Question about Arabic Dialects

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William
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Question about Arabic Dialects

Post by William » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:23 pm

Hello all,

I know one or more of you will be able to help me with a small problem I have. In a month or so, I will begin teaching an Algerian immigrant how to read and write English. In order to help him feel more comfortable while learning, I am hoping to add some Arabic to my language skills.

The problem is this: it seems there are many different dialects. According to Wikipedia, his dialect is likely to be Maghreb Arabic. No set of cds I've seen so far features this dialect. Most I've seen focus on Egyptian or Levantine Arabic.

If I chose one of the more readily available dialects, would I still be understood? And also, does anyone recommend a particular set of audio cds or tapes?

Thanks in advance.

WB

annis
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Post by annis » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:36 pm

Do you know for certain he speaks Arabic? If he's Amazigh or something he might actually find Arabic annoying. The last time I did ESL tutoring it was also for an Algerian, but since she was well-educated I had better luck using French as a point of comparison.

The major Arabic dialect of Algeria is called "Darja." There aren't a lot of materials on it I know of. The one web site, which was excellent, is now a 404 with no obvious replacement. I have never seen books or tapes on it.

You could probably get away with learning some Cairene (usually just called "Egyptian") Arabic. Cairo ships its music and movies all over the Arabic-speaking world, so that most people will probably have a good grasp of the basics of that dialect.
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William
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Post by William » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:40 pm

Hi William,

I was told he speaks Arabic by his placement advisor, so I immediately set out to find some tapes or cds. You've given me some good information--thank you. I will press the advisor for some more information as well.

Best,
WB

Bert
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Re: Question about Arabic Dialects

Post by Bert » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:10 am

William wrote: In a month or so, I will begin teaching an Algerian immigrant how to read and write English. In order to help him feel more comfortable while learning, I am hoping to add some Arabic to my language skills.
At least you have lots of time. A whole month even. :D

William
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Re: Question about Arabic Dialects

Post by William » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:29 am

Bert wrote:
William wrote: In a month or so, I will begin teaching an Algerian immigrant how to read and write English. In order to help him feel more comfortable while learning, I am hoping to add some Arabic to my language skills.
At least you have lots of time. A whole month even. :D
:D I laughed out loud, Bert -- good one. It is definitely a big undertaking. All kidding aside, I will be happy with learning hello/goodbye, thank you, please, I like lemon ices, and my name is William. A more in-depth look into the grammar will have to unfold as I go along.

William, I think I found the remains of that website you spoke of. It appears someone put the contents into a pdf that can be found here: http://www.freefilehosting.org/public/1 ... erianderja

Best,
WB

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Post by Carola » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:13 am

I have been told that "Modern Standard Arabic" is the style used on some of the big Arabic TV networks etc. I presume most Arabic speakers can understand it and it is the variety I have been learning (or trying to learn - but that's another story). I would really appreciate any further info on this as it is rather confusing. It is obviously a lot more varied than English dialects; I (an Australian) can speak to someone from the West Indies and we understand about 99% of each other's version of English, only a few slang terms might not be understood. Arabic has obviously diverged a lot more than this.
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William
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Post by William » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:18 pm

Carola wrote:I have been told that "Modern Standard Arabic" is the style used on some of the big Arabic TV networks etc. I presume most Arabic speakers can understand it and it is the variety I have been learning (or trying to learn - but that's another story). I would really appreciate any further info on this as it is rather confusing.
Yes, that fact confused me initially as well. Further reading led me to the conclusion that in order to be understood best, you'd have to learn one of the dialects. Modern Standard seems to be the language of newspapers and magazines, and most literate Arabic speakers can read it.

That's what I got from my tentative research so far.

WB

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