Posted On April 28, 2015 By In Arabic With 2564 Views

Arabic Students Demonstrate the Differences Between MSA and Darija

NSLI-Y students in Morocco are essentially learning two languages. Students spend the majority of their time in class studying Modern Standard Arabic (or MSA), which is the language of print media, academia, and religion. Because of the importance and all-pervasiveness of Islam in Arabic-speaking countries and MSA’s closeness to Classical Arabic, MSA is given high status. However, as soon as they leave the classroom, they enter the land of Darija, Morocco’s own dialect, which is the language most commonly spoken in Morocco. Students take Darija classes in addition to their MSA classes and are really challenged by the fact that what they hear at home and on the street differs from the majority of what they are learning in school. Due to the high status of MSA, Darija is often thought of as a corruption of Arabic, so Moroccan Arabic textbooks are extremely rare. This makes learning the dialect a tricky affair. However, the NSLI-Y students are up for the challenge! They recently posted a video that shows two NSLI-Y student speaking MSA and Darija. The narrator says a phrase in English, then Eliza says the phrase in MSA and Evan repeats the phrase in Darija.

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