Lebanese Lebanese Is A Dialect Shu?

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Schlaftius
Friday 24th of June 2005 03:47:13 PM
Lebanese is a dialect: Lebanese is a dialect of Arabic, not a language. Only Maronite Christian Right-Wing Extreme Phalangists like Michel Oun would
think Lebanaese a language.


Ulven
Friday 24th of June 2005 10:51:36 PM
Lebanese differs from Moroccan and Egytian more than Swedish does to Norwegian and Danish. Arabic 'dialects' use the same lettering system of course, but in spoken, the dialects are somtimes incomprehensible to one another. Learning Egytian or Classical Arabic apparently won't help you in Lebanese. English is apparently what gets used when businessmen from different Arab nations speak to Lebanese businessmen, unless they all speak Egyptian aswell. Lebanese families in my region of Sydney often don't completely understand each other. The young generation brought up outside of Arabia don't understand Egyptian, because they've not been weened on Egyptian media. Some Arabic so-named dialects do have a just cause to be called languages instead, I think.


Schlaftius
Saturday 25th of June 2005 02:35:04 AM
You are both right and wrong: Firstly, Lebanese businessmen when doing business with other Arab countries use Arabic, whether it is Modern Standard Arabic (Forget Classic or Koranic Arabic for the moment) or Lebanese Arabic (which is also well understood) or a hybrid of the both. They would not use Egyptian Arabic unless the Lebanese are dealing with Egyptians.
Moroccan Arabic dialects are somewhat unintelligible to Iraqi Arabic dialect speakers and the difference is greater than say between Swedish and Danish, but Arabs have a unified language, MSA, which is universally understood by most educated Arabs, just like most Swiss Germans speak Hochdeutsch as well as Swiss German.
So it is incorrect to call Lebanese or Egyptian a language, unless politically motivated.


remy
Wednesday 07th of September 2005 06:37:20 PM
arabic is arabic no matter where it's spoken. being an arab myself i can tell you that i don't really have to speak egyption for egyptions to understand me nor do they have to speak the gulf dialect for us to understand them. every arab in this entire world can speak the classical arabic which is also called the standard arabic. in all the medias, newspapers, business-world, letters even when you go to mcdonalds anywhere in the middle east you have the standard arabic written and spoken. speaking the dialect is different it's between families and all but when you're in school it's all standard arabic your exams and all. i'll give you an example:

what is the difference between american, british and austrailian english? do you consider each thing a new langauge or a dialect? no you don't, do americans need to speak british so that the english can understand them? the answer is no. why is it no because it's all english no matter how much you hear it differently. so it's kind of the same in arabic. hope this helps :)

so everyone out there who wants to learn arabic, learn the standard arabic and automatically you'll find yourself being able to understand and communicate with any dialect even if you don't understand a few words like for example in english some people pronoune words differently depending on the region they are from. :)


Schlaftius
Wednesday 07th of September 2005 09:59:11 PM
Remy, I don't think all Arabs have a good grasp of the Fus7ah, and I say that because there are many illiterates without schooling. So someone who only knows, say the Moroccan darajah/lahjah won't be able to communicate very smoothly with say someone from Iraq or the Gulf. They will understand something here and there however it will be on the whole difficult when they only purely use darajah/lahjah for communication. The Moroccan or Khaliji, although both uneducated in the Fus7ah, might watch Egyptian films and comedies, so are therefore able to use that mixed in with their local darajah to communicate.


remy
Wednesday 07th of September 2005 11:37:26 PM
sorry to say that i don't agree with you schlaftius. my grandmother is an illiterate woman she can't read nor write arabic as she is blind she has never attended school and she doesn't speak any other language but she communicates very well with everyone . there are all types of arabs here in bahrain and there has never come a time in which she found difficulty in communicating with other arabs. there is no arab who needs education in fus7ah as the quran is in fus7ah. you should visit any arab country and then you'll see that everyone speaks the fus7ah and your arabic is very good which will make you see that everything is in fus7ah. as for egyption films not everyone watches them. here in the khalij our media is used and we watch our films yes there are egyption and lebanese films that come in the cinema but not all watch them. personally i have never watched an egyption film and i didn't learn my egyption from the media as i hate something called tv. i didn't even have to learn it. i have been to egypt and i was communicating with them very well and i picked up their dialect in just 5 days. in school there are many egyption but we never speak each other's dialect. my best friend in school is egyption but i never speak egyption with her nor does she speak khaliji with me each speaks her dialect and we get along very well. it's easy it may seem complicated to people outside but it isn't all you need to do is come over and see it and you'll understand it :)


