So you want to learn Arabic, but you have no idea what kind of dialect to learn? Well, if you’re traveling to the Levant, Arabic is spoken a little different here. For sure it’s not the same as the Modern Standard Arabic you’d probably learn in a class or book.
“So, wait, what is this ‘Arab Levant’, or whatever, you just mentioned?” you may be asking.
Okay, so the word “Levant” refers to a large part of the historical region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Historically, it used to be Syria, but now includes other countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. Most of the Levantine people here speak one of the Arabic dialects known as Levantine Arabic. Although there are some who speak a different variety of Arabic. For example, you’ll hear the Levantine Bedouin Arabic, spoken by the Bedouins, and the Iraqi dialect, the Mesopotamian Arabic. Despite these small differences, however, people throughout the region will be able to understand the overall Levantine Arabic.
Now, with all of this in mind, why should you learn Levantine Arabic? Well, here are just a few reasons where learning Levantine Arabic may be your best choice:
When it comes to Arabic pronunciation, letters in Arabic can sometimes get tricky. This is especially for Westerners who often find some of the strange new sounds a struggle. The good news is that Levantine Arabic is one of the easiest Arabic dialects to pronounce. This is because in some cases, Levantine Arabic speakers omit some of the harsher sounding letters in their everyday language. A few examples would be the uvular q sound. This means instead of qalbi (my heart), which to a Westerner, may sound the same as kalbi (my dog), they simply drop the q sound for the softer sounding albi. This not only makes Levantine Arabic easier to pronounce, but also avoids a lot of embarrassment in some cases.
Many people find that Levantine Arabic is the Goldilocks of the Arabic dialects. Some may find the Mesopotamian (or Iraqi) dialect a bit too heavy in pronunciation and the Egyptian dialect pronunciation a bit too light. When it comes to Levantine Arabic words and phrases, learners of Arabic tend to find their pronunciation feels just right. Some Arabic language learners even go far as to say that the Levantine dialect has a very melodic rhythm to it. That makes it feel like the Levantine speakers are actually “singing” more than speaking.
When you think about what language you want to learn, where you’re going and what you’ll do when you get there should play an important part in your choice of which Arabic dialect you want to study. For example, let’s say you’re working in a company who wants to expand its product to Egypt. So, you learn Egyptian Arabic. Later, if the company wants to expand into other Arabic speaking countries, you might have a hard time helping them do that. However, Levantine Arabic is spoken in many countries including Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Also, it is widely understood by many other neighboring Arabic speaking countries. So, if you’re not quite sure where you want to travel or where your work might take you, you’ll have more flexibility by learning Levantine Arabic.
As we mentioned above, all of the hard work you put into speaking Levantine Arabic will still pay off. Many native Arabic speakers who live outside of the Levant say that the Levantine dialect is one of the easiest Arabic dialects to understand. This is even if they’ve hardly been exposed to it. As a result, no matter if you travel to Muscat or Marrakech, you’ll still be able to communicate using your Levantine Arabic.
Studies have shown that the best way to learn Arabic is through downloading Arabic language learning apps like the Kaleela Arabic learning app and learning wherever and whenever you want and at your own pace. Visit our website and find out how you can download the Kaleela Arabic learning app to your IOS or Android mobile device and start learning Arabic today.
Seeing how easy it is to learn and all of the benefits you’ll reap from it, why aren’t you learning Levantine Arabic yet? Start now by going to kaleela.com for more information.
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