Team Middle East

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:12 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:If anyone has any suggestions for Saudi Arabic ressources, I’d really appreciate it. Additionally, I’d like to use mainly or even exclusively French base-language ressources, but I can’t be fussy with dialect, as there is so little available for Najdi.
talkinarabic.com say they teach 'saudi arabic'.

(i've not used it myself)


Yeah, I signed up (free not paid account at this stage). I can’t work out 1. which ‘Saudi Arabic’ is available (i.e. which dialect(s)) and 2. how much content is really available, because from what I could see, it’s not much at all. It might be worth me emailing them, since I’m not paying for something that will teach me colours, some animals and something else small, have a new video once in a blue moon, and not necessarily be in Najdi dialect. I’ll be sure to provide some feedback when/if I get some answers to these questions.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:22 pm

ancient forest wrote:
cjareck wrote:You have chosen an interesting dialect. I thought I could recommend something on Saudi Arabic to you, but it is, unfortunately, a different dialect - Hijazi:
https://www.livelingua.com/courses/Arab ... i-Dialect/


I think that learning the other Saudi dialects would be useful as a backup if there are not enough Najdi dialect materials available. The other Saudi dialects are the Hijazi dialect on the west coast and Gulf Arabic on the east coast. Probably, I would start with the FSI Saudi Arabic (Hijazi) course.

Learning MSA should also be useful. The transliteration of the Arabic script can be helpful at first, but do yourself a favor and learn the Arabic script. It is not as hard as it initially seems because it is completely phonetic. Therefore, it is possible to know how to pronounce each word correctly just by looking at the script although you may sometimes need a dictionary to know how to pronounce the short vowels (diacritical marks). That is because the short vowels are not written in most books.

I have used the FSI Saudi Arabic (Hijazi) course a little bit, and found it to be excellent. I did not get really far in it because I have mostly been learning Egyptian and Levantine Arabic. Right now, I am going through the course 'Speaking Arabic: A Course in Conversational Eastern Arabic (Palestinian)' by J. Elihay. Also, I read books in Classical Arabic and read the BBC to get practice with news articles.


Thanks ancient forest, this is all usesful information :)

I certainly like the sound of Arabic being phonetic, that will work wonders for my learning style, knowing my approach to French unknown words when reading. I had decided to learn the script, as I’d read elsewhere, similar comments to yours, in that it’s not that difficult really.

I’ve now read several comments in various places online with regards to transliteration with varying degrees of disappointment at times (their disappointment not mine). Some have been disgusted with it, others slightly bothered, some even appreciative. In defence of transliteration, what I’ve read is that dialects should be taught with transliteration (but not MSA) as dialects have never been written languages, thus any symbolic representation of Arabic dialects ought to be done in whatever writing system aids the learner as they are simply not written languages. How true this is, I am unsure. Perhaps if they are not written languages, teaching standard MSA script and applying it to dialect might keep all parties satisfied, but then again, perhaps Modern Standard Arabic script doesn’t represent the phonetics of Arabic dialects, hence transliteration?

As for transliteration for MSA itself... Your opinion affirms my suspicions in that it would likely be useful in the beginning, but one ought to get away from transliterating (with regards to MSA) relatively quickly. I don’t have any problems with this, although I foresee I could be hammering the sounds of the Arabic alphabet into my head via my own little IPA/transliteration mix for some time (prob create my own reference chart or something).

Using the Hijazi FSI course (thanks for your opinion of it btw) sounds like a feasible idea, but in practise I’m unsure how far apart the Hijazi and Najdi dialects are (more research needed).
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DaveAgain
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby DaveAgain » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:43 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Using the Hijazi FSI course (thanks for your opinion of it btw) sounds like a feasible idea, but in practise I’m unsure how far apart the Hijazi and Najdi dialects are (more research needed).
Could the Saudi embassy in Oz, or the Australian embassy in Saudi, give you some guidance?
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:19 am

DaveAgain wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Using the Hijazi FSI course (thanks for your opinion of it btw) sounds like a feasible idea, but in practise I’m unsure how far apart the Hijazi and Najdi dialects are (more research needed).
Could the Saudi embassy in Oz, or the Australian embassy in Saudi, give you some guidance?


