Learning dat Saudi talk…

LOL, no really…Ive given up hope on learning proper Arabic and am instead focusing on the local, Saudi dialect, because I hear it all the time and incredibly, Im picking up a lot of words just from having random half Arabic half English conversations with shop keepers when asking about stuff, from Khaleeji TV shows and just you know, listening to people talk.

So, yes, Saudi Arabic does differ from other Arabic dialects.

heres two examples which I recently learnt…

Saudi kids dont say “ummi” or even “mama”…they say “you-mah”

Saudi’s dont say “ma’a” for water they say “mooy-yah” for water.

Recently in Jareer bookstore I found this really incredible Arabic textbook where the first 1/2 is devoted to learning Standard Arabic…words, grammar, everything…like stuff I learnt in my first 2 semesters of Arabic classes in University and whats awesome about it is the other half is devoted to teaching 4 common Arabic dialects; Egyptian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Saudi. These sections mostly focus on what makes these dialects different from MSA and how to use the various dialects. In the very back is a mini phrase book with common sentences and words between all 4 dialects. The book isn’t difficult to follow at all and is actually quite nice to work though. Its not difficult like Academic level texts but isn’t overly simplistic. I think if your going to someplace like Lebanon or Iraq and need a quickie “crash course” in the dialect…then you can use that respective section.

Super handy and awesome book! When I first arrived I had tried to find a suitable Arabic book at the bookstores but couldnt…this is the first really decent book Ive found here. Most of the Arabic textbooks are incredibly dry and dull!

Its called Ultimate Arabic, Living Language. 2006. It comes either book alone or book with CD’s…I obviously just got the book as I have taken Arabic classes before and can read basic Arabic, plus I hear it around me all the time.


4 thoughts on “Learning dat Saudi talk…

  1. same as me.I ve been learning Arabic before but i think I cant move cant.unless simple word.Plus people dont use standard arabic in daily life.I wish for Dummy got Arabic instead!!!

  2. That sounds great! MSA is the most useful to know overall, but if you know some of the major things that separate different dialects, it should be easier to switch back and forth. Happy learning!

  3. way coooool mashaAllah

    yeah I noticed you-ma too. it is a contraction of “ya umma” or “ya ummi”

    most of the arabic speakers I know are saudi, so I catch so much of that dialect as well.

    like dagiga instead of daqiqa for minute, etc.

  4. Saudi dialects vary massively. In hijaz they speak a dialect that is virtually identical to the Sudani Arabic dialect in many ways; just the pronunciation of some letters and a few words are different. Also in hijaz they have a lot of ‘Somali’ words such as baax/baah (basically, ‘go away’) obviously they are actually old Arabic words that have only endured in Somalia and areas neighbouring across the ocean.

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