Arabic on LingQ
Has anyone subscribed to TalkInArabic.com and tried importing their content into LingQ to study a dialect? I think arabic might be the language I want to attempt next year, but would like to be able to understand the news while also conversing with people. I'm drawn to the Levantine dialect due to knowing some Syrians. It seems like LingQ just doesn't have the content available yet to make a lot of progress in a dialect.
I have questions for natives arabic speakers.
What is the importance and place of MSA in the literature of your country and your society ?
And what is the place of writing dialects ? ( for instance do you use the dialect or MSA to write on the internet ? )
Thank you very much for your answers.
sure MSA philemon :) , all kinds of Arabic Literature written by MSA , dialects changing from country to another country :)
are posts on social media also typically written in MSA or dialects?
Both. you will also find who write in traditional Arabic
Thank you :)
So no risks of seeing the msa "disappear" ?
No, it is all down media , schools ,and governments
Thank you for your answers.
I uploaded a bunch of Egyptian Dialect Lessons with good sound quality...it appears people are using them. My goal for 2019 is to upload all 106 lessons.
welcome Jrdking :)
I uploaded lots of lessons :) mostly they're formal and that's what you need as an Arabic learner.
It's really annoying not to be able to save the word second ثانٍ Hope the team can get to the issue by next year, when some more mini stories will hopefully also be available.
Yeah the problem seems to be that LingQ doesn't use the same criteria in all situations to decide whether two Arabic words are the same thing. (e.g. ثانٍ vs ثان) I think the biggest resulting problem is that you can think that you lingQd all the unknown words in a lesson, so you click the green checkmark, and then suddenly you gain dozens of phantom known words that you can't undo. So with Arabic lessons I have to be careful not to hit the green checkmark :o
I don't know much about Arabic. Would it be difficult to integrate the text onto LingQ?
It's about writing system...
Wow this is a useful thread!
Teaching MSA and Colloquial Arabic
and one of the studies mentioned in the above https://www.dovepress.com/the-cognitive-basis-of-diglossia-in-arabic-evidence-from-a-repetition--peer-reviewed-article-PRBM
When it's ready to be discussed it might be appropriate to support different dialects of arabic as different languages.
Given the limitations of lingq's perennially unsearchable library, I think giving the different dialects their own slot might be the most practical solution. One problem is going to be the written representation of the dialects because there is no standardized system for representing it in writing.
This sort of things are better done off line. I am impressed by the rapid increase of learn Arabic material in my local library in the last two years. You may want to check out yours.
Population here is still a bit too small. I do have J. Elihay's set on the way, I just hope it hasn't gotten lost.
That is a good idea. I think it is annoying how programs like Rosetta Stone will tell you that Arabic is just one constant language and you can learn it in one package. It keeps you ignorant so you'll think its all easy and simple.
Whenever someone tells me they learned through Rosetta Stone, I chuckle. "So, I bet you can tell me useless phrases like 'the cat is in the car' " in German now?
any help in Arabic , everyone is welcome, free...
I wold like to make Arabic my project for 2017. First of all I have to wait for our tech team to deal with a long list of issues they have in front of them. Then there are improvements to the site, some ideas on how to introduce handy references to grammar and other general steps to make LingQ even better.
But assuming we get through all of that, and can address the problem of a right to left script, my question is the following. How much content, high quality sound, interesting, natural, at all levels, perhaps representing Egyptian , Levantine, Gulf, etc. different kinds of Arabic can we expect to build up here at LingQ. Who is going to make it happen?
I can help Mr. Steve
Thank you. That is great. I have to wait for Mark and his team to get through the other tasks they have in front of them before we can address the specific needs of Arabic. Meanwhile members can continue to upload Arabic content to our Arabic library.
I know little about Arabic so I don't know how different the different versions of Arabic are. But in any case, having a rich library will be essential. Personally I would want to be able to understand people from different parts of the Arabic world.
I have some Arabic Speaking friends. I honestly don't know what dialect they speak but I can ask if they would be willing to help. The key is either finding or creating a variety of beginner to intermediate dialogues with good quality and make sure that Lessons are clearly marked as MSA, or Egyptian just so people aren't confused as I was the first time I heard a different dialect unknowingly.
