Syrian Arabic
Syrian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken in Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....



Syrian Arabic proper is a form of Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic is a broad variety of Arabic spoken in the 100 to 200 km-wide Eastern Mediterranean coastal strip...

, and may be divided into South Syrian Arabic, spoken in the cities of Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Homs
Homs , previously known as Emesa , is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is above sea level and is located north of Damascus...

 and Hama
Hama is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria north of Damascus. It is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate. Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria—behind Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs—with a population of 696,863...

, and North Syrian Arabic
North Syrian Arabic
North Syrian Arabic is the variety of Arabic spoken in Northern Syria. This dialect is spoken mainly in the region of Aleppo. It is a variant of Levantine Arabic.-External links:*...

, spoken in the region of Aleppo. Allied dialects are spoken in the coastal mountains. Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese or Lebanese Arabic is a variety of Levantine Arabic, indigenous to and spoken primarily in Lebanon, with significant linguistic influences borrowed from other Middle Eastern and European languages, and is in some ways unique from other varieties of Arabic...

 is in some ways part of the South Syrian family, but is more properly viewed as a transitional dialect between it and Palestinian Arabic
Palestinian Arabic
Palestinian Arabic is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup spoken by Palestinians and the majority of Arab-Israelis. Rural varieties of this dialect exhibit several distinctive features; particularly the pronunciation of qaf as kaf, which distinguish them from other Arabic varieties...

. Due to Syria's long history of multiculturalism and foreign imperialism, Syrian Arabic exhibits a vocabulary strata that includes word borrowings from Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

, Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Syriac
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

, and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...


Other forms of Arabic natively spoken in Syria, but not forming part of the "Syrian Arabic" linguistic group, include:
  • a southern dialect group, resembling Jordanian Arabic
    Jordanian Arabic
    Jordanian Arabic is a set of dialects of Levantine Arabic that are originated in the Jordanian Kingdom and are spoken by Jordanians. Jordanian Arabic has a Semitic language structure, with lexical influence of English, Turkish and French. It is spoken by more than 6 million people, and understood...

  • the dialect spoken in the Jabal al-Druze (Jabal Al-Arab) mountains;
  • the eastern dialect group (Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor
    Deir ez-Zor Governorate
    Deir ez-Zor Governorate or Muhafazah Dayr az Zawr is one of the fourteen governorates of Syria. It is situated in eastern Syria, bordering Iraq. It has an area of 33,060 km² and a population of 1,202,000...

    ), properly speaking a form of North Mesopotamian Arabic
    North Mesopotamian Arabic
    North Mesopotamian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken north of the Hamrin Mountains in Iraq, in northwestern Iran in northern Syria, and in southeastern Turkey...

  • Bedawi Arabic
    Bedawi Arabic
    Bedawi Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken by Bedouins mostly in eastern Egypt, and also in Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Syria...

    , spoken by the Badu Bedouin
    The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...


In each of the above areas, people use different patterns of speech and different vocabularies (synonyms). Representatives of all groups may be found and heard in the capital Damascus and in Syrian songs and movies.

The diagnostic features of Syrian Arabic (also found in Lebanese Arabic and urban Palestinian Arabic) are:
  • the pronunciation of final -ah as "é";
  • the pronunciation of qaf as a glottal stop (/ʔ/) in a fashion similar to Egyptian Arabic
    Egyptian Arabic
    Egyptian Arabic is the language spoken by contemporary Egyptians.It is more commonly known locally as the Egyptian colloquial language or Egyptian dialect ....

     and unique to Levantine Arabic and Egyptian Arabic.

Within Syria itself, non-indigenous dialects of Arabic, most notably Iraqi Arabic
Iraqi Arabic
Iraqi Arabic is a continuum of mutually intelligible Arabic varieties native to the Mesopotamian basin of Iraq as well as spanning into eastern and northern Syria, western Iran, southeastern Turkey, and spoken in respective Iraqi diaspora communities.-Varieties:Iraqi Arabic has two major varieties...

and Palestinian Arabic, are frequently used within their respective refugee diasporas, especially in Damascus.
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