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The many ways to say “What are you doing?” in Arabic

We recently talked about the difference between Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialects. Here’s something that our students have found that illustrates the difference between MSA and what people actually speak. You’ll also notice which dialects are closest to each other: foto

If you are studying Spoken Arabic at ALPS you’ll learn to say “What are you doing?” in the Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian ways. We also teach Modern Standard if you want to continue to learn to read and write in Arabic.

Fast Paced Spoken Lebanese Arabic Class in April–8 hours a week

Spoken Lebanese Class for MSA students

Have you studied MSA and now are wanting to quickly get a foundation in learning to speak the Lebanese dialect? If so, this class might be for you.

This class is for anyone who wants to learn the most useful phrases and concepts in the spoken Lebanese dialect and is already familiar with the Arabic alphabet.  You may have studied Modern Standard Arabic before and you know the Arabic alphabet, but you are new to the spoken dialect. This class begins by using  Spoken Levantine Vol 1 to teach you important conversation skills such as introducing  yourself, getting around Beirut easier and having basic conversations.

Class Details
Dates: March 31 to May 2 (5 weeks)
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (4 days a week)
Time:8:00-10:00
Cost: US $8/hour

Call or email us to find out about other groups, levels, and times for the month. ALPS Beirut is a flexible and personal program and teaches Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialect. 

Contact us at alps@abtslebanon.org or by phone 961-1-75 50 25 and ask for Joelle (ALPS Director)

Chers apprenants francophones, ALPS peut vous aider à apprendre le dialecte libanais et à améliorer votre langue arabe classique par la méthode de votre choix: vous pouvez adopter la nôtre, (anglais-arabe) si vous êtes à l’aise avec la langue anglaise, mais vous pouvez aussi nous demander de vous expliquer les règles en français, nous disposons d’enseignants également francophones. Nous sommes flexibles et pouvons nous adapter à vos besoins en termes d’horaires et de fréquence des cours.

Appelez Joëlle à Beyrouth au +961 1 75 50 25, ou sur son portable +961 70 948 109. Ou écrivez-nous à notre adresse électronique, nous répondons dans les 24h.

What is the difference between Modern Standard Arabic and Spoken Arabic?

Arabic is the official language of 22 countries, stretching from the Arabian peninsula up to Syria, and across North Africa, and is spoken by over 200 million people. These peoples and countries use Modern Standard Arabic in news broadcasts, legal documents, official speeches, books and newspapers. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is also taught at universities around the world because of its standardization and academic use.

However, no one in any of these 22 Arabic speaking countries uses Modern Standard Arabic in daily conversation. Instead they use the spoken dialect, the language of relationships, to communicate and connect with family and friends. The spoken dialect varies within countries and across the region. However, the countries of the Levant: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, share a common dialect of Spoken Arabic. When you study with us in Beirut you be learning the Levantine Arabic. This means within the Levant, people will say you sound Lebanese and everyone in the Arab World will be able to understand you.

However, once you get outside of the Levant the spoken dialects have a lot less similarities with Spoken Lebanese, as a result people in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Morocco will be able to understand you, but you won’t be able to completely understand them at first. This is true even if you have studied MSA because the words and phrases that are used most often in conversation vary the most across countries. If you have a MSA background and want to learn the dialect, you’ll be able to use your knowledge of the Arabic alphabet as you adapt to the spoken dialect. Then, once you have a foundation in day to day conversations you’ll be able to use those bigger words you have learned in MSA (like United Nations and political science) because they are more often used in the spoken dialect as well.

The material for Lebanese Dialect does not overwhelm the student, and it is a good thing that I could learn practical things from my teachers Nadia and Rima.” — Satu

 

 

Distribution of Arabic as sole official language (green) and one of several official languages (blue)

Practice Speaking Lebanese for Free

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Are you looking for an opportunity to speak Lebanese? Stop by ALPS Beirut for a cup of coffee and conversation with our Arabic teachers and other students. Make sure to bring any questions you have about the language, culture and what to do and see in Lebanon.

 Every Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 (starting March 18)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you have to be a student at ALPS Beirut?
No :)

What if I don’t know how to Speak Lebanese?
This time is for people who are already conversational in Arabic. If you are just beginning, check out our classes for beginners and then join us later on.

Is it really free?
Yes completely free!

