History UsefulNotes / ArabicLanguage

14th Dec '16 6:12:01 AM narm00
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* '''Egyptian Arabic''', as its name suggests, is spoken in Egypt. Egypt is a hugely populous country, with more than 1 in 3 Arabic speakers being Egyptian (80 million out of 220 million Arabic speakers). Due to the exportation of Egyptian media to the rest of the Arabic speaking world, this is one of the most widely understood spoken varieties; until [[Franchise/DisneyFairies Secret of the Wings]], almost all Arabic dubs of Disney movies (safe for few direct-to-video movies) were dubbed into Egyptian Arabic (Secret of the Wings was dubbed into MSA, and all the following films (inclunding ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'', ''Disney/{{WreckItRalph}}'' and even ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'') were and will be as well). For this reason, besides MSA, Egyptian Arabic is the most widely studied variety by foreign learners.[[note]]Fun fact: Arabic has the largest number of speakers of any Semitic language. If all varieties were taken as their own language, Egyptian would still have more than any other Semitic language.[[/note]]

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* '''Egyptian Arabic''', as its name suggests, is spoken in Egypt. Egypt is a hugely populous country, with more than 1 in 3 Arabic speakers being Egyptian (80 million out of 220 million Arabic speakers). Due to the exportation of Egyptian media to the rest of the Arabic speaking world, this is one of the most widely understood spoken varieties; until [[Franchise/DisneyFairies Secret of the Wings]], almost all Arabic dubs of Disney movies (safe for few direct-to-video movies) were dubbed into Egyptian Arabic (Secret of the Wings was dubbed into MSA, and all the following films (inclunding ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'', ''Disney/{{WreckItRalph}}'' ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' and even ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'') were and will be as well). For this reason, besides MSA, Egyptian Arabic is the most widely studied variety by foreign learners.[[note]]Fun fact: Arabic has the largest number of speakers of any Semitic language. If all varieties were taken as their own language, Egyptian would still have more than any other Semitic language.[[/note]]



Writing in Arabic is more similar to writing with the Roman alphabet than an English speaker might think at first. Outside of Arabic, the Arabic writing system is referred to as an ''abjad'' (أبجد) and functions very similarly to the Roman alphabet. Each phoneme has it's own letter and no letters have more than one phone (excluding ''alif''). What really gets beginners is the way letters are ''connected''.

The Arabic alphabet consists of 29 letters (or 28, [[BrokenBase as Arab grammarians are divided as to whether not ''hamza'' should be considered it's own letter or some kind of auxiliary symbol for an ''alif'']]). The Arabic alphabet is somewhat peculiar, however, because the letters are always "connected" in one way or another; as the Arabic alphabet is ultimately derived from a cursive form of the Aramaic alphabet (the non-cursive form of which is ancestral to the modern Hebrew alphabet), this should come as no surprise. The really strange thing, though, is that although all Arabic letters can connect to the letter before them, there are two classes of letters depending on their relation to letters after them:

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Writing in Arabic is more similar to writing with the Roman alphabet than an English speaker might think at first. Outside of Arabic, the Arabic writing system is referred to as an ''abjad'' (أبجد) and functions very similarly to the Roman alphabet. Each phoneme has it's its own letter and no letters have more than one phone (excluding ''alif''). What really gets beginners is the way letters are ''connected''.

The Arabic alphabet consists of 29 letters (or 28, [[BrokenBase as Arab grammarians are divided as to whether not ''hamza'' should be considered it's its own letter or some kind of auxiliary symbol for an ''alif'']]). The Arabic alphabet is somewhat peculiar, however, because the letters are always "connected" in one way or another; as the Arabic alphabet is ultimately derived from a cursive form of the Aramaic alphabet (the non-cursive form of which is ancestral to the modern Hebrew alphabet), this should come as no surprise. The really strange thing, though, is that although all Arabic letters can connect to the letter before them, there are two classes of letters depending on their relation to letters after them:



There a number of pairs of certain Arabic letters, such as س and ص and ت and ط, the only difference between them is one is an "emphatic" version of the sound (i.e. pronounced a little harder).

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There are a number of pairs of certain Arabic letters, such as س and ص and ت and ط, where the only difference between them is one is an "emphatic" version of the sound (i.e. pronounced a little harder).
12th Nov '16 8:45:42 PM Hadjorim
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Arabs generally afford MSA a respect far beyond its practical use. For cultural and religious reasons, most Arabs consider MSA "real Arabic" and dialects as "street languages." This is why Arab countries have MSA as their official national language (because every country wants to say ''its'' official language is the "pure" Arabic from the Quran), despite the fact that almost nobody speaks it in everyday life. To them, teaching dialect in school would be like teaching internet chatspeak. Learning and becoming fluent in Arabic is not impossible, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart. One really needs to socialize frequently with native speakers to have a good shot at success.

to:

