How do Gulf and Levantine Arabs differ?

Arabic world - Arabic dialects

Similar to other languages, Arabic teaches a language that everyone can understand. Classical Arabic is used to understand the Koran. This is what is known as "Classical Arabic". In the Arab world, however, there are different dialects that prevail in the respective countries. In principle, one differentiates between standard Arabic (fuSHa) and colloquial language (3amiyya). They can be roughly summarized in groups.

  • Modern Standard Arabic
  • Classic Arabic
  • Egyptian colloquial language
  • Levantine dialects (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine)
  • North African languages ​​(Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya)
  • Gulf region (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia

Modern Standard Arabic

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is not the mother tongue of any Arab nation. It is the language that is taught and understood in schools. Compared to Arabic dialects, MSA sounds clearer and it is easier. You can communicate with this language everywhere in the Arab countries.

Classic Arabic - "al-3rabiya al-klasikiyya "

Classical Arabic is the sacred language of the "Quran" and the predecessor of MSA. This form of Arabic is learned by Muslims around the world in so-called Koran schools in order to read their holy book. Classical Arabic is performed melodically and with a poetic rhythm.

Egyptian colloquial language

Egyptian Arabic is known throughout the Arab world due to the abundance of films, music, and books in this dialect. Many foreign television shows are dubbed in the Egyptian dialect, among other things. These include very popular Turkish soap operas and the heavily censored "Game of Thrones" episodes.

Levantine dialects (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine)

The so-called "Shami" dialect is known in this region. Numerous films and series are also dubbed in this dialect. It is brighter and friendlier than the Egyptian dialect.

North African languages ​​(Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya)

The North African dialects, often known as Darija, are influenced by French, a holdover from the French occupation of the region. Some of Amazigh, the Berber language, is also spoken and can be found with individual vocabulary. Arabs from other regions will find that it takes a lot of concentration to understand Maghribi dialects. The Italian also plays a role in Libyan.

Gulf region (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia

The dialect is often called "Khalijyi". It has fewer loanwords from other languages ​​- such as Persian, French, English, Hebrew - than the other dialects.

In the individual dialects there are peculiarities of pronunciation. The “jeem” of standard Arabic becomes a “geem” in Egyptian or Yemeni. In Iraqi people like to say “jeem” instead of “kaaf”, to name just a few peculiarities. The fact is that the dialects simplify grammar and are widely used.

Some examples:

WhatWhere WhenHowWhy
miSriyyaehFairies thereimtaizzayyborrow
Maghribiyya shnoofairiesfoquashkifash3lash
khaleejiyyamaa ayshaynmatakayflimih


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