Schlaftius
Thursday 08th of September 2005 01:42:42 PM
No one speaks Fus7ah as a mother tongue, I think you've misunderstood most of what I wrote anyway but I will bet you any money that an uneducated Moroccan will not be able to understand well an uneducated Iraqi.


remy
Thursday 08th of September 2005 04:12:43 PM
maybe that's your point of view but most of the arabs will disagree with you. please remember that the quran is in fus7ah and there is no muslim who can pray to go in the islamic way without knowing the suras and the dua'as which are both in fus7ah and remember that even uneducated people know the suras and dua'as not by reading and writing but by hearing it and by hearting it. i don't want to go to any religious explanation as it's not at all suitable. but as i said before each one of us has his/her view of how it is, that's why i wont argue with you :D but there are many morocan's here in bahrain and most of us inter marry each other from morroco and egypt and lebanon and syria mostly. that's why i said that no matter what dialect they speak we can all understand. actually all the dialects came from the fus7ah and that was when the quran was brought down to earth. so yeah it's got it's own history but i won't bore you with that :)


Schlaftius
Thursday 08th of September 2005 04:35:21 PM
Remy, have you ever been to Morocco?


remy
Thursday 08th of September 2005 09:38:05 PM
no i'm 17 and have been out of the country maybe just 5 times. but my uncle's wife is moroccon and she has no difficulty understanding other dialects.


hamid18
Thursday 08th of September 2005 10:21:21 PM
i think remy is right. she said could understand lebanese when was in Lebanon last week (even though they couldn't understand her right away when she spoke bahraini khaleejee).

there was a lebanese arabic teacher at my school and i would sometimes listen to what she would tell her class. i can't speak it, but i can at least understand what she's saying because i grew up hearing her.

i think it depends on how often you hear the other dialect. my colloquial arabic tutor speaks to me in emirate khaleejee and sometimes i can't understand him (but i only just started). but he has no problem understanding a student from yemen when he speaks yemeni khaleejee (even though i do sometimes). they have no problem understanding me when i speak to them in aameya because they hear it a lot in the media.


Schlaftius
Friday 09th of September 2005 12:10:47 AM
You two have really missed the point, really. Should I even bother re-explaining what I just tried to explain time and time again. Reread my words. Then maybe one of you will get it and exlain to the other one.


remy
Friday 09th of September 2005 12:50:00 AM
maybe but i've just told you from my daily life experiences and my surroundings... who knows maybe you're right but people in china also have different dialects from one place to another like the north and south but you guys understand each other =s it's the same. and if i have misunderstood you then please accept my apology :)


Schlaftius
Friday 09th of September 2005 01:09:34 AM
China's so-called dialects are in actual fact languages.

For example, in Mandarin, the say "Ni" for you, Cantonese say "Leih" and Shanghainese say "Nong".

We in mandarin is "Women" and in Cantonese it is "Ngohdeih" and in Shanghainese it is "Alaa".

I could keep on listing more and more examples of differences in the various Chinese dialects, but you get my point.

