Mickey lernt Arabic: Episode 20 – الفصحى و العامية – Fusha and Ammiya

Return to the University of Jordan

One of the first things you learn when endeavoring to learn Arabic is that there are a lot of different kinds of Arabic. I’m no expert on the subject, but from my limited vantage I understand it to be so: there is first and foremost Quranic Arabic, in which the Quran is written and prayers are made by all Muslims everywhere. Then there is Modern Standard Arabic, which stems directly from Quranic Arabic and isn’t really spoken casually between anyone, instead being reserved for news broadcasts and legal documents. Lastly, and most commonly, there is are many different kinds of spoken Arabic, which varies extensively from region to region of the Arabic speaking world. The classes I took at Ali Baba were in Modern Standard Arabic, which made me sound a little old-timey and formal when I spoke it to people outside of Ali Baba. I think the way I spoke was kind of like how it would be to hear someone walk up to you and speak English like a character in a Shakespeare play. This kind of speaking is referred to in Arabic as فصحى / fusha. The Arabic spoken in day to day life by Jordanians is referred to as علمية / ammiya. I wanted to make an episode of the Lernen to Talk Show that showed the difference between these two Arabics, and Samaa and Reem were kind enough to join me for this little experiment.

Thank you Sumaaya for filming!

Commentary coming soon!

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