Modern Standard Arabic - the norm

by Julie Anne Lingust & Mental Health Speaker

The word لُغَة “Lugha” is the Arabic word for language, also the word لِسَان “Lisaan” which is the Arabic word for “tongue” is used for language, however you might find the style and the words people use to write Arabic is different from the style and the words they use when they speak Arabic. Also you will find different types of Arabic and I’m going to help you understand the differences between them.

Today all Arabs use what is called MSA, the modern Standard Arabic in almost all written content in media, education, religious institutions etc… it’s also spoken in formal situations, presidential or king’s speeches, religious preaching and in academic institutions. And the most important advantage of speaking MSA is that you can be clearly understood in all Arab countries, especially by people who have received even a very basic education.

MSA stems from what is called classical Arabic, which we can call the original Arabic. MSA has simply added new words and a more simplistic style but kept the main grammar rules and the structure of the original Arabic, so this is basically the difference between MSA and Classical Arabic.

When it comes to understanding the spoken dialects in different parts of the Arab world, we should first look at the names of these dialects: Egyptian Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Gulf Arabic, and Mahgrebi Arabic. You’ll have noticed it’s all Arabic, so having knowledge of MSA would help you understand most of what is said in each of these dialects. And the main differences between all of these dialects is that each one has imported words from a second language, not Arabic, in addition to some grammatical differences.

The most commonly understood dialect in the Arab world is the Egyptian dialect due to mass media production having started in Egypt earlier than those of other Arab countries, so you can say that a Saudi person would understand an Egyptian more than the ability of the Egyptian to understand 100% of what a Saudi says. Most Arabs watch Egyptian movies almost every day.

If someone wants to translate written content from another language to Arabic or vice versa, you can look for a translator who has knowledge of MSA and knowledge of the other language in the translation. There is no need to find someone from a specific Arab country. On the other hand, if you have spoken content that you want to translate or transcribe then you need to determine what dialect speakers are using and based on that you can choose the right person for the job. 

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About Julie Anne Advanced   Lingust & Mental Health Speaker

29 connections, 1 recommendations, 127 honor points.
Joined APSense since, December 20th, 2012, From North West, United Kingdom.

Created on Dec 31st 1969 18:00. Viewed 0 times.


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