How do you say the word "now" in Bahraini Dialect?


remy
Friday 09th of September 2005 01:43:17 AM
alhen - now (bahraini dialect)
alan - now (classical arabic)


Schlaftius
Friday 09th of September 2005 03:18:07 AM
Al-'aan - Fus7ah
Al-Hen - Bahraini
Halla' - Lebanese
Towa - Libyan
Taba - Moroccan
Di'l wa't di/Dil wa'tti - Egyptian

Do you know any more words for "now" in other Arabic dialects?


remy
Saturday 10th of September 2005 11:17:08 AM
i know that the whole khalij say al hen for now which means 6 countries ( bahrain, saudi arabia, kuwait,qatar, UAE and oman) and el sham all say halla ( lebanon, palestine, jordan and syria) as for sudan, egypt and somalia say dil wa't ti....... i don't know if you know that the middle east is divided into 4 parts:

1. khalij (bahrain, saudi, kuwait, uae, qatar and oman)
2.al sham ( jordon, lebanon, syria, palestine)
3. al magrab el araby (morroco, tunisia, jiaboti (not sure what it's called in english =s )
4. al awsat (egypt, somalia,sudan,libya and yemen)

iraq is between the khalij and sham...

i've missed two countries as the middle east consists of 21 countries in which arabic is spoken in all... but i don't remember the names of the two countries at the moment...

what i was trying to say that if you see each part their dialects are almost exactly the same with a little bit of difference but almost the same. :)


Schlaftius
Saturday 10th of September 2005 09:34:58 PM
I would say that Libya was more divided between the Middle and the Maghreb.

Tripolitanean Libyan is close to Tunisian whilst Cyrenaican Libyan is close to Khaleeji whilst Fezzani Libyan is close to Sudanese/Chadic Arabic.

You missed out Mauritania (Maghreb) group and Comoros Islands (Yemenite/Somalia).

It is written Djibouti.

Maltese also belongs to the Maghreb dialects and Cypriot Arabic belongs to the Shami.

Keep an eye out for more about Arabic dialects in the this section and Arabic Discussion.


remy
Saturday 10th of September 2005 10:51:31 PM
yes i missed those too. and i don't have to look out for arabic dialects cos it doesn't matter what dialect anyone speaks cos in the end it's arabic. thank you for enlightening me about your views. well then i guess this will be my last visit to the lebenese or any other arabic dialect discuss. my concern is the standard arabic discuss so yippers :)

cheers,
Remy.


Schlaftius
Saturday 10th of September 2005 11:38:54 PM
Remy, don't be a stranger.

I enjoy having you here in the Lebanese Discussion.


remy
Sunday 11th of September 2005 12:15:43 AM
thank you


Schlaftius
Sunday 11th of September 2005 10:49:52 PM
You're most welcome


hamid18
Tuesday 13th of September 2005 06:40:37 AM
what about ethiopia? they speak arabic there (even though they speak amharic as their first language i think). but every ethiopian i know speaks arabic as their 2nd language.


and if i may:
Bas - Syrian Arabic - But
Lakeen - Official Arabic - But
(this is also used in Egyptian Arabic)


mahdy
Thursday 15th of September 2005 12:45:08 PM
slama: i'm intersed in syrian arabic(lubnanes).. could uplease help me to learn..... if uwiil done i'm very happiness...
maA assalama.... shukran


hamid18
Tuesday 20th of September 2005 03:06:50 AM
i can teach you some syrian arabic mahdy, but i'm still learning it myself. for the most part, it's easy to understand but you MUST build your vocabulary in the official arabic...syrian arabic has just a a litle different from the official arabic, what i understand :)


Pazuzu
Saturday 31st of December 2005 06:19:51 AM
It's a shame this conversation was stopped.
I will post my opinion anyway:
Arabs understand each other because arab countries are very small and the interaction is strong. But to say that a Lebanese person would understand Egyptian, without having any prior contact with Egyptian people? There fore can Lebanese people understand the language spoken by other Arabs JUST relying on his own language? NO. The fact that we learn fous7a in school doesnt count much in Lebanon we start learning French in school before fous7a, and we usually feel more comfortable with French better.
In addition, not all Arabs are Muslim a reasonably large minority is not. There fore some Arabs have no or little contact with that dialect.
The Quran Arabic is different even from fous7a (and certainly from Lebanese) as a Lebanese person who was reasonably well in Arabic, I find it very difficult to understand its language.
In addition to these differences, there are strong and profound differences inside the Lebanese dialect. I dont know about other countries but in Lebanon alone there are enough differences to handicap communication (I find it difficult to follow up my grandmothers dialogue because I was raised with a sort of standard Lebanese while she was raised in a deep north town). There is the Armenian influence in the north, there are the southern (close to Palestinian) the Bea3 (very particular and characteristic of themselves) there is the Trablos ( people from Tripoli say Trobles dialect, the Beirut dialect and so on. While I wouldnt consider these dialects as independent from the Lebanese dialect or languages of there own. I wouldnt even consider the Lebanese as a language, but I do believe that in the Arab world we are at the interface dialect/language.
However what we call it doesnt matter what matters is how we use it and how we learn it.
I hope I didnt get out of the subject, I usually tend to talk too much.
Pazuzu.



