Are you planning to learn Arabic but are unsure which dialect to study?
With so many different dialects of Arabic it can be difficult to know which one is the best for you to learn.
In this blog post, we will provide a clear explanation of the different Arabic dialects and what you should consider when choosing which one to learn.
Whether you are planning to use Arabic for travel, business, or personal communication, there is an Arabic dialect that is right for you. Let’s get started!
Different types of Arabic
The Arabic language has many different varieties, including Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and dialects. This is one of the main reasons why people consider this language difficult to learn.
Here we will explain what is the difference between MSA and dialects and how exactly they are used.
What is MSA Arabic?
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the standardized and literary form of Arabic that is used in formal settings such as news broadcasting, education, and government.
MSA is based on the Arabic used in the Quran, but it has been modernized and standardized to make it easier to use and understand.
MSA is the most widely-understood form of Arabic and is the language of instruction in schools throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
In addition to MSA, there are many regional dialects of Arabic that are spoken in Arab countries.
These dialects can vary widely in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar, and are often influenced by the local language and culture of the region where they are spoken.
Some of the most common and widely-studied dialects include Egyptian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Gulf Arabic, and Levantine Arabic.
Each of these dialects has its own unique characteristics and is spoken in a specific region of the Arab world.
Modern Standard Arabic and dialects are different types of Arabic that serve different purposes and are used in different contexts. MSA is a standardized and literary form of Arabic that is used in formal settings, while dialects are the spoken varieties of Arabic that are used in everyday communication.
If you decided to learn MSA check out our Modern Standard Arabic Vocabulary Lists.
If you want to learn Levantine Arabic we also have something for you! Check the Levantine Arabic category on our website and unlock many LA resources.
The top 5 factors you should consider before choosing the Arabic dialect
When it comes to learning Arabic, one of the most important decisions is which dialect to study.
In this section, we will discuss the top 5 factors to consider when choosing an Arabic dialect.
By understanding these factors and how they apply to your specific situation, you can make a decision and choose the right dialect for your needs.
1. The purpose of learning Arabic
When deciding which Arabic dialect to learn, it is important to consider the purpose for which you are learning the language.
Are you planning to use Arabic for travel, business, or personal communication with friends and family?
Are you interested in studying Arabic literature?
Are you more interested in spoken Arabic?
These are all important questions to consider when choosing which dialect to learn, as different dialects may be better suited to different purposes.
2. The region where Arabic will be used
Another important factor to consider when choosing an Arabic dialect is the region where you plan to use Arabic.
If you plan to travel or do business in a specific region, it makes sense to learn the dialect spoken in that region. This will make it easier for you to communicate with locals and navigate your way around the region.
For example, if you are planning to visit Egypt, you should learn Egyptian Arabic. If you are planning to visit Morocco, you should learn Moroccan Arabic.
3. The availability of learning resources
When choosing an Arabic dialect to learn, it is important to consider the availability of learning resources, such as books, online courses, and tutors.
For example, Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic are the most widely-studied forms of Arabic and therefore have the most available learning resources.
Arabic dialects are not standardized, so there may be fewer learning materials available for some dialects compared to MSA.
On the other hand, some regional dialects, such as Egyptian Arabic and Levantine Arabic, have a significant amount of learning resources available due to their popularity among learners of Arabic. So it will be easier to learn Egyptian Arabic and be fluent in it, than, let’s say, Sudanese dialect of Arabic.
4. Potential for career opportunities
If you are learning Arabic to improve your qualifications, a better choice would be to learn Modern Standard Arabic, which, as we mentioned before, is a language used in formal situations.
Of course, it all depends on the job you are aspiring for. Some jobs, like for example humanitarian jobs, require spoken Arabic.
5. The level of difficulty
The level of difficulty of an Arabic dialect can vary depending on factors such as pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.
Some dialects may be easier to learn than others, depending on your background and experience with the language.
For example, Modern Standard Arabic may be easier to learn for English speakers than some regional dialects, due to its more straightforward writing system and pronunciation. On the other hand, dialects often have simpler grammar than MSA.
Which Arabic dialect should I learn? Conclusion
The best Arabic dialect for you to learn will depend on your personal goals and the region where you plan to use Arabic. By considering these factors and how they apply to your specific situation, you can make this decision and choose the right Arabic dialect for your needs.
Whether you are planning to use Arabic for travel, business, or personal communication, there is an Arabic dialect that is right for you.
By learning the right dialect, you can start your journey to fluency in Arabic and unlock the rich culture and history of the Arab world.
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