Arabs generally afford MSA a respect far beyond its practical use. For cultural and religious reasons, most Arabs consider MSA "real Arabic" and dialects as "street languages." This is why Arab countries have MSA as their official national language (because every country wants to say ''its'' official language is the "pure" Arabic from the Quran), despite the fact that almost nobody speaks it in everyday life. To them, teaching dialect in school would be like teaching internet chatspeak. Learning and becoming fluent in Arabic is not impossible, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart. One really needs to socialize frequently with native speakers to have a good shot at success.
24th Sep '16 6:39:33 PM nombretomado
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If you want to learn Arabic, you must take these things into account before deciding whether to learn MSA or one of the dialects (of course if you ''really'' want to become fluent, eventually you'll have to learn both). Learning Modern Standard Arabic is a good start, as all Arabs can understand it, and it lays a good foundation for picking up multiple dialects. However, you will ''not'' be able to hold a conversation with an Arab on the street. Also important: while Arab news is in MSA, Arab ''movies'' are not. Therefore if you plan to learn a lot from watching Arabic TV shows or films, MSA is not the way to go. [[note]] The one exception to this is children's media, including translations of Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks movies. Children's books and movies remain largely in MSA in the Arab world, because they see it as one of the few opportunities in which parents can expose their children to MSA.[[/note]]

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If you want to learn Arabic, you must take these things into account before deciding whether to learn MSA or one of the dialects (of course if you ''really'' want to become fluent, eventually you'll have to learn both). Learning Modern Standard Arabic is a good start, as all Arabs can understand it, and it lays a good foundation for picking up multiple dialects. However, you will ''not'' be able to hold a conversation with an Arab on the street. Also important: while Arab news is in MSA, Arab ''movies'' are not. Therefore if you plan to learn a lot from watching Arabic TV shows or films, MSA is not the way to go. [[note]] The one exception to this is children's media, including translations of Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks Creator/DreamWorks movies. Children's books and movies remain largely in MSA in the Arab world, because they see it as one of the few opportunities in which parents can expose their children to MSA.[[/note]]
9th Sep '16 3:12:16 PM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects, or one will modify their dialect to be more understandable to the other. Using MSA to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects, or one will modify their dialect to be more understandable to like the other. Using MSA to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
9th Sep '16 3:09:22 PM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. Using MSA to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects.dialects, or one will modify their dialect to be more understandable to the other. Using MSA to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
8th Sep '16 7:43:19 AM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. Using it to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. Using it MSA to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
8th Sep '16 7:42:27 AM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA will only be used when speaking about high-level subjects like philosophy or politics (if for no other reason than dialects often lack specific vocabulary to express it). Using it to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA will only be used when speaking about high-level subjects like philosophy or politics (if for no other reason than dialects often lack specific vocabulary to express it). Using it to talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
7th Sep '16 7:39:00 PM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA sounds as "modern" to contemporary Arabs as Shakespearean English sounds to you (or perhaps more pertinently, the King James Bible). Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA sounds as "modern" will only be used when speaking about high-level subjects like philosophy or politics (if for no other reason than dialects often lack specific vocabulary to contemporary Arabs as Shakespearean English sounds express it). Using it to you (or perhaps more pertinently, the King James Bible).talk about daily life would be considered weird and even comical. Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
31st Aug '16 7:52:43 AM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. [[note]]Some of the eastern dialects such as Saudi share a lot with MSA, while western dialects like Moroccan and Algerian are basically unintelligible even to other native Arabs.[[/note]] Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA sounds as "modern" to contemporary Arabs as Shakespearean English sounds to you (or perhaps more pertinently, the King James Bible). Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. [[note]]Some of the eastern dialects such as Saudi share a lot with MSA, while western dialects like Moroccan and Algerian are basically unintelligible even to other native Arabs.[[/note]] Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA sounds as "modern" to contemporary Arabs as Shakespearean English sounds to you (or perhaps more pertinently, the King James Bible). Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
22nd Aug '16 9:08:50 PM Hadjorim
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However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. [[note]]Some of the eastern dialects, such as (unsurprisingly) Saudi dialect share a lot with MSA, while western dialects like Moroccan and Algerian are basically unintelligible even to other native Arabs.[[/note]] Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA sounds as "modern" to contemporary Arabs as Shakespearean English sounds to you (or perhaps more pertinently, the King James Bible). Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.

to:

However, this is not the Arabic that Arabs speak most of the time. They understand it, but they don't speak it. In fact, there are actually no native speakers of MSA. Instead, much like [[UsefulNotes/ChineseDialectsAndAccents Chinese]], all Arabs speak a wide variety of "dialects," many of which are only partially mutually intelligible with each other, and some not at all. [[note]]Some of the eastern dialects, dialects such as (unsurprisingly) Saudi dialect share a lot with MSA, while western dialects like Moroccan and Algerian are basically unintelligible even to other native Arabs.[[/note]] Though they are grouped together for political and cultural reasons, the so-called "dialects" of Arabic would be better thought of as separate languages altogether. Many language learning courses advertise MSA as the "lingua franca" of the Arab world spoken by "220 million people," or as the fifth most spoken language in the world and so on. This is not true. If two Arabs meet who speak different dialects, almost always they will try to simply muddle through with their own dialects. MSA sounds as "modern" to contemporary Arabs as Shakespearean English sounds to you (or perhaps more pertinently, the King James Bible). Even if you speak to a regular Arab in MSA, he will not respond in it - meaning you probably won't understand him.
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