Gediminas
Wednesday 04th of January 2006 01:12:43 PM
Pazuzu,

It's interesting that you bring this up, as the dialect I learned is southern Lebanese. In fact, it was a Lebanese Christian that taught me what I know, so as you stated, the idea of Qu'ranic Arabic is out the window. Many things I've learned are intelligible to other Arabs who have had exposure, but just knowing this dialect alone, I feel lost in standard Arabic or even Egyptian Arabic for that matter. Interestingly, Hamid was a little stumped on some of the words I used (such as using "mu" for English "not" as opposed to "laystu").

I'm now learning standard Arabic as a means to be initiated in some way to whatever dialect I come across. However, I hope I don't lose the aspects of Lebanese Arabic that I've picked up.


hamid18
Thursday 02nd of March 2006 03:11:48 AM
Originally posted by Gediminas


Pazuzu,

It's interesting that you bring this up, as the dialect I learned is southern Lebanese. In fact, it was a Lebanese Christian that taught me what I know, so as you stated, the idea of Qu'ranic Arabic is out the window. Many things I've learned are intelligible to other Arabs who have had exposure, but just knowing this dialect alone, I feel lost in standard Arabic or even Egyptian Arabic for that matter. Interestingly, Hamid was a little stumped on some of the words I used (such as using "mu" for English "not" as opposed to "laystu").

I'm now learning standard Arabic as a means to be initiated in some way to whatever dialect I come across. However, I hope I don't lose the aspects of Lebanese Arabic that I've picked up.it's funny that you say that bc i had forgotten that in Syrian, people say "mu" the way the Lebanese do. there is a standard dialect that people around each country can understand...but there are some differences that can definitely throw you off when you're actually interacting with somebody from another country (or even another city!) the way pazuzu said

for example, the word for "something" is "shaya'a" ش in the official arabic whereas the syrians say "shee" شي

the egyptians say "haga" حاجة for "something" but "haja" means "important" in the official arabic :s


hamid18
Thursday 02nd of March 2006 03:12:11 AM
Originally posted by Gediminas


Pazuzu,

It's interesting that you bring this up, as the dialect I learned is southern Lebanese. In fact, it was a Lebanese Christian that taught me what I know, so as you stated, the idea of Qu'ranic Arabic is out the window. Many things I've learned are intelligible to other Arabs who have had exposure, but just knowing this dialect alone, I feel lost in standard Arabic or even Egyptian Arabic for that matter. Interestingly, Hamid was a little stumped on some of the words I used (such as using "mu" for English "not" as opposed to "laystu").

I'm now learning standard Arabic as a means to be initiated in some way to whatever dialect I come across. However, I hope I don't lose the aspects of Lebanese Arabic that I've picked up.it's funny that you say that bc i had forgotten that in Syrian, people say "mu" the way the Lebanese do. there is a standard dialect that people around each country can understand...but there are some differences that can definitely throw you off when you're actually interacting with somebody from another country (or even another city!) the way pazuzu said

for example, the word for "something" is "shaya'a" شئ in the official arabic whereas the syrians say "shee" شي

the egyptians say "haga" حاجة for "something" but "haja" means "need" in the official arabic :s


malsdrengur
Monday 12th of February 2007 11:25:20 AM
"now" in Iraqi is hesse by the way.


