Language Bank

This is a list of useful words in Arabic. The left contains the colloquial word, while the right contains the fusha word. Before the list, however, I will also add some general pronounciation guidelines and grammatical rules that, combined with a background in formal Arabic, should help those referencing this page make a smooth language transition in the Middle East, more specifically, Jordan.

1-Many words are shared between الفصحى و العامية. This helps with vocab memorization, as once the particular quirks of a dialect are mastered, you can create or recognize a word without having to look it up in the dictionary.

2-The vowels are different. I hate to tell you this, but seemingly basic and constant pronunciation is…still basic and constant, just slightly altered. The damma has a slight “o” pronunciation to it. The fatha before the taa marbuta has an “eh” pronunciation to it, except for the stronger consonants which still rely on the “ah” sound.

3- Masculine and feminine forms of words have vowel shifts with respect to one another. Example: ساكِن / ساكْنة. You’ll get used to this. Also, note that the pronunciation is Saakin and Sakneh.

4-ب. You’ll see this with verbs a lot. Some verbs contain ba at the beginning of the conjugated form (as seen below). I’ll have to investigate when to use this, but from my current understanding I believe it can only be used on a main verb (not after أن بالفصحى). Note that the Alif is dropped and the ba usually takes sukun.

5- For the love of kasra and sukun. The Levantine dialect seems to contain a lot of sukuns and kasras. Many fathas and dammas from fusha either change to kasra or sukun. Jordanians love their consonant clusters.

Also أيضًا / كَمانْ

But لَكِنّ / بَسّ

Only فَقَط / بَسّ

Here هُنا / هون

There هُناك / هنيك

Every/All كُل / كِل

Now الآن / هَلّق

Tomorrow غدًا / بُكْرة

Yesterday أمس /  امْبارِح

I go أَذْهَب / اروح

I watch أُشاهِد / اشوف

I work أَعْمَل / بشتغل

I do أَفْعَل / بعْمَل

أن= ما

ما / مو – These are negation tools. Maa is used for basically everything but adjectives. So ليس عِندي = ما عَندي