Learn Lebanese Arabic

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About Lebanese Arabic

Lebanese Arabic is a dialect of Levantine Arabic mostly used in Lebanon. It is predominantly a spoken language, while Modern Standard Arabic is usually used in formal writing. Most Lebanese speakers are also fluent in either French or English which means that words from these languages get mixed into Lebanese. Lebanese also borrows from Aramaic and Turkish. There is some ongoing debate about whether Lebanese is a dialect of Arabic at all, or a separate language which descends from Aramaic and borrows heavily from Arabic vocabulary.

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Central Semitic


Levantine Arabic

Fun facts — Arabic (Lebanese)

  • One of the most common ways to say thank you in Lebanese Arabic is 'merci', borrowed from French.
  • The 'a' at the end of Lebanese words tends to be pronounced like a soft 'e'. So 'winter' شتاء is pronounced 'shete' ininstead of the formal Arabic 'shita'.
  • The guttural 'q' sound is replaced by a glottal stop, so 'coffee' (قهوة) or 'qahwa' in Classical Arabic becomes 'ahwe' in Lebanese.

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