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Encyclopedia > Lebanese Arabic

Lebanese or Lebanese Arabic is the colloquial form of Arabic spoken in Lebanon. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ...



Lebanese is considered to be a part of the Levantine dialects of Arabic, spoken around Lebanon and Syria. Some Lebanese disagree over whether it is a dialect of Arabic, or a descendant of it (as Italian is a descendant of Latin). This distinction is largely motivated by political stance; e.g. whether the Lebanese people are considered part of the pan-Arabic culture or as a distinct, isolated ethnicity. Many local Maronites in particular consider it a separate language, as well as the radical right-wing group Guardians of the Cedars. Levantine Arabic is a group of Arabic dialects spoken in the 100 km-wide eastern-Mediterranean coastal strip, i. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Pan-Arabism is a movement for unification among the Arab peoples and nations of the Middle East. ... Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܐܶ; in Syriac, Mâruniyya مارونية in Arabic) are members of an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Lebanese Renewal Party. ...

Changes from Classical Arabic

Lebanese shares many featural similarities with other modern dialects of Arabic. Syntax has become simpler, losing both mood and case markings. Also, verbal agreement regarding number and gender is required for all subjects, whether already mentioned or not. Also, plural inanimate nouns are treated as feminine. Classical Arabic on the other hand requires the singular for newly introduced subjects. For example, the expression "the mites have eaten me" is rendered "akalatni al-barağītu" ("the-mites it-ate-me") in literary Arabic, and "aklūnē l-Breğīt" ("the-mites they-ate-me") in Lebanese.

Lebanese vocabulary and phonology (as in other modern-day dialects) differ from Classical Arabic.


  • In Arabic, "look inside" is translated as: unð̣ur fid-dāxil, or in the feminine, unð̣urī fid-dāxil.
  • In Lebanese, as in Syrian and Palestinian Arabic, it becomes: šūf žuwwa, or in the female command form, šūfī žuwwa.
  • The following example demonstrates two differences between Standard Arabic and Spoken Lebanese. "Coffee" is "qahwa" in Arabic, and "ah-way" in Spoken Lebanese. The letter "qaaf" is not pronounced, and the letter "alif" becomes a softer "ay" sound.
  • As a general rule of thumb, the "qaaf" is dropped from the words in which it appears, and is replaced instead with the "hamza" or glottal stop: e.g. "daqiqa" (minute) becomes "da'i'a".

The divergence of vocabulary has been driven by modest borrowings from other languages, such as Aramaic, Greek, French, Turkish, and possibly Phoenician. Palestinian Arabic is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup. ... Aramaic is a group of Semitic languages with a 3,000-year history. ... Phoenician was a language originally spoken in the coastal region then called PÅ«t in Ancient Egyptian, Canaan in Phoenician, Hebrew and Aramaic, and Phoenicia in Greek and Latin. ...

Spelling reform

Lebanese is rarely written, except in novels where an accent is implied or in some types of poetry that do not use classical Arabic at all (see poetry of Younis Al-Ibn [1]). Formal publications in Lebanon, such as newspapers, are typically written in standard classical Arabic. Like Chinese, Arabic uses a single literary language (Fuṣ′ḥá) for writing. While Arabic script is usually employed, informal usage such as online chat may mix-and-match Latin letter transliterations. Saïd Akl first proposed the use of the Latin alphabet, leading to many attempts at a new transciption system. While some works, such as Romeo and Juliet and Plato's Dialogues have been transliterated using such systems, they have not gained widespread acceptance. Fuṣ′ḥá (Arabic: ‎ pronounced FusÌ£-Ḥá) is a collective term referring to the standard varieties of the Arabic language, as opposed to the vernacular varieties of Arabic. ... A screenshot of PowWow, one of the first instant messengers with a graphical user interface Instant messaging or IM is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. ... Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ...


  • Spoken Lebanese. Maksoud N. Feghali, Appalachian State University. Parkway Publishers, 1999 (ISBN 1-887905-14-6)
  • M. Feghali, Syntaxe des parlers arabes actuels du Liban, Geuthner, Paris, 1928.
  • Elie Kallas, 'Atabi Lebnaaniyyi. Un livello soglia per l'apprendimento del neoarabo libanese, Cafoscarina, Venice, 1995.
  • Angela Daiana Langone, Btesem ente lebneni. Commedia in dialetto libanese di Yahya Jaber, Università degli Studi La Sapienza, Rome, 2004.
  • Jérome Lentin, "Classification et typologie des dialectes du Bilad al-Sham", in Matériaux Arabes et Sudarabiques n. 6, 1994, 11-43.

External links

  • North Levantine Spoken Arabic at Ethnologue
  • Lebanese Arabic Learning Material
  • Lessons of lebanese dialect
  • Learn Lebanese
  • Difference between Arabic Language and Lebanese Language — The factual accuracy of this external link is disputed. N.B. supports the fringe theory that Lebanese is derived from Aramaic.

  Results from FactBites:
Lebanese Arabic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (554 words)
Lebanese or Lebanese Arabic is the spoken language of modern-day Lebanon, also used around the world by a large Lebanese diaspora.
It is the daily vernacular of the Lebanese, and is widely used in speech in government affairs and administration, although literary Arabic is the official written language of government and administration as mandated by the constitution.
The issue of the Lebanese language is a contentious point in Lebanon as many among the local Maronite communities consider it a separate and distinct language, while others prefer to view it as dialect of Arabic.
FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions , Lebanon, LGIC (3235 words)
Arabic is a formal language, it’s not regularly spoken in Lebanon (nor at the rest of the Arab states).
Arabic is the official language of Lebanon; it is used mainly in courts, publishing, formal speeches and praying.
It exiled the Lebanese primer and appointed a proxy regime in Lebanon.
  More results at FactBites »



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