Arabic (Colloquial Levantine)

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I love Arabic and the regions where Arabic is spoken; the culture, the traditions of hospitality and certainly the food! Gastronomy for me, does not get much more varied and tasty than the dishes served across the Middle East!

I did try Arabic at one time in the distant past but, as others note, the starting point of Fusha or Modern Standard Arabic, is not necessarily the best place if all you want is simply conversational skills to be widely understood across the Middle East.

MSA is certainly the 'official' language, spoken on the media, newspapers, official documentation but to hear it spoken on the streets between individuals is not so common and in some places, may draw an expression of unbelief. But most will pay their respects to you for attempting MSA as it is not easy and shows a dedication to acquire it.

Being the pragmatist I am, I went for the Levantine dialect of Arabic which, with some regional variation, is widely understood across the Levant, ie. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel/Palestine. Even in Egypt and in the Gulf, there will be a general grasp of what you are trying to communicate in Levantine Arabic, or 'ammiyeh', colloquial.

So, in my Arabic section I attempt to share with you some thoughts about Arabic, even speak Arabic.... and invite any of my Arabic viewers to help me with the dialogue, a mutual exchange of ideas and cultural insights!

I use the iTalki language platform extensively to get language practice and meet people from all over the world and help them with English and to get help learning my languages.

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A Little Extra

There are a number of good Levantine Arabic resources online as well as books. I follow many but Learn Levantine Arabic is worth watching for starters.

Here is a good reasoning from another Arabic speaker why you should consider learning a dialect before Modern Standard Arabic. I agree with him.