14 more takeaways on Moroccan Arabic

Back to blogging about Arabic – last few days have been a blur because of the election.

In the last few weeks I’ve been looking at written transcripts of spoken Arabic – from Algeria ( see here and here) and Morocco and trying to highlight practical takeaways for Arabic students, to make this whole process less intimidating than people often make it out to be. Here are 14 more takeaways.

Click the titles to hear the accompanying audio

Navigating a Taxi

Continue reading “14 more takeaways on Moroccan Arabic”

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

DONT ACCEPT.png

(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:

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-45-34-am

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

Accepting an Invitation

Continue reading “Breaking down North African Dialects Part 4: Declining & Accepting invitations + story telling”

MSA “Base” to competence in Algeria part III: Talking about family, hobbies, and buying things in stores

See previous post for more on this topic.

Key point:

North African Dialects are not as  incomprehensibly “different” as they are often made out to be by many in the Arabic studies field.

If you have built up a strong MSA base, and have spent a decent amount of time speaking in any Dialect (250+ hours), you are in a good position to approach the differences rationally and “convert” your skills in a reasonably short amount of time (one month or less).

Three transcripts from Algeria.

Describing One’s Family

 

Continue reading “MSA “Base” to competence in Algeria part III: Talking about family, hobbies, and buying things in stores”

Converting a strong Fusha foundation into Algerian Competence

640px-Alger_Kasbah01.jpg

For the 90% of high school and university students who are learning Arabic for some practical yet still general and undefined career purpose, here is a key point: you cannot predict where in the Middle East you will end up applying your language skills.

This is why I discourage most early stage Arabic students (less than 4 years) from trying to make perfecting any single Dialect their core Goal. Why?

Continue reading “Converting a strong Fusha foundation into Algerian Competence”