Samer
Monday 21st of January 2008 04:12:19 AM
Um, Michel Aoun is a republican, Pierre Gemayel is a Phalangist :)
Lebanese is more than a dialect, but it is not a language.
Cheers


djr33
Sunday 06th of April 2008 06:10:07 PM
Linguistically speaking, a dialect and a language are the same thing, that is to say a form of communication shared by a group of people. The distinction between the two is made, in most cases, by mutually intelligibility. At some point, a dialect will split off far enough to become a new language. The determination for this is vague and takes some time. Lots of borderline cases will exist.
To consider all of the branches based in one language to be just dialects would be to call French and Spanish dialects, though that is not to say they are equal. In fact, they ARE both dialects of Latin.
But at this point they are, within themselves, languages.

So, the definition is vague, and it's not really possible to distinguish finitely.

In terms of communication, the communication through Lebanese Arabic differs from the other forms, so it is perhaps worth having a discuss for it (not that it's getting much traffic), though it should be called Lebanese Arabic, not Lebanese, considering.

In terms of the Chinese dialects vs. languages earlier, it's very similar to Arabic, and I think Schlaftius was wrong to post that as a counterexample to Arabic. Shared writing and differed pronunciation is also present in Arabic.

However, while an argument can be made for Arabic having different branches as languages, I'd find that argument more difficult for Chinese, when the writing is the same in all the branches. When spoken, they differ, but when written they do not (at least not greatly, as far as I know), so they are tied together.


Personally, I see dialects as a focused section of a language, such as the part spoken in the East of some country. But that dialect becomes a separate language when it begins to in itself have stability, variation from the standard to the point where distinctions must be made (such as translated versions of books), people do not associate with the speakers of the other version any more (as a native language), there is no longer integration with the main language, and that dialect itself begins to shape into a new language with dialects of its own.


And, as has been said, political issues separate some should-be dialects as languages, or vice versa.



Another way to look at the whole thing is pretty simple: are we just using the same tools in a new way [dialect] or are we using a different (if somewhat similar) toolbox altogether [language]?


hamid18
Thursday 10th of April 2008 02:44:19 AM
Arabic dialects are not really hard to understand except for the dialects spoken across north-west Africa (but that's because they often use French, Berber words). The gulf dialect uses a lot of Parsi and Urdu words so it's hard for someone from the Levant to understand them...but it's easier for an Iraqi to understand them because their accents (pronunciation of certain letters) are similar.

Lebanese Arabic is very close to MSA so any other Arab would be able to understand pretty well what they say. This accent is closer to Egyptians as well as the overall dialect but with some differences:

شي = حاجة
منشان هيك = عشان كدة
مو هيك؟ = مش كدة؟


These are the main differences, but there are more complicated ones as well:
شو؟ = اية؟
تي = حتى
ياكـِل = باكـُل



katherine_hakeem
Thursday 16th of July 2009 08:20:31 AM
Lebanese is a dialect: I'm Lebanese and wouldn't go so far as to say that Lebanese Arabic is it's own language. It is, after all, Arabic...just a different dialect. I have to agree with Pazuzu. Fos7a is taught in schools, but in Lebanon, French is taught first in most cases as a large part of our population is not Muslim. Therefore, not everyone speaks Fos7a or the modern standard form of Arabic. I myself am Muslim and don't even speak Fos7a with fluency because I didn't have a lot of exposure to it. There are so many differences between Fos7a and our dialect of Arabic.

Even within Lebanon there are different dialects of Lebanese Arabic. For example, I am from Beirut but my cousins come from Tripoli. They have some words that are different from what I would say, although I still understand them. Each country has it's own dialect of Arabic. I have been to many different Arab countries besides Lebanon and can certainly attest to the differences. When I went to Morocco, I could barely understand what the people there were saying to me, despite the fact that I'm a native speaker of Arabic. They're dialect was so heavily influenced by French and Berber that it didn't even sound like Arabic to me. My mother currently lives in Egypt so I've been going to visit there for the past 6 years, and they also have a different dialect. Although this dialect is the most used in movies and songs, I still have to think about what they say in some instances because they have their own words and slang. And let me tell you, most Egyptians do NOT understand what I say when I speak to them. It happened to me just the other day when I ordered pizza. I asked the guy, "edesh?", which means how much is it. He looked at me all confused and asked me to repeat myself and when I did he still didn't understand. So I ended up asking him in the Egyptian dialect which would be "b kam".

