Arabic problems

I want to learn Arabic, but the courses are in MSA, and I don’t know if people speak that, and if not than I’ll just learn the Saudi dialect, but I don’t know if there are any resources. Do you guys have any advice?

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It’s my understanding that MSA is what is understood widely, even if it’s not the vernacular anywhere. Wouldn’t you be in even worse shape with a regional dialect that might not even be understood when met with someone from a different region? I don’t know by how much, but even the UAE dialects appear to differ from others spoken on the peninsula: File:Arabic Dialects.svg - Wikipedia

(I had an introduction to Arabic in the form of evening continuing education classes taught by a Lebanese gentleman, but he taught MSA. That hardly makes me an expert I’ll be the first to admit.)

it depends msa is hardly spoken conversationally a lot if you want to read arabic then that would be right for you

Egyptian and Levant dialects seem to be the best supported, someone around here wrote down some resources for them. As for the Gulf, there is FSI, but I haven’t seen much else.

I must admit, I still don’t know the best way to approach it. I was thinking of buying and one on the Palestinian dialect while listening to whatever there is on lingq just to get used to the script.

Welcome to the most difficult part of learning Arabic: Finding content and written learning resources for spoken Arabic. Remember, most dialects are spoken and MSA is the written language.

Having said that, learning to read and understand MSA certainly won’t hurt your abilities to learn the spoken language later on… and you don’t really have any pressure to speak MSA, unless you are a news anchor for al jazeera or a statesman for an Arabic speaking country. Don’t worry too much about memorizing all the grammar structures and conjugations… many of them are totally simplified in spoken arabic.

Yea, Egyptian is far and away the most supported and understood. I really had trouble finding levatine resources beyond the beginner or phrasebook stuff, since all advance or interesting texts are written in MSA.

Demolitionator: Watch this The Arabic Language and What Makes it So Damn INTERESTING - YouTube

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Thank you TamL!

I love LangFocus!

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Welcome man
I’m a native Arabic speaker, and I can help you to learn Arabic very well.
I’m from Jordan

Okay thank you!

Does anybody know, how different is Gulf Arabic from Baharria Arabic (spoken in the west of Saudi Arabia). Could people from these two different regions communicate well and understand eachother?

From wiki:

Bahrani Arabic (called Baħrāni by its speakers) has the main features of Gulf Arabic dialects (e.g. Kuwait, UAE, Qatar) in addition to its own unique features. General features include the Standard Arabic q becoming g (qamar vs gamar ‘moon’), k becoming ch in some positions (kalb vs chalb ‘dog’). J becoming y in some villages (jiħħe vs yiħħe ‘watermelon’). Final Standard Arabic -ah becomes -eh in some positions. Unique features include changing “th” and “dh” into “t” and “d”. Many younger speakers avoid such pronunciations, however.

I think that they can understand each other! It’d be cool to get @yahya.alqaderi’s point of view on this.

Here is my golden advice as an Arab who speaks most dialects easily and can understand them, if you can master the Syrian or Egyptian Arabic, everyone will understand you and they will divert their tongue so you can understand them.

The truth in Arabic is that everyone has his own dialect, it is just some dialects are easier to understand, and all different Arabs try to come to a middle point between each dialect so they can communicate and say what they want.

Well, this is for the spoken part, of course you will need the “Fusha” to understand people who speak in it in some TV programs but it is not common. And you need to read the “Fusha Arabic” to understand articles and books as they are not written in dialect.


I agree, it sure is golden advice! thanks.

In my opinion, You have to learn the both because:
1- Most literate Arabs know the Modern Standard from schooling, newspapers, television, sermons…etc so they can understand you and you can communicate with them easily. Also, you can use what you learn to practise reading and writing.
2- MSA and local dialects are really extremely different especially if you leave the gulf (like going to Algeria, Egypte, …etc). This makes it really hard to ‘pick up’ MSA Arabic through immersion/by hearing people speak around you at a cafe or at a restaurant or when you’re hanging out with a bunch of Arabic native speakers. the only solution for this is to chose the local dialects you want to learn then try to communicate with the native speakers.

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Thank you guys!

I do not know how I learnt Arabic, : ). I mean if it wasn’t my native language I would struggle a little bit to learn it. Arabic is wide, so try to learn the common Arabic that you will find in conversations, scientific books, news papers, media…etc
And never try to get deeper in Arabic until you stand on stable base in it.
Good luck.

One thing that is worrying me is the lack of podcasts + transcript and lingq-able ebooks + audiobooks. I really don’t know how many official speeches with transcripts I can listen to!