pdf.net%2Fbook%2F%25D9%2582%25D9%2584-%25D9%2588%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2582%25D9%2584-%25D8%25AC%25D9%25802.html
(I will delete the links if it violates the rules. Is it?)
The book has Two Volumes but I don't have much time to review the book. However, it seems an interesting book,
قل الجُموعة ولا تقل الجَموعة
-if I am not wrong :)
By the way,
Have you read this article - official writing from Duolingo's: https://blog.duolingo.com/what-makes-arabic-hard-and-why-that-shouldnt-stop-you-from-learning-it/
What do you think about this? Hope you give some commentary here :)
Well, to begin with, Duolingo is messing with this. However, I will answer according to the Arabic that Duolingo is using.
"Baitik" means (your house) to a female. If you are speaking to a female and you want to say (your house), then that would be (Baitik).
"Baitak" is (your house) to a male. If you are speaking to a male and want to tell him (your house), then it is (Baitak).
Notice though this is very "dialect" and not proper Arabic. Duolingo is mixing proper/standard Arabic with dialects.
In the sentence above, it should be (Baytuka) in fact, where (-ka) stands for (your/m), and (Baytu) means "house" in nominative case.