Managing in Arabic in Morocco – part 1

The question I’ve written about many times:

Do you  dedicate your limited Arabic learning resources to:  perfecting a dialect?  Or do you aim for a more general, heavily MSA-based, multi-purpose Arabic that enables you to operate in Arabic at a very high level wherever you go?

In 20 strategies for becoming a high-level Arabic speaker I suggested that students should focus on the latter. Unless you are 100% certain you are learning the language for use in one specific country, better to focus on speaking in a 60-40 or 70-30 combination of MSA and local Dialect(S) that maximizes your maneuverability.

This is the first of several posts where I walk through the transcripts on Morocco found at the Langmedia site.

Encounter with a Random Person

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(1) Local Moroccan variation of the verb (يدير ) for “Do.”  Not exactly how it would be used elsewhere, but clearly MSA based on the almost two full pages of usages of the verb:

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(2)  Work and Study – slight regional variations compared to Central Middle East. In other parts this  ( خدامة اولى كتقراي) would literally mean “serve” maybe in the military, or as a low-level servant, and to literally Read. Whereas in Morocco, and Algeria, it means “Work” as it would mean ( شغل ) in say, Egypt. Nothing major though or any different than variations between English in the US verses Australia or Canada.

(3) Local Moroccan Version of ( هذا )  =  ( هاد)

(4)  Exhibit # Too Many To Count on How Fusha = Ammiya.  ( اشنو)  is coming from the same “Fusha” roots that leads people 3,000 miles away in Syria or Lebanon to say ( شو). Literally the only different is that a thousand or so years ago, someone started pronouncing the words differently in different countries.

(5) New Moroccan word – TBD

(6) Different  word structure for saying one’s name than I’ve heard before, but the meaning is clear to anyone at an Intermediate level.

Talking About Personal Background

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(7) Technical Verb Structure difference. In Morocco they appear to use a (ك ) when others would use a (ب). The first time I listed to this dialogue the K sound threw me off.  I listed to it twice, and read the accompanying Dialogue, and now I know that K letter equals the Present, ongoing.

( 8 ) The Moroccan Variation of (   كيف  )  = (فاش )  . It sounds like a huge difference, but it’s merely a matter of memorizing a slight technical difference. The usage is exactly the same.

(10) Should be understood to even a high beginner.

(11)  At first when I heard this verb I was confused. It seemed like something totally new. Then I looked closer and it’s simply a Colloquial Verb version of the Formal word for tomorrow.  Just another example of how Fusha is Amiya and Vice versa.

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Talking About Your Daily Schedule

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(13) See point 4. Nothing new here.

(14) Same verb pattern, with only technical changes that should be recognizable to anyone who has learned a Dialect elsewhere.

(15)  Still not sure of this one. Couldn’t find an exact meaning after spending 5 minutes or so looking through Hans Wehr. Then again, if you are going to Morocco, this is something that you can learn in 5 minutes from your tutor.

(16) ( فالدار ) = (  في البيت/المنزل) .

(18)  Slightly different ways of citing hours, but this paragraph should be understood fairly clearly by anyone at even low Intermediate level of Fusha.

 

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