Arab speakers in general are very social, friendly and helpful so I think it should be possible to have a lot of content created. There should be some universities and institutions who are interested in this kind of content for their students, some of it already exists free on the internet.
Talk in Arabic is a nice project that has come up with a lot of solutions on how to explain and teach dialect. Some high quality content exists there as well. http://www.talkinarabic.com/
It would be great if someone could just practice some philanthropy and have for instance the lovely youtuber Maha produce some material, she is really competent and has a good command of both MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) and the Levantine dialect. https://www.youtube.com/user/LearnArabicwithMaha
The main question for LingQ is whether the dialects should be treated as separate language or not. In my opinion I think that would be good as some dialects differ a lot and some words become false friends between the "dialects". The problem with this approach is that no dialect is standardised and some are close enough to each other that they can be clustered together (like Tunisian/Algerian (maybe together with Moroccan), Syrian/Lebanese/Palestinian (maybe together with Jordanian)).
The other option is to make arabic one language continuum and be more allowing, still at least every course should clearly state which dialect it uses.
In the end, as a learner of arabic, I would be very happy with MSA to begin with (as most of the material availble for listening AND reading is produced in MSA) and later on being able to choose Egyptian or Levantine arabic as a separate language, anyone who wants to can already add material in whatever dialect they like to i.e. MSA. I know this would be frustrating to many but it would suit the strenghts of LingQ the most in my opinion.
And Steve - if you learn MSA you will be able to understand most political and economical debates in television and radio but not the every day haggling in the street. If you learn a dialect you will understand someones grandmother in a certain country but not necessarily the others. In the end you really have to choose what you would like to work on. One step at a time. You can reach a descent level of MSA in maybe about the same time it takes to reach descent Russian for an English speaker. But to learn and understand the big spectrum of dialects will be like adding 2-4 additional slavic languages like Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Czech and Serbian.
I am really looking forward to learning Arabic on LingQ!!!
My goals are Spanish and German on LingQ for 2017 to 2019.
Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese are tops on my list for 2020 and beyond.
Very nice...it will be rewarding learn all these languages!
Steve, if you make Arabic your project for 2017 I could as well (I have studied it back and forth for a while), maybe it would be possible to find a few others with experience in finding and ordering good quality material? I have quite a good network of people proficient in Arabic who could be interested in creating content. With a good work-group of committed people a lot would be possible.
One thing I would like to see more of on lingq in general, but specifically with the semitic languages, is more practice reading the handwriting. Arabic especially can take on a decorative quality in posters etc, that are very dificult to read even if you can recognize the standard typefaces.
occasionally it evolves into a very complicated calligraphy http://printmeposter.com/poster_photo_Arabic-Islamic-calligraphy-of-dua-wish--Kullu-Am-Wa-Antum-Bikhair---may-you-be-well-every-year--on-a_46137850.html
If I saw that and didn't know what it was I wouldn't think it was writing.
But I think this is far away, because Arabic fonts are so many, and they have their schools that most of native Arabic people do not know. The most common fonts are two Req'a (الرقعة) and Nas' (النسخ)
Different dialects, but Egyptian dialect is the most popular because most of Arab populations are Egyptians and because of Egyptian cienma. If you want to learn Arabic, you should learn Standard Arabic, because as you know in Lingq, languages learning depends on reading and listening, and all Arab countries and Arabic speakers around the world write in standard Arabic. Arabic is not difficult, but you should read first how to spell words and the roots of Arabic words.
Ok good to know!
I can see Steve learning MSA first, but Benny the Irish polyglot seems happy to have learned Egyptian plus Arabic script and only later turning to MSA. But Benny likes to travel and seems to get his language learning inspiration mainly from talking to people. I think it largly depends on personal goals.
I have to add, from what I've seen so far, Semitic roots are even more complicated than Slavic ones.
Hey you are a Benny Lewis fan too?!?! His profile on LingQ is idragon, in case you are wondering.
He's inspirational, I just wish I had half his energy to go out and talk to people
I know right! Also I like Moses McCormick AKA Laoshu505000. Moses, Benny, and Steve are the three YouTube polyglot masters in my opinion.