Maybe, I'll keep it up my sleeve as I proceed in my digging ;)
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:42 pm

Brief article on the decline of Arabic proficiency in the Gulf, English encroaching:

https://en.qantara.de/content/the-uncertain-future-of-modern-standard-arabic-a-language-in-decline

And people wonder why I despise globalisation.

I have also read similar occurring in North African countries where French is displacing Arabic, Tunisia in particular.

'Progress' is good, right? Well if it’s not, it’s only natural... isn’t it, I might that’s what they say, isn’t it? :? It must be right then, I mean I heard it on that brainwashing machine, umm TV, I mean.
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DaveAgain
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:01 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:Brief article on the decline of Arabic proficiency in the Gulf, English encroaching:

https://en.qantara.de/content/the-uncertain-future-of-modern-standard-arabic-a-language-in-decline

And people wonder why I despise globalisation.
That's English as a lingua-franca replacing MSA as a lingua-franca. Not english replacing the local language.
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cjareck
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby cjareck » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:43 pm

Since MSA comes from the Quranic language, it still will be understood by all the Arabic Muslims. For me, even if MSA would extinct, I would have learned it anyway. There are many books in MSA about topics that are within my field of research. The same applies to Arab historical documents.
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Please feel free to correct me in any language

FSI Hebrew Basic Course
: 30 / 40


DLI MSA Basic Course - Sound and Script
: 10 / 10
DLI MSA Basic Course
: 6 / 140

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Ogrim
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby Ogrim » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:49 pm

I think the article PM links to just highlights one of the "problems" with Arabic. MSA is not an artificial language as such, but nobody speaks MSA as their native language. In a way the situation is comparable to that of Latin in the Middle Ages . Educated people would speak and write in Latin, but their native tongue would most likely be what we today would consider e.g. a Spanish or Italian or French dialect - what at the time was referred to as vulgare, Vulgar Latin if you like. Dante even wrote a book in Latin called De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular).

I don't think MSA will become extinct any day soon, and not only because of Islam, but also thanks to secular media like Aljazeera which aim at reaching the whole Arab world using MSA as its means of expression. And unless Arab countries decide to codify and standardise their variety of Arabic into written form, books and newspapers will still dominantely be written in MSA.

That English is taking over as a lingua franca in the Gulf region is not so strange taking into account the huge number of foreign workers from all over the world living in UAE, Qatar or Kuwait.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:50 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Brief article on the decline of Arabic proficiency in the Gulf, English encroaching:

https://en.qantara.de/content/the-uncertain-future-of-modern-standard-arabic-a-language-in-decline

And people wonder why I despise globalisation.
That's English as a lingua-franca replacing MSA as a lingua-franca. Not english replacing the local language.


The Gulf dialect is also referred to.
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Hashimi
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Re: Team Middle East

Postby Hashimi » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:11 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Using the Hijazi FSI course (thanks for your opinion of it btw) sounds like a feasible idea, but in practise I’m unsure how far apart the Hijazi and Najdi dialects are (more research needed).


Focus in Hijazi Arabic. It's the best dialect ever and it's more useful because it will help you in learning other dialects more than the Najdi one for the following reasons:

1. It is a living variety of Arabic spoken on streets and in homes, yet it has many conservative features of Standard Arabic more than Egyptian, Levantine, or Moroccan Arabic.

2. It is a hybrid between the group that includes Egyptian and Syrian on one hand and the group that includes Najdi and Gulf dialects. In terms of vocabulary, I would say roughly 50/50 between the Egyptian/Levantine group and the Najdi/Yemeni group.

3. It is widely used in Saudi media broadcast to the Arab world, more than Najdi. The colloquial speech in TV channels like MBC or Al-Arabiyya is mostly in Hijazi.

4. Phonologically, it is the best Arabic dialect for many foreign learners. For example, you can pronounce ث as /θ/, /s/, or /t/ all is acceptable and half of the people in the Hijaz region pronounce it as /t/ or /s/ and this makes it easier for most foreign learners because most major languages does not have this sound except English, Greek, and Peninsular Spanish. The same thing for ذ, you can pronounce it as /ð/, /z/, or /d/. It also has less consonant clusters than Najdi or Levantine dialects.
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