The different regions of the Middle East have their own similarities between their dialects. For example, I'm a Mediterranean Arab, so my dialect is similar to that of Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Yes, our dialects differ here and there but are overall very similar. In Lebanon and Syria we say "sho" where as in Jordan and Palestine they say "sho" or "esh". Catch my drift? I live in Jordan right now and never have a problem talking to someone or being understood because we have so many similarities. But even with those similarities people can always tell where I'm from, even which CITY I'm from, because of my accent and how I pronounce words. Then you have the Gulf and North African areas as well. The Gulf is famous for having a harsher accent. I used to live in Kuwait, and at first I only understood about 75% of what Kuwaitis were saying when they spoke to me. Like I said, their accent is harsher whereas the Lebanese accent sounds more "feminine", and on top of that Kuwaitis too have their own slang and phrases. After a few months I had picked up their slang and what-not; it just takes some getting used to because it's not what I grew up hearing. The other countries of the Gulf (U.A.E., Bahrain, Saudi, Yemen, Oman) have their own dialects which are also have their similarities, just like the Mediterranean region.

My fiance is Kuwaiti and we both communicate with each other in our own respective dialects without problems because we're both used to the dialects and their differences. Whereas my Egyptian friend has me translate what my fiance says sometimes because she doesn't understand everything that a Khaliji person is saying. I think it usually comes down to the amount of exposure that the person has to whichever dialect. Before when I was younger, I used to only speak and understand the Lebanese dialect. After traveling to the different areas and countries however, I picked up a few other dialects. I've spent more time in Kuwait and other Gulf countries than I have in Egypt, so I have a stronger understanding of them. Lebanese Arabic is my first language so of course I have the highest fluency in that dialect.

The difference between the Arabic dialects gets a lot more complicated than just a few differing words, slang, or phrases. It also boils down to pronounciation and use of letters. In the Mediterranean we all say "men wayn" (from where), but we Lebanese pronounce it slightly different from Syrians, Jordanians or Palestinians. We can tell where a person is from by the way they pronounce things. The Egyptians use a "g" sound for the letter 'jeem' where we do not. Some Gulf Arabs even use a "y" sound for the letter 'jeem'. Mediterranean Arabs and Egyptians do not pronounce the letter "qaf" but the Gulf Arabs either pronounce it or use a "g" sound for it. Here's an example: "qool li" is Classical Arabic for tell me. We Lebanese say "elli", Egyptians say "oulli", and Gulf Arabs say "gooli". As you can see, difference in pronounciation and the use of the letter "qaf".

Anyways, here's some little phrases depending on the region for you non-Arabic speakers =)

Lebanon: edesh= how much; sho= what; wayn= where; houn= here; hayda/haydi= this; meen= who; elyoum= today; bookra= tomorrow; embare7= yesterday

Kuwait: cham= how much; sheno= what; wayn= where; hinni= here; hatha/hathi= this; meno= who; elyoum= today; bacher= tomorrow; ams= yesterday

Egypt: kam= how much; eih= what; fayn= where; hena= here; dah/dih= this; meen= who; enharda= today; bookra= tomorrow; embare7= yesterday

Lebanon: Sho badak/badek= What do you want
Kuwait: Shtebi/Shtebin= What do you want
Egypt: 3ayz/3ayza eih= What do you want

Lebanon: Edesh 3emrak/3emrek= How old are you
Kuwait: Cham 3omrak/3omrech= How old are you
Egypt: 3andak/3andek kam sana= How old are you

Lebanon: Sho esmak/esmek= What's your name
Kuwait: Shesmak/Shesmech= What's your name
Egypt: Esmak/Esmek eih= What's your name

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