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fuSHa and colloquial

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: Carl Becker revisited! Language, identity, and historical continuity v discontinuity

Submitted by gato branco (United States), Feb 6, 2018 at 01:20

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:)

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 or ma 3andish fluus ktiira or ana 3aayiz aruuH maSr in-naharda/bukra or hum mish mawgodeen hena or ma ba2darsh atkallim fuSHa("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)

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.

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

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