Posted in Life

Don’t confuse my languages!

I consider myself to be a blessed person. I have a wonderful family, great friends, and a zest for life. As it might have come across in previous posts, I’m a bit of a nerd. I’m not afraid to be fascinated by things or to learn the most random facts about any subject. I like to think that I can hold my own in any conversation on any subject, but in language is where things sometimes get difficult.

Anyone who speaks Arabic will tell you that every region has its own dialect. There is Maghrebi Arabic, Khaleeji Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Libyan Arabic, Syrian Arabic, Lebanese Arabic… etc etc! Note, if I left off your region, it was not intentional; I just got lazy and didn’t want to list them all 🙂 

Now the Arabic I grew up (partially) speaking is very different from the other regions. Essentially, when the people of this region speak, nobody else but someone of the region can understand. There have been so many outside influences on the language that it is no longer fully Arabic. But hey! It keeps things interesting 🙂

I remember when I was younger, one of my Arabic teachers was Egyptian. Now for those of you who don’t know, Egyptian Arabic is also very different, but it is the most well known as most of the singers sing in Egyptian, and many of the tv shows and soap operas are filmed in Egypt. As I got older and realized that there were so many different dialects, it finally made sense to me why so many people would look at me in confusion when I would say something (in Arabic) that I just *knew* was right!

I generally don’t have a problem separating the dialects when speaking with different people. However, a few weeks ago a dear family friend came and spoke to me laughingly a bit in my dialect, and it totally threw me off. While I was delighted at her efforts, I spent weeks alternatively mixing up my dialects when speaking to her and when speaking to my mother’s friends. Everyone was a bit puzzled as to why I all of a sudden lost my language, but it definitely kept me on my toes 🙂

I’ve written before about language (Language limitations) and how it can affect our lives. I really consider myself lucky to speak more than one language (I can currently speak 2 fluently and 3 half fluently… hoping to add a lot more to that in the coming years) and I love how there are so many ways to communicate in the world. To tell the truth, sometimes I find it easier to convey my message in a language that is not my first! 

Too all of you out there learning another language: I applaud you. To all of you out there who already speak more than one language: you are better equipped to face the world. To all of you out there who only speak one language: time to start learning! Wishing you all the best of luck 🙂



Enjoy my little descriptions of life and experiences, and feel free to leave any comments and or suggestions!

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