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Rahaf Abuobeid
Community Tutor
Comparison of Three Arabic Dialects

Mar7aban!

In this discussion I would like to show a few samples of three Arabic dialects for those who are interested in learning Arabic, or just curious to see how different they can be from one another.


We'll compare Fus7a Arabic -- the standard form, to Levantine (more specifically Syrian, which is my native dialect), and Egyptian -- a widely understood dialect among Arabic speakers because of movies and music.


To begin, let's see how to say 'How are you?' in each dialect or form.

Fus7a:
Keyfa haluka?

Syrian:
Kifak?

Egyptian:
Izzayak?


Kind of different, right?

To say, 'I speak a little Arabic', you say:

Fus7a:
Etekellem Arabe qaleelan.

Syrian:
Behke Arabe shway.

Egyptian:
Betekellem Arabe shwayya.


And one more example -- 'What are you doing right now?'

Fus7a:
Madha tefal alan?

Syrian:
Shou am tamel halla?

Egyptian:
Bitamel e dalwati?


As you can see, the contour and content of each form is quite different, but believe it or not, all derived in some way from the classical or standard form.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite? Which one would you like to learn?
Jul 29, 2016 5:05 PM
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Comments · 4

جميع هذه اللهجات منطوقة و لا يوجد كتاب واحد منشور بلهجة منهم

اللغة العربية واحدة و الموقع مخطئ في تقسيم العربية الى لهجات (من اقترح هذا التقسيم في الموقع من المؤكد انه لا يتقن العربية الفصحى)

أو ان الغاية من ذلك هي تقسيم اللغة العربية مثلما تم تقسيم الدول العربية

شكرا على طرحك للموضوع رهف.

August 1, 2016

Thanks for the interesting comparisons Rahaf,


I'm trying to learn Syrian Arabic - it's obviously different from the others - if you knew Syrian Arabic and spoke the above phrases to someone from Morocco, the gulf, Egypt, etc. would they be able to understand you? Or would they be lost?


The first phrase you provide is somewhat similar, but the second two look vastly different - would speakers of other dialects understand them?

August 2, 2016
This is why I've never even considered learning Arabic. Too many dialects! This is also a problem with Chinese, but at least _most_ Chinese speakers can also speak Mandarin in addition to their native dialect.
July 29, 2016

Thank you for stopping by Matt!


The answer to your question is yes they would understand you. I lived in Saudi Arabia and we had no trouble understanding each other, mention that I speak Syrian and they speak Saudi or Egyptian ...etc.

As for Moroccans, their dialect is more complex and rich and most Moroccans are trained to understand and speak other dialects since they have a more complex one.

The main idea is this: any Arabic dialect speaker would understand any other Arabic dialect speaker wither Syrian, Egyptian, ....etc.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that people's ability to understand all words in other dialects varies from one person to another depending on their openness in hearing other dialects and understanding them and on their practice and experiences with those other dialects. 

August 2, 2016
Rahaf Abuobeid
Language Skills
Arabic, English, Spanish
Learning Language
Spanish