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Message 1 of 601 February 2012 at 8:57am | IP Logged
Which is the best colloquial Arabic to learn, and why?
I understand a lot of people favor Egyptian or Levantine Arabic, but I'm not sure why?
I would think Gulf Arabic, since it's where all the money is and has the most stable and prosperous countries with the best standard of living in the Arab world...
plus, Gulf Arabic is the dialect closest to classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic, which should make it an easier choice than learning a dialect that is more different from these, right?
But on the other hand, is Gulf Arabic harder to pronounce? And harder to find friendly native speakers to practice with?
Maybe Oman would be good (friendlier locals than other Gulf countries, and far fewer foreign residents from South Asia, etc., so easier to interact with native speakers)?
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Message 2 of 601 February 2012 at 9:47am | IP Logged
|Which is the best colloquial Arabic to learn, and why?
There are countless HTLAL threads about the most useful dialect or dialects vs. MSA.
Obviously, it would make sense to study the dialect of the region that you intend to live in.
However, knowledge of MSA or a dialect isn't as advantageous or as important as you might think. Besides, Arabic isn't exactly an easy language to learn.
|I would think Gulf Arabic, since it's where all the money is and has the most stable and prosperous countries with the best standard of living in the Arab world...
The standard of living is indeed quite high in most Gulf states, but it comes with a price...
Have you ever lived in one of the Gulf states for longer periods of time??
|But on the other hand, is Gulf Arabic harder to pronounce?
IMHO, Gulf Arabic is more or less on par with most other common dialects. Each has its own peculiarities. You might as well ask whether Glaswegian is more difficult than an Southern Drawl.
Edited by Doitsujin on 01 February 2012 at 9:57am
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Message 3 of 601 February 2012 at 9:55am | IP Logged
The main reason cited in favor of Egyptian Arabic is its alleged cultural prominence throughout the Arab world, with much mention of Egyptian cinema. Frankly, Egypt's national film industry seems to have largely died off decades ago. The country is certainly unique for its demographic weight—Egypt is 81 million people strong—but it's completely bankrupt and would literally run out of food without renewed foreign aid.
Levantine Arabic is popular because it's spoken in a handful of countries that, although tiny, collectively comprise a region of incredible historical and cultural significance, particularly with respect to the three great Abrahamic faiths. Plus, Lebanon is a popular source of contemporary Arabic pop music—to a degree displacing much of Egypt's prior dominance.
Gulf Arabic is certainly the language of the wealthiest region in the Arab world, but some people would find it hard to learn a language for tiny micro-states like Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar; relatively tiny countries like the UAE and Oman; and an authoritarian theocracy like Saudi Arabia.
With respect to friendly locals, the Maghreb and the Gulf tend to have the most positive opinions of Westerners, but then again, I've heard many stories of wonderfully friendly locals in Egypt, which usually ranks near the bottom in these sorts of opinion polls.
Edited by nway on 01 February 2012 at 10:01am
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Message 4 of 601 February 2012 at 11:13pm | IP Logged
One way to choose is to ask which part of the Arab world are you most likely to visit.
Not much point learning Iraqi Arabic if you want to visit the shopping malls of the Gulf
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Message 5 of 602 February 2012 at 8:14am | IP Logged
Learn MSA, then choose the best dialect for you. I like Levantine personally because I
like the way it sounds, and I would love to live in Beirut someday, no other reason! If
I go to Morocco, UAE, Iraq or Egypt I'll be like any other Lebanese (or any other Arabic
speaker) and deal with people in MSA, hell even French! It's just the modus operandi of
the Arab world. I mean picking up a few dialect words so you understand when you travel
is nice, but my vote, in order to avoid learning a bajillion dialects, get good at one
you fancy, and MSA.
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Message 6 of 623 November 2017 at 7:23am | IP Logged
i have spent months and months struggling with fusha and saw that it does not serve to
mey goal(business with Arabic world) then (like everybody else) which dialect took my
months. I tried a few dialects and saw that a few things important.
-How many resources can you find on the dialect choice of yours
-How many native speakers can you find to practice on the dialect choice of yours
-(Except maghrebi and Egyptian) different dialects can understand each other, it is not a
very big deal. Besides you are a foreigner and people will help you
It is important to learn a dialect at first because rest is easy. I wanted levantine but
end up with Shami dialect. I am happy to be learning this dialect.