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Does Arabic Have An Accent?

Does Arabic Have An Accent?
Does Arabic Have An Accent

The Arabic Language:

Arabic is one of the most spoken languages in today’s world. It is an official or co-official language in 26 states. It is also the liturgical language of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims. It is the language of the Quran, the Holy Book of Muslims. It has influenced various other languages of the world including Urdu, Punjabi, Turkish, Persian, Spanish, and Greek. It has borrowed words from other languages including French and English.  Different writing systems are used for writing the Arabic language. The Arabic alphabet is the most popular writing system which is used by the majority of the language’s native speakers.

The Varieties of Arabic:

Since the language is spoken in so many countries, it has different varieties. Although Arabic speakers from Bahrain and Morocco will be able to understand each other, their pronunciation might still be different from each other. But there is one variety, known as the Modern Standard Arabic, which works as the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is the variety people can turn to when they find it difficult to communicate with each other in their native language. This way, Arabic speakers from Algeria and Tunisia don’t have to speak their national languages. They can use Modern Standard Arabic to communicate with each other effectively.

There are many popular dialects of Arab. Egyptian Arabic is the most widely studied dialect of the language. Egyptian cinema has had a strong influence on the Middle East and North Africa. This is one of the reasons why Egyptian Arabic has become so popular in the world. Gulf Arabic is another variety of the language. It is spoken in Eastern Arabia as well as some parts of eastern Saudi Arabia. Gulf Arabic is a set of closely related varieties of the language that form a dialect continuum. Levantine Arabic is a spoken variety that is spoken in the Eastern Mediterranian coastal strip. The speakers of this variety only use Modern Standard Arabic when writing.

Maghrebi Arabic is a dialect that is spoken in Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania. Many varieties including Moroccan Arabic and Algerian Arabic are a part of this dialect. It is known for borrowing modern words from English and French. It has more than 70 million speakers and the number is expected to rise in the future.

The Varieties of Arabic

Does Arabic Have An Accent?

English speakers know about accents all too well. The accent of someone from New York will be different from a British English speaker. American and British official languages are mutually intelligible but they do have a few differences. Actors work on accent reduction when they get hired to do a TV show and the character’s nationality is different from theirs. For instance, an Italian actor will not be able to speak like an American unless they get proper training.

A lot of people don’t know whether there is an Arabic accent or not. They think that an African Arab and a South Arabian would sound the same. But this is where they are wrong. Not only are there different Arabic accents, but they also sound more different than American and British English. When a TV show has an Arabic speaker in the cast, it is important to hire a person with the right nationality. A Mesopotamian Arabic speaker will sound different than a native of Saudi Arabia.

The Arabic accent is not easy for English and Latin language speakers. They cannot learn it the way they can learn another Latin-based language. An Italian may have to get into an Academy to improve their English accent, but it still won’t be as difficult as trying to learn to speak Mesopotamian Arabic. There are also significant differences between each dialect, which makes the Arabic language even more difficult for nonnative speakers.

But it goes both ways, a native speaker of Egyptian Arabic will have trouble learning Spanish, English, or Dutch. Although Arabic is also written in the Latin alphabet some times, it has a very different writing system. A native speaker of Hejazi Arabic will have to go through accent reduction after learning English to learn the right pronunciation. It isn’t just about losing the accent of one’s dominant language but also learning about new sounds. Someone from Western Sahara will not be able to communicate with the natives of Britain if they have not worked on their accents.

There are also sociolinguistic factors that affect the language learning process. A Kuwaiti citizen will not be able to understand the words of a foreign language if they have not had relevant experiences.

How to reduce your Arabic accent

How to reduce your Arabic accent?

Although learning a foreign language is difficult for Arabs, it is not impossible. They can also learn to improve their accents. Voice actors undergo training to work on their accent which allows them to speak vernaculars other than their dominant language easily. Whether you are a speaker of the Modern Standard Arabic or any other variety, you will have to begin by learning new vowel sounds. Learning consonant sounds is just as important. When consonant sounds occur twice, it can be difficult for native speakers of Arabic to understand them.

Practicing multi-syllabic words is also a good way to reduce your accent. You should also focus on your speech rhythm. In all the varieties of Arabic, speech rhythm is very important. But the native speakers of these varieties tend to use increased syllable lengths. And if all else fails, you can join an Academy and let professionals help you.

Accent variation will not only make it difficult for people to understand you but also render speech recognition impossible. But if you follow all the right guidelines and learn about the sound codes of the language you are trying to learn, you will be able to reduce the accent variation.

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