How do I get to ALPS Beirut?
ALPS Beirut is in Hamra near the American University Hospital. Here are the directions: http://alpsbeirut.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/how-do-i-get-to-alps/

March Classes for Busy Professionals

Are you wanting to learn some basic Arabic, but busy working at an NGO? Check out these options for beginners classes starting now. As always, class sizes are small and personal with no more than 4 students.

Total Beginners Spoken Lebanese Class (4 mornings a week)

This class begins with learning the alphabet (using the book Alefba) in Modern Standard Arabic AND the Lebanese Dialect. This way you’ll see how the Lebanese pronunciation of the Arabic letters differs from Modern Standard Arabic and you can use this knowledge wherever and however you use Arabic in the future.

After you study the alphabet, you’ll also learn important Lebanese Arabic phrases and vocabulary that are spoken everyday in Beirut. Because you are studying full time for a month you will go further in the book Spoken Levantine Vol 1 and you’ll be able to introduce yourself, get around Beirut easier and have basic conversations.

Class Details

Dates: March 3-28 (4 weeks)
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (4 days a week)
Time: 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Cost: US$8/hour 

Total Beginners Spoken Lebanese Class (2 nights a week)

Class Details
Dates: March 3-28 (4 weeks)
Days: Tuesday and Wednesday(2 days a week)
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: US$12/hour

Call or email us to find out about other groups, levels, and times for the month. ALPS Beirut is a flexible and personal program and teaches Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialect. Contact us at alps@abtslebanon.org or by phone 961-1-75 50 25 and ask for Joelle (ALPS Director)

Chers apprenants francophones, ALPS peut vous aider à apprendre le dialecte libanais et à améliorer votre langue arabe classique par la méthode de votre choix: vous pouvez adopter la nôtre, (anglais-arabe) si vous êtes à l’aise avec la langue anglaise, mais vous pouvez aussi nous demander de vous expliquer les règles en français, nous disposons d’enseignants également francophones. Nous sommes flexibles et pouvons nous adapter à vos besoins en termes d’horaires et de fréquence des cours.

Appelez Joëlle à Beyrouth au +961 1 75 50 25, ou sur son portable +961 70 948 109. Ou écrivez-nous à notre adresse électronique, nous répondons dans les 24h.

ALPS Beirut Spoken Levantine Arabic Vol. 2

When you complete Volume 2 of the Spoken Lebanese curriculum at ALPS Beirut you will be able to know and use all of the verb tenses in the spoken dialect. In addition to learning some of the most commonly used verbs, you will continue to learn important vocabulary words and improve your conversation skills.

We begin with a review of the present tense and focus on irregular present tense verbs and verbs with a shaddeh.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 11.34.15 AM

Then we will add “I want”  baddii and “I can” fiinii to present tense verbs and move to the present continuous tense:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 11.38.45 AM

Now that you can say things like “I want to drink coffee,” we’ll move to the past so you can say “Thanks, but I just drank a cup of coffee,” and the future, “I will see you tomorrow at the cafe.”

As you grown in your conversation skills you’ll learn to ask questions like these and many more:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 11.48.35 AM

The active participle is used a lot in Spoken Lebanese and there are a few important concepts about the “ism faa3el” for you to know in order to sound Lebanese.  We will cover the active participle in depth so you become confident in using it to discuss the  past, present and future.

Here is one sentence that uses the active participle from the infinitive to write:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 11.57.33 AM

By the end of the book we have covered the verb tenses and you have had the chance to learn and practice conversations that frequently occur in daily life. This book concludes the beginners level at ALPS and now you are ready for what’s next!

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 12.03.05 PM

Please check out our blog to see scheduled classes at this level. If you are not in Lebanon and want to learn Arabic with this book you can purchase this book online.

How to say goodbye in Spoken Arabic

There are many ways to say goodbye when you are about to leave a person or place in Lebanon. Knowing these phrases will help you sound more like a native speaker and communicate clearly and politely.

baddak shi? // Do you want anything?

This is an informal way to leave someone and is used mainly in major cities. When you are ready to end a conversation on the phone or are heading out of the office for the day saying baddak shi is a polite way to say you are ready to go. You’ll hear the appropriate response salamtak/salamtik. This literally means “Your well being” and  is the Lebanese Arabic equivalent of see you later.

ya3tiikon el 3aafiyeh // May He give you good health.

One universal way to say hi  or bye!

yalla, bil izn minkon, leizim ruu7  // With your permission, I need to go.

