Arab Redditors Catalogue Their Dialects

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Arab users of the social news website Reddit, known as Redditors, started the “r/Arabs Dialect Project” to “compile and display the variety of Arabic dialects spoken in the Arab World and beyond.” Nine months later, 14 countries have been represented by 32 participants displaying a wide range of dialects. In fact, the dialects were sometimes so different that it sparked a discussion on the r/Linguistics subreddit as to the difference between a “language” and a “dialect.” The answer? There isn’t one. Not linguistically at least. A common quip repeated by linguists on the arbitrariness of the distinction between a language and a dialect goes like this: “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.

But the Arab Redditors who participated simply enjoyed posting their recording and asking other Arabs for feedback. The most recent addition was from a Sudanese Redditor, but we have yet to see participants from Comoros, Djibouti, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Qatar, Somalia, and Yemen. Anyone interested in contributing can simply follow the “How to Participate” steps.

The dialects featured, which can also be found here, are as follows:

From Algeria, the dialects of Algiers by u/borrowed and Constantine by u/fylow.
From Bahrain, any urban dialect by u/beefjerking
From Egypt, an urban dialect by u/daretelayam as well as the dialects of Alexandria by u/roa1084 and Cairo by u/xenoamr. From Iraq, the dialect of Baghdad/Najaf by u/noathings.
From Jordan, the dialects of Amman by u/Maqda7 and Karak by u/alpharabbit.
From Lebanon, the dialects of the Beqaa’ Valley by u/ziggitron, North Lebanon/Tripoli by u/Obelix89 and Keserwan/Byblos by u/practo.
From Morocco, an Urban dialect also known as Maghrebi or Darija by u/Matheux.
From Oman, the dialect of ad-Dakhiliyah by u/yuseff.
From Palestine, the dialects of Ein Kare/Jerusalem by a friend of u/ISellKittens, Gaza by u/Daftmonkeys, Beit ‘Anan by u/Konosh, Haifa by u/underpressureyo, and Ramallah by u/GamalAbdelNasser. As for the Nablus dialect, it has been recorded by three users: First version by u/CheetoAficionado, second version by u/palsword and third version by u/ISellKittens.
From Saudi Arabia, the dialects of The Hejaz by u/SocietalReject, the North/Al-Jouf by u/MalcolmY, and Al-Ahsa by u/mjmj7750.
From Sudan, an Urban dialect by u/TheLoveableCake.
From Syria, the dialects of Damascus by u/Death_Machine, Deir ez-Zor by u/thatsyriandude, and Aleppo by u/LazyVisionary.
From Tunisian, the dialect of Tunis by u/TounsiPur.
From UAE, an Urban dialect by u/randyaloul.
And finally, a hybrid Lebanese/Palestinian dialect by u/mohdmerhi.

The project was also mentioned on The Economist’s “Johnson” language blog as well as on the Jabal al-Lughat blog.


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