Clearly you haven’t seen enough (any?) of Vladimir Skultety. He’s doesn‘t do the B1/B2 that a lot of these others reach. I think he had something like 9 at C1/C2 and has since “retired“.
I agree that any serious learner of the language should learn Standard Arabic, but I think it is much easier to learn a spoken dialect first: The grammar is much more complicated and it is easier to study once you already understand some of the spoken dialect. Also, it is more natural as that's how native Arab speakers learn the language. That is just my opinion though, feel free to disagree.
There is no grammer for Arabic dialect, so for forigener who wants to learn Arabic it is suitable for him to start with standard Arabic, and grammer will flow after more of listening and reading because Words Over Grammer ( secret # 4 ). And in advances levels he will be able to understand many Arabic dialects as the English learner who gains the ability to differentiate between American and British accents in advanced level
This is a good point. If lingq is working well on arabic this method would be a good approach. I think the thing that really, really would be useful about lingq is the auto sound play: it will teach you how to pronounce words since beginners really struggle with the lack of short vowels in written form.
I struggled and ultimately gave up on arabic before I got to lingq because reading and finding content was so difficult, but if it were improved I would like to go back to it.
I totally agree with you
When we get through a number of other issues, we definitely want to deal with those languages where LingQ could do things better, Asian languages, and then certainly Arabic. And when we do make Arabic a supported language and have good content, and can deal with the writing system, I will be the first to study the language, along with Farsi so I can surprise all the Persian shopkeepers here in West and North Vancouver.
Yay Farsi! Ermergersh I can't wait!!
Do you know if Farsi is coming?
The problem is political / religious. No country wants to make a written standard of their spoken dialect because Standard Arabic is the language of god in their eyes and every country claims to have the purest dialect. It's as if France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Romania all read and wrote in Latin while speaking different languages. Whenever you see dialect written in arabic script it's kind of an approximation. It makes learning colloquial through a lingq method really difficult. I studied Levantine for a while and was taken aback the first time I heard Egyptian Arabic and How different it was. I think the best dialect to learn is Egyptian because it has the most speakers and resources (still very, very few). However Syrian/Lebanese is my favorite sounding dialect.
Very interesting. Thx for telling me this!
Sorry, you are wrong, and difficult to give your opinion when you are not a native Arabic...it's just the website doesn't have enough materials
I disagree with love and respect. It is not about standard Arabic is the dialect of God, in fact, in schools, children are encouraged to learn and speak Standard Arabic. Those who can write and speak Standard Arabic are very respected in society as they do not just know the language of Quran well, but they speak it too! So it is not the reason you mentioned. If you read the history of Arabs, it is not new they spoke a bit differently from Quran, it is just happened the language developed into many dialects. In addition, Quran was revealed in 10 different ways of pronunciation and some different words each according to how people in this or that area say it. This means Arabs differ in their spoken language even before Quran. English has several accents and several different vocab as in US, UK and Australia. It just happened Arabic was very rich and developed into all these dialects.
All best guys, anything I am more than happy to help and thank you for being interested.
Yea but ever since the Quran was revealed, the written language stopped changing in comparison to how languages usually change. Most English Literature students will have a hard time figuring our what Shakespeare wrote. But when it comes to Arabic we still read a text like Tafsir at Tabari written in the 9th century, and someone who knows MSA can read it easily. That is quite remarkable, don't you think?
Probably the worst answer for diglossia I have ever heard. This is simply untrue. The answers lie in the western/colonial mind not being able to think in plurality: everything has to be classified into neat little chunks. This is fine for simple languages in monolingual countries but not so for many languages. Anyway long story short, learning any arabic dialect will help you understand a lot of the others (as long as you have exposure to them-like they do so in the arab world). Modern standard arabic will help you read and write. I can understand a lot of the dialects, but I cannot speak a lot of them-I can however communicate with whomever I want. In reality, there is a lot of code-switching but the way they teach Arabic in the west, this is impossible.
By that I mean in the lessons.
Obviously in the forums you can use whatever dialect you want.
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