Mashriqi Arabic

Mashriqi Arabic
Arabic alphabet, Latin alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Mashriqi Arabic (Eastern Arabic), or Mashriqi ʿAmmiya, is the varieties of Arabic spoken in the Mashriq, including the countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.[2][3][4][5] The variety is sometimes referred to as Eastern Arabic, as opposed to Western Arabic (Maghrebi Arabic or Darija) and includes Mesopotamian Arabic and Gulf Arabic, along with Egyptian Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, and Levantine Arabic. Speakers of Mashriqi call their language ʿAmmiya, which means "dialect" in Modern Standard Arabic.

Modern Standard Arabic (الفصحى al-fuṣḥá) is the primary language used in the government, legislation and judiciary of countries in the Mashreq. Mashriqi Arabic is used for almost all spoken communication, as well as in television dramas and on advertising boards in Egypt and Lebanon, but Modern Standard Arabic is used for written communication. In Lebanon, where Mashriqi Arabic as a colloquial language was taught as a separate subject under French colonization, some textbooks exist.

The varieties of Mashriqi have a significant degree of mutual intelligibility, specially between geographically adjacent ones (such as Lebanese and Syrian or between Iraqi and Kuwaiti). Conversely, Darija is very hard to understand for Arabic-speakers from the Mashriq, as it derives from different substrata.

It is widely spoken in countries west of Iran and east of Saudi Arabia, such as in Iraq and Kuwait. It is somewhat different from Peninsular Arabic or Egyptian Arabic.


An overview of the different varieties of Arabic.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "North African Arabic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ "Mashriq". Britannica. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  3. ^ "European Neighbourhood Policy in the Mashreq Countries: Enhancing Prospects for Reform". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  4. ^ Introduction to Migration and the Mashreq Archived 2014-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Migrants from the Maghreb and Mashreq Countries

Further reading

  • Singer, Hans-Rudolf (1980) “Das Westarabische oder Maghribinische” in Wolfdietrich Fischer and Otto Jastrow (eds.) Handbuch der arabischen Dialekte. Otto Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden. 249-76.

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