Different Spoken Arabic throughout the Arabic speaking world
Thread poster: nztisnz

Local time: 11:06
Japanese to English
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Aug 14, 2009

I am trying to research the above. Although I have read many sources I do not speak any Arabic and want to understand first hand differing Arabic. I would like to apply this to an extreme example such as a speaker of Arabic from the Gulf states interpreting for an Arabic speaker from say Morocco/Western Sahara in a court situation. I understand that if all are speaking Standard Arabic they will understand each other but want to try and find examples where there could be intentional or unintentional misunderstandings especially with this example of a legal matter. I am only dealing with spoken Arabic not written. Examples would be great but please understand you are explaining examples to me, a non-Arabic speaker.


Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
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One example, Sudan vs. central Saudi Arabia Aug 15, 2009

I worked at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1991 to 2002. A Sudanese contract interpreter told me this first-hand account:

He was interpreting for a female patient from central Saudi Arabia. The American doctor told the patient to open her mouth. The Sudanese interpreter said:


Outside of Sudan, this would mean "open your nose." Of course, the patient was puzzled. She asked, "how can I do that." The interpreter opened his mouth to show her what he meant. She explained to him what she understood using words from standard Arabic. He was astonished. He told me that he had never even imagined that the words he used could be interpreted in any other way. It was a learning experience for him. The incident made such an impression on him that he told this story repeatedly.


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Different Spoken Arabic throughout the Arabic speaking world

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