Sociolinguistic Cultural Differences Manifested In Different Colloquial Dialects Of Arabic

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Sociolinguistics is not a study of facts but the study of ideas about how societal norms are intertwined with our language use. We use the term ‘language’ to mean a system of linguistic communication particular to a group. This includes spoken, written, and signed modes of communication.

A society must have a language or languages in which to carry out it’s purposes. Our purpose is to study the relationship between language and society in more specific ways which help us more clearly define and understand both the social groups and the ways they speak. what sociolinguistic do is provide ‘descriptive’ grammas of language which describe, analyze and explain how people actually speak their languages. Sociolinguistic is concerned with investigating the relationships between language and society with the goal being a better understanding of the structure of language and of how languages function in communication. We use the term ‘variety’ as a general term for a way of speaking. A variety defined in terms of location, social class.

Linguists use the term ‘vernacular’ to refer to the language a person grows up with and uses in everyday life in ordinary, common place, social interactions. Language and dialect are ambiguous norms and dialect is used to refer to one of the norms. If you can understand me, I can understand you. If speakers can understand each other, they are speaking dialects of the same language.

Speakers of different regional varieties of Arabic often can’t understand one another’s dialects but are all oriented toward common standard forms. No one questions the categorization of these disparate dialects as one language because of the religious, social, historical and political ties between the languages they are spoken.

The various relationships among language and dialects show how the concepts of power and solidarity help us understand what is happening. A language has more power than any of it’s dialect. A language is a dialect with an army and a navy is a well-known observation.

Everyone has an accent. Finally, the term dialect, particularly when it is used in reference to regional variation, should not be confused with the term accent. Accent is one aspect of dialect.

Theoretical Framework

The definition of Dialect according to the dictionary is a variety of a language that is distinguished from other of the same language by features of phonology, grammer and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from other geographically or socially. Meanwhile, the definition of accent is a distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular country, area, or social class. Arabic dialects differ from each other in terms of phonology, morphology, lexical choice, and syntax.

‘Phonology is sound pattern and underlying structure’ (Chomsky and Halley, 1995) which means that this branch of linguistics concerned with the study of speech sound with references to their distribution patterning as each Arabic dialect has its own pronunciation of the same word. Secondly, syntax is the study of the principles and process by which sentences are constructed in particular language (Chomsky, 2002). Syntax refers the rules that govern the ways in which words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. Moreover, regional differences affect the Arabic language and caused a lot of different dialects, Arabic is a morphologically complex language which includes rich inflectional morphology and number of clitics (Graff et al, 2009). For example, American dialect say flat, meanwhile British dialect calls it apartment.

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Corpus Description

There are several types of shows like, religious , children, political ,cooking and satirical programs . Here we are discussing the satirical programs that we can watch on TV, online or even listen to them on the radio. They are made to express one’s opinion about what’s happening all around the world.

Bassem Raafat Mohamed Youssef is an Egyptian comedian, writer, producer, surgeon, physician, media critic, and television host, who hosted El-Bernameg (The Show), a satirical news program, from 2011 to 2014.His program first was presented on “ON TV” then on “CBC” and finally on “MBC”. The press has compared Youssef with American comedian Jon Stewart, whose satire program The Daily Show inspired Youssef to begin his career. In 2013, he was named one of the '100 most influential people in the world' by Time magazine. He is very popular and loved from Egyptians. The episode we’re discussing is called the “Violence and terrorism of Islamists” and it’s 57 mins. Bassem here is making fun of the demonstration supporters of Morsy the previous president of Egypt . And how his people demonstrated and acted towards the protesters. They claimed that it’s a peaceful demonstrations, but in fact it wasn’t. And his supporters are saying wrong things about Islam and encouraging people for violenc . And he also mentions Morsy’s speech, that it is not a proper speech that suits the President of Egypt . Bassem talks in his videos to the Egyptians because all he discusses is Egyptian conflicts .

Jordanian comedian and rapper Nikolas khoury , Nicolaos khoury born in 1981997 in Jerusalem city . He makes online satirical news program called “Al Saleet Al Akhbary” on “YOUTUBE” ,that mentions Political crises for different countries which delivers his message through these videos. He talks to all nationalities not only Jordanian . In this video he mentions several topics for different countries. The video is 7 minuts long. The first topic he mentions is the Palestinian resistance. He’s making fun of people who is against the resistance. And the Palestinian should not resist against the occupation as if the Israeli people are so peaceful and don’t want any harm. And he’s delivering a message that is every action has a reaction. The second topic is the marriage of minors. There’s a law in Jordan that provides that a man can marry a fifteen years old girl if she agrees on marrying him. And he’s absolutely not okay with this law .The third topic is the failed Turkish army coup. Which lasted for a year and it failed because the Turkish citizens ended it. And he made fun of an interviewer who slipped a word by wrong. The fourth topic is on an Egyptian island called Al Warraq. The argument here was between the people who live on this island and the Egyptian government. That no one should live on this island according on what the Egyptian president announced. And last topic was on and Egyptian song which is called “Rakbny Al Morgeha”. This song is very bad, Unethical and low. And he asked why is the music level is getting worst.

