Arabic Languages of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon

Arabic

The Arabic language is spoken throughout the Middle East and across North Africa, but the variety of Arabic spoken differs from one country to the next, and even from one region to another within the same country. There are over 24 major Arabic dialects.

In addition to the spoken varieties, there is also a literary variety of Arabic referred to as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).  All printed materials in the Arab World – books, newspapers, magazines, official documents, and even reading materials for small children – are in MSA.  But no one learns MSA as their mother tongue, and in fact no one ever uses it on the street.  You’ll only hear it used orally for news broadcasts, or sermons in mosques, or in other formal situations.

These are the varieties of Arabic spoken in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, along with information on the Scripture products available in these languages.

 

Language map

 

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Modern Standard Arabic  is the language of education and the media.
There are several translations of the Bible into Modern Standard Arabic. The True Meaning translation is particularly intended to communicate well to Muslims. The New Testament in pdf format and audio recordings are available on the Prophet Stories website. Also recommended is the Sharif Bible. The Book of Life (Kitaab al-Hayaat), Today’s Arabic Version and the New Arabic Version are also good modern translations, particularly for Arabic-speaking Christians.
The Sharif Bible, and the Kitaab al-Hayaat are available as audio recordings from Faith Comes by Hearing on Bible.is.


Lebanese Arabic  This variety of Arabic is the main language of Syria and Lebanon. It is spoken throughout Lebanon, and is very close to the dialect spoken in the western part of Syria, from Damascus up through Homs and Aleppo right to the border with Turkey.
The Prophet Stories website has audio recordings of the stories of Job, Joseph, Ruth, Samuel, Jonah and Daniel, which are particularly suited to Muslim listeners with little knowledge of the Bible.
There are also recordings available from Global Recordings Network.


Baghdadi Arabic  - Also known as Mesopotamian Arabic, Baghdadi Arabic is spoken in southern Iraq in the region from Baghdad down to the Persian Gulf, and in northern Syria around the Euphrates River, including the town of Raqqah.
The Prophet Stories website has audio Stories of the Old Testament Prophets in this variety of Arabic for Muslim listeners, as well as the Story of Jesus, the Stories of the Apostles, and videos of two parables. The Stories of the Prophets cover Adam, Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah and Daniel. There is a short Story of Jesus, as well as a longer biography of Jesus, based on the gospel of Luke.
There is an Arabic language website, alanbiya.com, which has the same materials.
The Jesus Film can be found on the Jesus Film website, along with some other materials.
A Baghdadi-style version of the Sharif Arabic Bible is available as text and audio on the Faith Comes by Hearing website.
There are also recordings available from Global Recordings Network.


Mosuli Arabic   - Also known as North Mesopotamian Arabic, Mosuli Arabic is spoken in northern Iraq, from Mosul down around the Tigris River including the town of Tikrit, and along the Euphrates River in an area including Fallujah and Ramadi.
The Prophet Stories website has audio stories in this dialect for Muslim listeners, covering the Old Testament Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles. The prophets included are Adam, Noah, Job, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah and Daniel.
There are videos on YouTube of the stories of Adam, Noah, Job (two parts) and Abraham (two parts).


Mardini Arabic   is spoken around Mardin in Turkey, in north-eastern Syria, the Tur Abdin region of south-eastern Turkey and the diaspora in Sweden, Holland, Germany, Canada and the US. The language is close to Mosuli Arabic.
The New Testament is available either as a download or in print form from the Aramaic Bible Translation website, and is particularly suitable for Christian speakers of the language.  There are audio recordings from Faith Comes by Hearing on Bible.is. The New Testament is also available in print from the Deyrulzafaran Monastery in Mardin, Turkey.
The Jesus Story is available from Global Recordings Network.
The Portrait of Jesus is available from the Aramaic Bible Translation website


North Arabian Bedouin Arabic   is the language of Bedouins in Jordan and desert areas of Syria, western Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia, and is well understood among other Bedouins in Jordan, Israel, Palestine and the Sinai. It is also known as Levantine Bedawi Arabic or Najdi Arabic.
The Prophet Stories website has audio versions of the stories of the Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles. The prophets included are Adam, Job, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Solomon, Jonah, Isaiah and Daniel. There are two versions of the story of Jesus. One is a short story of Jesus, and the other is a longer biography of Jesus, based on the Gospel of Luke.
There is an Arabic language website, alanbiya.net, which has the same materials.
On YouTube there is a Bedouin playlist, which has videos of selected scenes from the stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah and Jesus.

 

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