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Posts Tagged ‘Colloquial Arabic’

Top 5 Attractions to Visit in Egypt

Everyone needs a travel bucket list. It is fun to surf the web and read about great places to visit, but that alone will still feel like something is missing. You have to have your own personal experiences. Get off the sofa and make your own memories. Consider all the beauty and mystery that Egypt has to offer. There are five places that you must see when planning a trip to this amazing land.

The Pyramids of Giza

In the city of Cairo, Egypt stands the Great Pyramid of Giza.It’s a 481-foot-tall man-made structure that must be experienced in person. It’s ancient, awe inspiring, and identifiable as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Along the Giza plateau is also the massive sandstone statue of the Sphinx. What would it be like to see these remarkable sites?

Luxuries of Luxor

A tour of the Temple of Karnak is a must see in Egypt. The city holds one of the most impressive collections of antiquities in the whole world. Soak up the beauty of the region on a river cruise on the Nile River and get a rare glimpse of this vast city. You can also go on an expedition through The Valley of the Kings, and The Valley of the Queens. This desert land can be extremely hot so remember to bring lots of bottled water and stay hydrated.

Alexandria the Great

On the Mediterranean coast of Egypt is the city of Alexandria. Take your time if you’re visiting this grand city.There is the National Museum, The Catacombs, and the massive Library of Alexandria. Explore the underground tombs and even learn about the history and culture of some important Egyptian people and artifacts.

The Spices of Aswan

Aswan is known as the ‘the market’ because of the trade route between Egypt and the southern lands. This is the place to go shopping. You can purchase rare spices of the area-and even gold and ivory for an extra special gift or travel souvenir. Take a tour of the Botanical Gardens on Kitchener Island, or sightsee around one of the numerous temples or the Nubian Museum.

The Red Sea Coast

Hurghada is a popular tourist destination. It’s a place to satisfy the outdoor adventurer. There are mineral springs, camping, sailing, deep sea fishing, and snorkeling in the pristine waters. There are coral reefs and rare fish you can view on glass bottom boat tours. Visit one of the offshore islands, like MarsaAlam and relax at one of the private resorts.

Being prepared when travelling is important, so consider learning some Arabic before going from Arab Academy. There are over two hundred million people who speak the Arabic language in the world, so it can be very useful to know some Arabic when traveling to Egypt. It will enrich and enhance your trip while seeing all of the wonder and beauty that Egypt has.

History of the Arabic Language

Arabic is now the 6th most spoken language in the world and is spoken by more than 200 million people worldwide. Arabic started off as a language that was only spoken by a small population. Nomadic tribes would travel around the Arabian Peninsula and speak Arabic, a language they were very proud of. Prose, poetry and oral literature were common ways to communicate through Arabic in those times.

Arabic is a “Semitic,” language and is most closely related to Aramaic and Hebrew. Other Semitic languages include Maltese, Mehri, Phoenician and Tigrinya. Semitic languages are based on a consonantal root system. Every word in Arabic is derived from one or another root word (most likely a verb).

By the 7th Century A.D., Arabic started to spread to the Middle East as many people started to convert to Islam. During this time of religious conversions, Arabic replaced many South Arabian languages, most of which are no longer commonly spoken or understood languages.

Arabic is the official language of many countries in the Middle East such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

There are three forms of Arabic; Qur’anical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, and Colloquial Arabic. Qur’anical Arabic is not used in conversation or in non- religious writing and Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of the Arabic world. Colloquial Arabic refers to Arabic that is spoken with a dialect.

There are more than 30 different forms of Colloquial or Spoken Arabic. Some of the dialects that are the most common are Egyptian Arabic, Algerian Arabic, Sudanese Arabic and North Levantine Arabic. Some dialects can be so strong that although people are speaking the same language it’s hard to communicate. When this happens, Arabic speakers revert back to speaking the Modern Standard Arabic. Modern Arabic is used for TV, films, plays, poetry and in books. Arabic Courses learnt at the Arab Academy is taught in the Modern Standard form.

Arabic is a language that can be transformed to adapt to new words that need to be created because of science or technology. However, the written Arabic language has seen no change in the alphabet, spelling or vocabulary in at least 4 millenniums.

 

 

Main Arabic Dialects

What are the main Arabic Dialects?

Students wishing to learn Arabic -especially colloquial Arabic- are faced with so many options and dialects. Whereas Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the same throughout the Arab world, the dialects vary according to the geographical location. The further away the countries, the greater the variation between the dialects. In a broad sense there is a wide difference between the dialects of eastern countries (Arabian Peninsula) and dialects of western countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and western Libya). Dialects in the Middle East, may be broadly classified as follows:

  • Dialects of Egypt and Sudan
  • Dialects of the Arabian Peninsula
  • Dialects of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine
  • Dialects of Iraq
  • Dialects of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and western Libya

Within each category, further sub-classification takes place, depending amongst other factors – on the location, level of education, and degree of urbanization.

 

 

Arabic Language

  • How Many People Use Arabic Today?

Arabic is the native language of 220 million people living in 22 Arab countries. It was declared an official language of the UN in January 1974. The 6 official languages at the UN are: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Arabic is also the language in which Islam’s holy book, the Quran, was revealed. Hence, it is the liturgical language of the nearly one billion Muslims around the world, who comprise 20% of the world’s population. Muslims today are spread across more than 60 countries.

  • What is Classical Arabic?
Arabic has been in usage in the Arabian Peninsula for at least 2000 years. Classical Arabic is the formal version that was used in the Al-Hijaz region 1500 years ago. Written records of the language include poetry that was composed in pre-Islamic times (ca. 600 AD). The Quran was revealed in Classical Arabic, which is the main reason why the language has preserved its purity throughout the centuries. Arabs consider Classical Arabic as an important part of their culture. Throughout Islamic history Classical Arabic has been the language of royal and princely courts, the bureaucracy and the learned. Literary expression was conducted mainly in Classical Arabic. Mastery of Classical Arabic and the exhibition of this mastery, using both written and oral mediums, has always led to respect and awe.
  • What is Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)?
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), as its name indicates, is the modern counterpart of Classical Arabic. It is the official language of 22 Arab countries where it is used in the oral and written form on all formal occasions. The main difference between MSA and Classical Arabic lies in the vocabulary. MSA reflects the needs of contemporary expression whereas Classical Arabic reflects the needs of older styles.
  • What is Colloquial Arabic?
Colloquial Arabic is the spoken Arabic used by Arabs in their every day lives. Unlike MSA that is uniform in all Arab countries, colloquial Arabic is subject to regional variation, not only between different countries, but also across regions in the same country.
  • What Has Made it Possible to preserve Classical Arabic for so Long?

The fact that a language has survived for fourteen hundred years, over such a vast area of land, and spoken by so many different people is a miracle in its own right.

What has stood against the fragmentation of Classical Arabic into different languages?

The presence of the Classical Arabic ‘model’ document – the sacred Quran. The Quran has driven Muslims to learn Arabic; it has been read, recited, analyzed and studied by all Muslims throughout the centuries. The establishment of codified rules for Classical Arabic and the great emphasis given to mastering these rules were instrumental factors in the continued survival of the language.