A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Economist on Arabic Dialects

I've posted a lot here about Arabic diglossia and the various spoken Arabics, so here's another entry for the files: The Economist's language blog, "Johnson," offers "A language with too many armies and navies?" Note, too, the comments section,where Arab readers argue against some generalizations about mutual intelligibility among the dialects.

The column also links to a paper by Tunisian linguist Mohammed Maamouri on "Language Education and Human Development: Arabic Diglossia and Its Impact on the Quality of Education in the Arab Region." (Summary page at the link; full PDF here.)

By the way, I'm in the midst of reading final galleys for the Summer issue and blogging may be light today and tomorrow.


Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

It is an interesting post. I responded a bit about the mutual intelligibility problem here: How different are Egyptian and Algerian Arabic, really?

Al Moxtar said...

Just noted that, as usual in the comments, "Arabs" are quick to berate the French influence over Maghrebian languages/dialects, and completely ignore the deeper Amazigh gene input.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Lameen: will be noting your post tomorrow. Intended to do so today but some stuff was going on in Egypt.

Michael Collins Dunn said...


Finally getting to your post now.