This is more formal than badkon shi. The response you will most likely hear is  iznak ma3ak, you have permission (to leave).

sharfuuna // Honor us.

If someone is leaving you house, saying sharfuna is a polite way to say Come back again and honor us with a visit. The response to this is nshallah.

Allah ma3ak // God with you.

Is a common way to say goodbye in Lebanon. You will hear it often when you are leaving your taxi and you can then respond Allah yi7faZak.

ma3 essaleimeh // With safety.

This is the Arabic student’s favorite way to say good bye, but this isn’t used too much around here and is usually used incorrectly. This should only be said to someone leaving you. The response to this is Allah ysalmak.

tfaDDAL // Come in.

If your friend drops you off and you are right in front of your house you could say tfaDDAL. This literally means honor us (with a visit), but is understood as a polite way to part ways. The proper response to this would be killak zow2, gheyr marrah nshallah, meaning thank you, hopefully another time.

bkhaaTrak/bkaaTrik/bkhaaTerkon // With your approval.

This is heard more in small towns and villages and is  said by the person leaving. It can also mean keep me in your thoughts. People would respond: Allah ma3ak.

February Spoken Lebanese Dialect Courses in Beirut

Total Beginners Spoken Lebanese Class

This class begins with learning the alphabet (using the book Alefba) in Modern Standard Arabic AND the Lebanese Dialect. This way you’ll see how the Lebanese pronunciation of the Arabic letters differs from Modern Standard Arabic and you can use this knowledge wherever and however you use Arabic in the future.

After you study the alphabet, you’ll also learn important Lebanese Arabic phrases and vocabulary that are spoken everyday in Beirut. Because you are studying full time for a month you will go further in the book Spoken Levantine Vol 1 and you’ll be able to introduce yourself, get around Beirut easier and have basic conversations.

This will be a small, personal class so reserve your place today. Sign up by e-mailing us at ALPS@abtslebanon.org

Class Details
Dates: February 3-28 (4 weeks)
Days: Monday thru Friday (5 days a week)
Time: 12:00 to 3:00
Cost: US$8/hour

Call or email us to find out about other groups, levels, and times for the month. ALPS Beirut is a flexible and personal program and teaches Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialect. 

Contact us at alps@abtslebanon.org or by phone 961-1-75 50 25 and ask for Joelle (ALPS Director)

Chers apprenants francophones, ALPS peut vous aider à apprendre le dialecte libanais et à améliorer votre langue arabe classique par la méthode de votre choix: vous pouvez adopter la nôtre, (anglais-arabe) si vous êtes à l’aise avec la langue anglaise, mais vous pouvez aussi nous demander de vous expliquer les règles en français, nous disposons d’enseignants également francophones. Nous sommes flexibles et pouvons nous adapter à vos besoins en termes d’horaires et de fréquence des cours.

Appelez Joëlle à Beyrouth au +961 1 75 50 25, ou sur son portable +961 70 948 109. Ou écrivez-nous à notre adresse électronique, nous répondons dans les 24h.

Private Arabic Classes for International Organizations in Beirut

 

Did you know ALPS Beirut will come to your office and teach your expat staff Arabic?  Contact us at ALPS@abtslebanon.org for more info

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November Spoken Lebanese Beginners’ Class – 2 Hours a Day

Total Beginners Spoken Lebanese Class

This class begins with learning the alphabet (using the book Alefba) in Modern Standard Arabic AND the Lebanese Dialect. This way you’ll see how the Lebanese pronunciation of the Arabic letters differs from Modern Standard Arabic and you can use this knowledge wherever and however you use Arabic in the future.

After you study the alphabet, you’ll also learn important Lebanese Arabic phrases and vocabulary that are spoken everyday in Beirut. By the end of the class you will be using Spoken Levantine Vol 1 and you’ll be able to introduce yourself, get around Beirut easier and have basic conversations.

This will be a small, personal class so reserve your place today. Sign up by e-mailing us at ALPS@abtslebanon.org

Class Details
Dates: November 4-29 (4 weeks)
Days: Monday thru Friday (5 days a week)
Time: 2:00 to 4:00
Cost: US$8/hour

Call or email us to find out about other groups, levels, and times for November. ALPS Beirut is a flexible and personal program and teaches Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialect. 

Contact us at alps@abtslebanon.org
or by phone 961-1-75 50 25 and ask for Joelle (ALPS Director)

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