Egyptian Arabic please
I am working my way through the Arabic course here but on various internet forums often read that formal arabic is so rarely spoken as to be found comical if used in everyday situations. While is it very satisfying finally to be able to spell out words and grasp some principles of the grammar, I primarily wish to be able to converse with confidence. Is Egyptian Arabic likely to follow in the near future? I think many learners here would welcome that.
I am a long time Arabic learner and I support this comment. While I am very happy to see the Standard Arabic course and that it is so popular, learning a specific country/region's dialect is ideal if you're interested in Arabic for travel or speaking purposes.
Going from one dialect to another is relatively easy for native speakers of Arabic but very difficult and extremely time consuming for Arabic learners so to treat them as separate courses is a great idea imo. The resources available for learning regional dialects of arabic are limited in comparison with the standard and living in another country for years as the only suggestion to learn is not practical advice. Fusha is useful is you want to read articles, understand news broadcasts or are interested in religion but it's not the only path to learning Arabic and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to someone who is mainly interested in speaking and primarily interacts with one region or country's Arabic speaking community.
Well, whoever told you that it sounds comical, and he or she is an Arab, then they simply don't have any connection to their culture (to say the least).
Yes, we might not use standard Arabic in daily speech, but we use it in formal writing, at work, in academia, newspapers, reading, most ads (even though there is a wave of so-called "youthful style" and bla bla) - Even the daily speech is amalgamated and stuffed with standard Arabic. In fact, a person with specific educational class would automatically tend to use standard Arabic in a normal speech without feeling it (while those with majors in science would probably and mostly use English because this is what they teach in colleges - I am one myself).
Now, for dialects (Egyptian or others), you have to know that learning would be mostly auditory; Because I never heard of a standard form of writing or orthography for any dialect. In Egypt though, I think they have some newspapers that write articles using the dialect and there is even a Wikipedia page which is noted as (Egyptian Arabic) separate from (Arabic Wikipedia); and we find it funny in fact. I'd rather get info in standard Arabic and read articles in standard Arabic rather than doing that in other dialects. Don't wanna sound attacking, but it's a matter of class.
Then, let's take the example of the Egyptian dialect, just for instance. There are 4 or more dialects in Egypt alone. Which one people should learn? Cairoese, and consider it the main? There is no law considering the Cairoese dialect is the main dialect for Egypt. Needless to say, Cairo being the capital, many people from all over Egypt come to there to live and work so more likely you are to find a mixing pot of various dialects from all over Egypt in one place and nothing is official. The only way to learn in such culture (if you have to be there, live and work there), is probably to learn by listening mostly.
Standard Arabic, at its basic form alone, should be just the hinge that connects all parts of the puzzle together. However, I think there are many youtube channels out there dedicated to learn that dialect if you wish.
Arabic Dialects are different. MSA is a language based on Qur'anic arabic, if a native speaker of lets say Egyptian Arabic hears MSA for the first time, it would be like a different language. Different Grammar, Vocbulary, Phonology, etc. It works as a Standard Language because is used in media an education, so everybody understands it by exposure. But for learners, if you only study MSA and go to Egypt (Or Algeria, Qatar, Iraq, etc) they would understand you but you will not understand them. People compare the situation to the use of Latin in ancient times, and while is a very extreme example (Once you get past the inicial barrier most of the vocabulary of MSA and the dialects is still going to be the same) it helps to understand what's the actual role of MSA
I finished the Arabic course on duo lingo. This real Arabic is almost useless in the real world. In Egypt they don't understand you or they make fun of you. I also did the course Egyptian Arabic from, pimsleur and after over 40 visit's to Egypt i can talk my way around. Almost half of the Arabic speaking people live in Egypt and the Egyptian dialect is well understand over the Arabic world. I hope that Duolingo start Egyptian Arabic as a course.