A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Algerian and Egyptian Arabic Dialects, Revisited, and a Berber Comparison as Well

Almost two weeks ago now, I posted about an Economist column about Arabic dialects. Among the comparisons discussed there were the mutual intelligibility or lack thereof of various dialects. Algerian language blogger Lameen Souag also responded to the Economist piece with a detailed discussion of the Algerian case at his Jabal al-Lughat blog: "So How Different are Egyptian and Algerian Arabic, Really?"  (Unsurprisingly given the influence of Egyptian TV and movies, Algerians can understand Egyptian, though it may not work so well the other way.) I planned to link to his post right away, but then something happened in Egypt or somewhere, and I'm just now getting around to it. If you're interested in the whole diglossia issue and/or know either dialect, do read it.

And now, Lameen has added a post on a subject most of us know a lot less about: "So How Different are Algerian and Egyptian Berber?" He compares the Kabyle Berber (Tamazight) of Algeria with the Siwi of Egypt's Siwa Oasis.

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