Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 420 million native speakers spread over 28 countries. Arabic’s position as one of the most widely used languages in literature, commerce, and business will inevitably lead to a large number of native speakers all over the world.
As a result, various Arabic dialects have emerged over time. A rough estimate puts the total number of dialects spoken in Arabic at about 25, even though there are only three primary varieties of the language: classical Arabic, modern standard Arabic, and colloquial or daily Arabic.
Legal, business, medical, and literary documents are virtually usually written in Modern Standard Arabic in the Arab world (MSA). Because it is the most widely known version of Arabic, Arabic translations frequently use Fusha (“most eloquent”). This Arabic register is used to write news stories, contracts, political speeches, and business proposals. A professional’s engagement with the Middle East begins with a professional Arabic translation.
Dialects of Arabic by Region
Different dialects of Arabic can be found in different regions, but they can also be found in the same country. The dialect used by a speaker can reveal their nationality. The Egyptian dialect is distinct from that of Saudi Arabia, and they are both distinct from the Lebanese dialect, which is similar to that of Syria.
There are four different types of Arabic dialects:
Gulf: The Gulf dialect, known as Khaliji, is spoken by residents of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar, and is similar to Iraqi and Yemeni dialects.
Levantine: The dialects of Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine are usually similar with minor variances; this also applies to the Jordanian urban dialect and the dialect spoken in Amman, Jordan’s capital.
Egyptian: There are distinct qualities to the Egyptian dialect. It has a distinct pronunciation and tone from other Arabic dialects, yet thanks to popular Egyptian music, dramas, and entertainment shows, it is easy to understand for all Arabic speakers. Some students believe that learning Arabic in the Egyptian dialect is a good idea. Furthermore, many dialects exist throughout Egypt.
Maghreb: This dialect group, which stretches from Libya east to Mauritania’s western coast, is possibly the most difficult for other Arabic speakers to comprehend. These dialects are vastly different from other Arabic dialects. Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya are all home to this dialect group.
Written Arabic vs. Spoken Dialects
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), also known as Al Fus’ha, is the formal Arabic version used in academic learning, official paperwork, publications, and the media. It is the most extensively used and recognized written variant in Arab countries.
Because MSA is the official language of all Arab countries, it serves as a bridge for speakers of various dialects to communicate with one another.
The Effects of Arabic Dialects on Translation
Some individuals believe MSA is the miraculous solution for minimizing disparities when localizing and translating content for Arabic speakers. When it comes to generating Arabic material for certain audiences, however, studying and getting aware of dialectal variances is essential.
To recap, the success of your content will be influenced by your attention to detail and your audience’s preferences. You must choose the suitable Arabic dialect, as well as tone, context, style, and many other aspects, to interest your audience. Communicating as if you’re from the area will help your organization win the confidence, respect, and business of your target market.