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MSA – Levantine Conversation Comparison Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in Arabic Language, Levantine Arabic

Many students who are interested in Levantine Arabic have most likely began learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) first. When learning a dialect, it sometimes helps to compare with what you already know in MSA. Yet, not very often do we come across texts about the same subject in both standard Arabic and dialect to allow for direct comparison. In this post, I thought we would look at a conversation of the same topic written in MSA and in Levantine Arabic as well to help you compare words, grammatical structures, and pronunciation. I have included an audio reading of both. Listen and compare. Where do you find differences and similarities?

The first conversation is a simple introductory conversation.

MSA

Levantine

مَرْحَباً، كَيْفَ حَالُكَ؟

.أنا بِخَيْرٍ وَالحَمْدُ لِلّه

مِنْ أيْنَ أنْتَ؟

أنا مِن لُبْنان، وأنتِ؟

.أنا فِلَسْطينيَّة لَكِنِّي أعيشُ في الأُرْدُن

.أنا زِرْتُ الأرْدُن في الرَّبيْع وكان الطَقْسُ جَميلاً جِدّاً

 

مَرحَبا كيف حالَك؟

.مِنْيح الحَمْدُ لله

مِن وَيْن إنتَ؟

أنا مِن لُبنان، وإنتِ؟

أنا فِلَسطينية بَس عايْشة في الأرْدُن

.أنا زُرْت الأرْدُن في الرَّبيع وكان الطَقْس/الجَو كتير حِلو

Note: The Levantine audio reading is in the Jordanian dialect which can differ slightly comparing to other Levantine dialects.

Translation 

Hello, how are you?

I am well, thanks be to God.

Where are you from?

I’m from Lebanon, and you?

I’m Palestinian but I live in Jordan.

I visited Jordan in the spring and the weather was very nice.

This second conversation is a bit more advanced than the first taking place at a café.

MSA

Levantine

كيفَ حَالُكِ؟

أنا بِخَيْر والحَمْدُ لله، ولَكِنَني مُتَمَلّلة هذهِ الأيام

لِماذا؟

.لا أعرف، أُحِسُّ أنني بِحاجةٍ إلى شيءٍ جَديدٍ

ما رَأيُكِ لَو ذَهَبْنا إلى المَقْهى الجديدِ القَريبِ مِن هُنا وتَكَلّمْنا عمّا يُزْعِجُكِ؟

.هيّا

ما رَأيُكِ في هذا المَقهى؟

.مَقهى جَميل

ماذا تُحِبّين أن تَطلُبي؟

.أريدُ شاياً بالنَعْناع

أنا أريدُ قَهْوة سادة. والآن لِماذا قُلتِ بأنَكِ مُتَمَلّلة؟

لَقد غَيّرتُ رأيي. أعتقدُ أنني فَقَط كُنْتُ بِحاجةٍ إلى فِنجان شايٍ ساخِن أشربه مَع صديق في مَقهى جَميل

 

كيف حالِك؟

كُوَيْسَة الحَمْدُ لله، بَسْ زَهْقانِة هَلأيام

لَيْش؟

.ما بَعْرَف، حاسّة إني بِحاجة لَشي جديد

شو رأيِك لو رُحْنا على الكافيه الجديد القَريب مِن هون وحَكَينا عَن شو زاعِجِك؟

.يَلا

شو رأيِك بِهاد الكافيه؟

.كافيه حِلو

شو حابِة تُطْلُبي؟

.بِدي شاي بالنَعْنَع

أنا بِدي قَهوة سادة. وهَلَق لَيش قُلْتِ إنِك زَهْقانة؟

غَيَّرْت رأيي. أزُن إني بَس كُنْت بِحاجِة لِفنْجان شاي سُخُن أشْرَبه مَع صَديق في كافيه حِلو

 

Translation

How are you?

I’m well, thanks be to God, but I’m bored these days.

Why?

I don’t know, I feel like I need something new.

What about we go to the new café that’s close by and talk about what is bothering you?

Let’s go.

What do you think of this café?

It’s a nice café.

What would you like to order?

I would like tea with mint.

I would like a cup of coffee with no sugar. Now, why did you say you were feeling bored?

I just changed my mind. I think I just needed a hot cup of tea to drink with a friend at a nice café.

I hope you found this post useful. Till next week, happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.


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