Learn a dialect or Modern Standard Arabic? Egyptian and MSA differences (interview on the Nile)

Uploaded by irishpolyglot on 21.01.2013

Today we are in Cairo, in Egypt and you can see the Nile behind us.
I’m with Nevein.
- Nevein from Cairo, Egypt.
And Nevein works at British Airways
- Yes, Right.
And she travels a lot, and because of that I want to talk about the languages in countries that speak Arabic.
In September I found that there are two “languages”, Modern Standard and dialect
and abroad we don’t know this. So, why there are 2 languages?
- Why there are 2 languages? Because Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is spoken by all Arab countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia)
All the Arab countries use MSA even in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco they understand MSA
but no one really speaks MSA. We all speak dialect.
There is the Egyptian dialect, the Gulf dialect, the Shami in Syria and Lebanon..
There are also those who speak Arabic with French like Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and so on...
The thing that we all understand is MSA but no one speaks it.
In the street there is no MSA. Because of this, in September when I was in Brazil, I decided to study dialect
Because here in Egypt, I want to make friends, buy things and travel around Egypt...
and MSA is not so important for these if you want to travel. MSA CAN be very important if...
No one will understand it though! If you go and talk to people in MSA they will tell you they don’t understand you! “Is that Arabic?!”
Because of that, you have to learn dialect.
Then why do we only have books about MSA abroad?
All studies abroad are about MSA, and people who study Arabic spend 4 years studying MSA,
and then after the 4 years they come to Egypt and study dialect.
And I know people that to this day today study Masters and PH.Ds but only speak MSA.
And even up to now if they try to learn dialect it's very hard for them. And in the end, they speak half-MSA, half-dialect,
And so, no one understands them. When they go to Syria for example they speak some Syrian Arabic,
then they come to Egypt and speak Egyptian Arabic.
And sometimes MSA. Some Arabic Shami and some Egyptian Arabic... And so on.
So you have to decide which one to learn! Egyptian Arabic. Gulf Arabic. Lebanon Arabic, which one?
But what are the differences between MSA and dialect?
- Well, there are a lot of differences, for example; you say “where did you go?” very differently in both
and even "How are you?” Everything… “How”, “Where”, “Why”...
Even the word "cat". HaHaHa... We like to give alternative names to everything.
What if an Egyptian travels to another country? What language does he use? Egyptian dialect, or MSA? Because there are lots of movies in Egyptian dialect...
They understand our dialect well but for us it's hard to understand their dialect.
and we have to understand each other well, so maybe the conversation can be my Egyptian dialect and your Gulf dialect for example.
and it's easier for him to speak Egyptian than to me to speak Gulf Arabic.
But we understand each other. But both are very different,
and in Gulf they also say "gahwa" = coffee instead of "ahwa". They change the "G"
Here in Egypt, are there differences between cities? Because tomorrow I will be in Aswan...
There are all dialects like the Cairo dialect, Alexandria dialect
Like in English, you have London dialect, Scottish dialect and Irish dialect; they are different.
In Alexandria they say “hanrou7o naklo” but we say “hanro7” and you will know that they are from Alexandria,
and also in Aswan and Luxor, but I don’t know their dialects.
Sure there are the Nubian but I don’t know anything about them,
How to write dialect? Because yesterday you wrote me an Arabic email using European script.
- We write Arabic in Franko Arabic, we never write in Arabic in messages.
Because in Franko “u” is “ou” not “oo”
And then in English several sounds are not in English
so we use 7, 7’, 3, 3’
For example when you write “will go”, it’s “7anrou7” because this “7” sound is not in English
and eye is “3een” or “3ein”
But can’t you write in Arabic script?
- Look you can write in Arabic, but most people who write dialect in Arabic do it otherwise,
I think it’s easier because of the English settings in Windows
so instead of changing the settings from English to Arabic and Arabic to English, we all know the Franko Arabic
so we use it like the email I wrote to you yesterday.
I understand it but I can’t use Google translate,
but that’s good for learning words. I learned vocabulary using by Franko Arabic...Good.. very good
Is there anything you want to say about MSA and dialect?
- What I want to say is that Arabic is hard, OK we know, but all other languages are hard, but you can learn it.
I speak Japanese and also it’s hard for anyone to speak Japanese, But I read and write all Kanji Chinese Characters.
I didn’t think I'd write it because it’s a drawing. When you write Arabic you find it strange but it’s writable.
You can read, write and learn it. Yes it’s different from European languages and from English and little out of your comfort zone
but if you give it more work you will speak it. If you give time and work to any other language you will learn it even it’s hard
Good Luck!
Thank you... Very Good.. The next video will be from Aswan.
OK... Thanks... Good bye.
- Aswan Nile is much better than here....