The Difference Between Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic
By now you’ve likely noticed there seems to be more than one Arabic language. And you’d be right. In fact, today there are 30 Arabic dialects throughout the Arab region today. What’s more is that, once students figure this out, they often ask, “What is the hardest Arabic dialect?” If they are thinking to travel to Egypt, the question then becomes “Should I learn Modern Standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic?” To help you decide, today we compare both MSA and Egyptian Arabic.
Modern Standard Arabic
If you’re new to Arabic, most people will advise you to learn Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and with good reason. After all, MSA is the official language of 22 countries of the Middle East and North Africa. It is also an official language of the U.N. In fact, Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. All of this makes it a good starting point for Arabic students.
Some of you may be asking, “Is Egyptian Arabic standard? Well, it’s standard for the people of Egypt who use it in nearly every aspect of their daily lives. Still when compared to MSA, there are quite a few differences.
Egyptian Arabic is the most widely spoken and understood of all Arabic dialects. This is mostly due to the fact that Egypt has more people living in it than other Arab countries. However, there is another reason as well.
Egyptian Arabic in its written form is used throughout the region in plays, novels, music, films and TV shows. Because of this, it’s also the most widespread of all Arabic dialects. In fact, most Arabs will understand you better if you speak Egyptian Arabic than if you spoke MSA. As a result, it’s also the most popular Arabic dialect.
If you are traveling to the region to study or do business, learning Egyptian Arabic will of great benefit. You’ll feel more comfortable talking to friends and colleagues. Even day-to-day life like shopping and using local transportation will be easier for you.
So, will it be MSA or Arabic? It’s totally up to you!
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