Breaking down North African Dialects Part 4: Declining & Accepting invitations + story telling

I’ve lost track of the number of times over the years that I’ve heard people talk about how North African dialects as if they are drastically different from those of the Central Middle East. This is a mindset that unjustifiably intimidate students, especially because it isn’t true.

3 more Algerian Arabic dialogue as part of my effort to break the perceived “scariness.”

Click on the title to hear the audio.

Declining an Invitation


(1)  This is the first time I’ve heard ( نهار ) instead of ( يوم ) when describing days of the week.  On one hand, I’d never thought of people saying it this way, but as soon as I saw it said this way, the meaning was crystal clear.

(2) Had never heard this verb before as far as I can recall.  As I’ve already mentioned in this series  of posts on Algeria, if the goal is to just become competent in Algerian, where it comes from doesn’t really matter.  Just memorize the verb and use it.

But out of curiosity, I wanted to know if it’s some random Algerian verb, or in fact coming from a clear “Fusha” root. I couldn’t come up with a decisive verdict where it’s coming from in my allotted 10 minutes per word – but I am 95% sure it’s coming from one of these two verbs listed in Hans Wehr:


(3) Nothing uniquely Algerian here.  Pretty close to how you’d say this in Egypt.

Accepting an Invitation


(4)   Another New Fusha <> Ammiya Combination that I have just learned from reading Spoken Algerian transcripts:

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 11.55.58 AM.png

Interestingly this is not listed in the Said Badawi and Hinds Dictionary of Modern Egyptian.

(5) Another example of tiny variation in word choice from country to country – ( دار ) vs ( بيت ) vs (منزل)


Mark’s Algeria Story


(6) In Algeria people “read” what they are “studying.” Noted in several previous dialogues.

(7)  Another minor word choice difference.

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 12.00.47 PM.png

(8)  Another totally random Fusha word – ( الحومة )  –  that I learn today:

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 12.05.49 PM.pngI had never heard this word before, yet it’s clearly “MSA.”

(9)  There’s a difference in the pattern for Verbs ( كنت ندير )  between Algerian and say Egypt.  No big deal though, nothing that a few lessons with a Tutor can’t straighten out. If I was going to Algeria, I’d have my tutor lay out the rules, and then then study them. Within a few hours, I would immediately have converted this technical difference.

(10) In Algeria people get a ( خدمة )  instead of a “get a job.” That’s a new way of me hearing it, but it’s just a minor technical difference.

(11) Trying to find the roots to this one and could not find a decisive answer after a budgeted 10 minutes.

(12)  Nothing uniquely Algerian here.  This is exactly what you’d say in Egypt.




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