1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Arabic
  4. >
  5. Do you say "ma" or "shu"?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shlomomm993

Do you say "ma" or "shu"?

when asking somone their name do you use the word شو or ما . beeing in Israel, it's known that they use the word شو rather than ما, is that right or is that only the dialect. because on duolingo it teaches to say ما اسمك... same about the word for where, is it "ayin" or "wen"?

thanks.

October 30, 2019

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jawad-Dawdi

If you want to use MSA you have to use ما if you want to speak palestinian, jordanian, libanese or syrian dialects you have to say شو - in other dialects you will find إيه - إيش - آش - أشنو

October 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shlomomm993

ok makes sense

November 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tahreer.Aqraa

in local accent we use (شو)..... but in the classical Arabic you must use (ما )

October 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shlomomm993

thanks

November 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helen727040

Sounds like the lebanese dialect.

October 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shlomomm993

I honestly don't know.. all I know is that they speak a little different than the MSA as I mentioned

November 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolo.ms

Standard Arabic to ask use ''ma'', and if you said it, all Arabs will know that you ask.. "shu'', ''shinu'', ''sh'', ''shanhu'', ''eesh'' are from public Arabic, and they are from different dialects... ''eesh'' is very popular in a lot of places.. "shu'' is from Shami dialect that include Syria and Jordan, also Egypt use it.

In summary use what do you want, but use ''ma'' more for people that might don't understand ''shu'' and they will.

November 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shlomomm993

great, thanks

November 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolo.ms

you're welcome:)

November 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Khaled120011

Hello. You must be aware that Duolingo teaches MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) which is a sort of standarized arabic due to the multiple dialects.

MSA and most of the "western" arabic dialects use "ma" instead of "Shu" .

Jordans and mostly syrians use "shu" . Due to the conflict in Syria, they spread across other countries so you might hear people using "Shu" in multiple countries.

November 5, 2019
Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.