Learning Popular Arabic Dialects: Which to Choose
Arabic varieties are a lot and some of them are more understood than others among Arabic speakers.
In this article, you will have specific criteria upon which you will choose from the most popular Arabic dialects in the Middle East the one that is suitable for you to learn.
4 Steps to Choose Your Arabic Dialect
1. Choose a Popular Region
There has to be a particular region whose Arabic variety feels attractive for you to learn. If this is the case, your learning process will be way more enjoyable as it is not just memorizing some words in Arabic; it is going to be the method you will connect to the people in that region.
You probably have listened to native speakers speaking in their own dialect, if so, keep listening that will help you a lot.
2. Pick Based on the Level of Mutual Intelligibility
Some dialects are more popular than others as they are spoken by millions of people in one country or more. The most popular one is the Egyptian dialect. It is understood and spoken by 100 million people or more.
That means that if you learn that dialect you will be understood by that number of people and way more. In fact, Egyptian Arabic can be the most popular dialect because almost all of the Middle East understands it.
Other varieties of the Arabic language do not possess this mutual intelligibility that makes the Egyptian dialect understandable throughout the Arabic-speaking world, including Arabs from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq, and almost everywhere else in the Middle East.
Some regional dialects, like the Gulf Arabic, are also understood by the people in that region. But unlike Egyptian Arabic, other people from outside the Gulf region can find it difficult to understand the language.
3. Look at Language Resources Available
No one can deny that some countries have a broader media production than others, that is also something to consider when choosing the dialect you want to learn.
Media can be a great way of practicing that language and learning it fast. Other resources can be literature produced in that dialect, and of course, the courses that can help you practice that dialect with a native tutor such as the ones that IH Cairo provides.
4. Consult a Professional
A language professional can help you determine which dialect exactly you need to learn.
Tell him/her some important information like why you are learning the language and what your exact goal is, and of course, he/she will be able to tell you what dialect to learn based on these criteria.
Time to Put Things into Action
Deciding which dialect to learn can be confusing, especially if you do not know any Arabic speakers, as there are all different and there are so many Arabic varieties in the Middle East.
However, by following the four steps that we have tackled, you will be able to choose the popular dialect you want to learn.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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