When it comes to spoken Arabic, there are a number of different dialects that are used throughout the Arab world. However, when it comes to written Arabic, there is only one standard dialect that is used. This standard dialect is known as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).
MSA is the official form of Arabic that is used in schools, universities, and government institutions across the Arab world. It is also the form of Arabic that is used in most printed materials, such as books, newspapers, and magazines.
While MSA is the standard form of Arabic, it is not the only form of Arabic that is spoken in the Arab world. In addition to MSA, there are a number of different spoken Arabic dialects that are used in different regions of the Arab world.
The most common dialects of Arabic that are spoken in the Arab world are Egyptian Arabic, Levantine Arabic, and Gulf Arabic. Each of these dialects has its own unique features and characteristics.
Egyptian Arabic is the most widely spoken form of Arabic in the Arab world. It is spoken by approximately 60 million people in Egypt and is also commonly heard in other parts of North Africa, such as Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria.
Levantine Arabic is spoken by approximately 20 million people in the Levant region, which includes Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. Gulf Arabic is spoken by approximately 5 million people in the Persian Gulf region, which includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
So, what is the difference between Modern Standard Arabic and spoken Arabic dialects?
MSA is considered to be a literary language, while spoken Arabic dialects are considered to be vernacular languages. This means that MSA is used for formal occasions, such as in news broadcasts, speeches, and official documents, while spoken Arabic dialects are used in everyday conversation.
Spoken Arabic dialects are also more likely to change and evolve over time than MSA. This is because MSA is not spoken on a daily basis by native speakers of Arabic. Instead, it is primarily used as a written language.
This doesn’t mean that MSA isn’t important or that it isn’t used by Arabs on a daily basis. It just means that, when it comes to spoken Arabic, dialects are more likely to change and evolve over time than MSA:
- Standard Arabic Dialect is the dialect that is used in formal and written language.
- Casual Arabic Dialect, also known as Levantine, is spoken in informal conversations.
- Levantine differs from Standard Arabic mainly in its pronunciation and a few vocabulary words.
- The casual form of Arabic is widely understood throughout the Arab world.
- Standard Arabic should be used when writing or speaking formally, while casual dialect can be used in more informal settings.