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Language and identity: The sacred v the profane?

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: fuSHa and colloquial

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 7, 2018 at 07:48

gato you wrote:

>Concerning fuSHa and EA, there is a joke that a foreigner have learned fuSHa, spoke in Cairo to a taxi driver with instructions where to go. After he has finished, the driver responded "Saddaqa Allahu al-Aziim"(he thought khawaga was reciting Qur'an to him:)

LOL Sadaqa Allahu al-Azeem!

>My situation would have been quite different since as I have said I speak no fuSHa only read it somewhat, and I know at least some phrases in EA, so I would have tried EA phrases and I would only hope people would speak not as rapidly as in films :) I could say for example ana batkallim 3arabi shwiyya shwiyya lakin mabatkallimuush kwayyis

Don't forget natives will understand you if you master first the vowels both short and long as in ii uu aa and a i u So the above sentence can be better if you make it shorter as in: ana 'aref atkalem shwayet 'arabi Or I'm able to speak a bit of Arabic Short and to the point

>or ma 3andish fluus ktiira

Or ana ma'andish floos kitira! Not bad Again think vowels!

>or ana 3aayiz aruuH maSr

I want to go to Masr (Cairo) Not bad however the 'Ayiz Don't use long vowel aa instead use a Remember they will understand you if you master the vowels first

>in-naharda/bukra

Not bad Today tomorrow

>or hum mish mawgodeen hena

Slight correction in short vowels in hum: Huma mish mawgodeen hena

>or ma ba2darsh atkallim fuSHa

Even better: ana mabatkalemshi el-'arabi el-faseeh

>("I speak Arabic little little but I do not speak it well" or "not is at me much money" or " I want go Cairo/Egypt today/tomorrow" or "they not being here" or "I cannot speal literary Arabic") but I would be completely at loss had I say that in fuSHa, or of course I could try at least second and third - laysa nuquudan kathiiran 3andi and uriidu an 'adhhaba ila qaahira/ila l-miSr al-yawm/ghadan. the 5th phrase maybe "lam astati3 'an atakallima fuSHa" I cannot translate into fuSHa the 1st and the 4th phrase. Of course, I see no point at all in learning "coloquial fuSHa"(a contradiction in terms)

Not bad so master the vowels and they will understand you and if the person speaks fast then ask the person to Itkalem bishwish or speak slowly

>And concerning books as far I know there are only some poetry books in EA, as well as scripts of TV films and masraHiyaat(theater plays) where dialogs are in EA but remarks in fuSHa, as well as some novels of Egyptian writers where dialogs are in EA and the rest in fuSHA, very little indeed is in EA.

I have seen almost every genre of writing in EA except Islamic religious texts However there was a twitter account I do not know if it still exists of an ex-Muslim from Egypt who translates the Qur'an into EA and it is really funny I will google it and see if it still exists

>The reason why Egyptian read little books is probably not that they are written in "alien' fuSHa. People in mant countries read a lot of books in English even if for people in some countries English is very alien and very different from their native tongues.

You are comparing apples and oranges. MCA is supposed to be the official language of Egypt and it is a foreign language No one would claim that English is anymore in Egypt than a foreign language but when you learn English it opens many doors. Learning MCA leads you no where

> However, a bookstore owner will always complain that people read too little since he is eager to maximize his profits :)

May be but I believe Madboli There is a famous incident: al-Ahram published Naguib Mahfoez's book "Awlad Haritna" and the paper was sold out within hours of publishing the book Egyptians love to read if given the chance

Submitting....

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