The reason why we chose these two specific videos is because they contain a lot of similar words so we can differentiate between them of how they sound in each country. There are also different words in every video but have the same meaning. At the end the main reason of choosing These two videos is because of the differences in their dialect. In basem’s show he talks Egyptian and includes Egyptian terms that no other nationality would understand , he only discusses Egyptian topics and conflicts . On the other hand we have Nicholas’s show ,he talks half Jordanian half clear Arabic that every Arabian nationality could understand , and discusses many topics for many countries not only about his country . That’s why we find that Nickolas’s show is more popular all over the Arabian countries, and have many audiences, more than Basem youssef’s show.

Corpus Analysis:

On the level of phonology in the Egyptian and Jordanian dialects, speakers of the two countries understand each other but they will recognize the difference of pronunciation immediately. Speakers may speak the same word but in different way. For example, the word”عاجبتها” Egyptian dialect pronounce it with /g/ while Jordanian dialect pronounce it with /dʒ/. The table1.1 below shows some words with highlighted letters that both dialects pronounce it in different way:

Egyptian dialect Jordanian dialect

  • /æ/ حلئة /k/ حلقة
  • /g/ مجموعة /dʒ/. مجموعة
  • /z/ مظاهرات /ð/ مظاهرات
  • /z/ هذا /ð/ هذا
  • /æ/ الطرق /k/ الطرق

On the level of vocabulary and lexical choice, there are a lot of differences between the vocabulary of the Egyptian and Jordanian dialects that anyone can distinguish between them easily but still understand the meaning of the sentence. Table 1.2 shows the lexical variation according to the both dialects:

Egyptian dialect Jordanian dialect

  • قول احكي
  • ما تتكسفش ما تستحي
  • قفلوا سكروا
  • لية ليش
  • حاجة اشي
  • انا عايز انا بدي
  • دة هاد
  • كدا هيك
  • احنا نحنا
  • دي هاي
  • اللي عايزين يالي بدهم
  • مش هتكلم ما راح احكي
  • ايه اللي فيها شو ايه اللي فيها
  • بتاع تبع
  • النهاردة اليوم
  • يا عم يا زلمة

0n the syntactic level, the formation of the sentence in the Egyptian dialect differs from the sentence formation of the Jordanian dialect. For example, in Egyptian dialect they say ‘الراجل دة’ ‘the man-this’, and in Jordanian dialect ‘هذا الرجل’ ‘this the man’. The word order is different in these two sentences although it gives the same meaning. In Egyptian dialect, they use single or plural only, meanwhile, Jordanian dialect single, dual and plural forms. For example, Egyptians say’الراجل’ or ‘الرجالة’, but Jordanians use the dual if needed ‘الرجلان’.


The differences between the Egyptian and Jordanian dialects in terms of phonology are: First of all phonology is the sound of the word in a language. In the two videos we can notice the difference of how one word is pronounced differently in each country. For example the word “ مظاهرات” the letter ( ظ) is pronounced in Egypt as a (z)sound , but in Jordan they pronounce it as a (th) sound , we also have the word “'مجموعه the letter ((ج in Egypt they pronounce it as a (G) sound , but in Jordan they pronounce it as a (J) sound . Every country has its own dialect but at the end it’s the same word with same meaning but differ in the sound of the word.

The differences between the two dialects in terms of lexical choice of words are: That When it comes to the choice of words we find that in Nickolas khoury’s show, he uses standard Arabic words to express something or ask a question .But in Basem’s show he uses only Egyptian Arabic with Egyptian terms that might not be clear to other Arabic countries .

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Sociolinguistic Cultural Differences Manifested In Different Colloquial Dialects Of Arabic. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
“Sociolinguistic Cultural Differences Manifested In Different Colloquial Dialects Of Arabic.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Sociolinguistic Cultural Differences Manifested In Different Colloquial Dialects Of Arabic. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2024].
Sociolinguistic Cultural Differences Manifested In Different Colloquial Dialects Of Arabic [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from:

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