The Lebanese Directory
Learn Lebanese Language
Lebanese is the native language for the people of Lebanon, it is simple and easy-to-learn because of its simple grammar, and the relatively small number of words it utilizes.The language spoken now in Lebanon was shaped through two thousand years by the mix of Aramaic and Arabic languages, with a substantial amount of Turkish words. It also has words of Persian, Greek and Italian origins.
Online Lebanese language websites:
www.abcleb.com Introduction to Lebanese language, online program designed for people whose native language is English. Roman (Latin) letters are used for learners convenience. Free online lessons and support.
www.LebaneseLanguage.org The Lebanese Language Institute(LLI) is a global center to develop, maintain and supervise the resources for teaching, learning, studying, and promoting the Lebanese language and literature. Its research and projects include developing and recording of; script, grammar, dictionary, history, and all literature aspects.
The Importance of Distinguishing Lebanese Language from Arabic Language: Lebanese language and Arabic Language, Results of not distinguishing Arabic language from Lebanese language, Confusing Lebanese with Arabic, and the necessity of distinguishing Lebanese language from Arabic language.
Q & A
|Questions and Answers about Lebanese Language: More Frequently asked questions about the origin of Lebanese, how it differs from its parent-langauges "Aramaic and Arabic", who can speak it and how to learn it.|
. How was the Lebanese Language developed?
The Lebanese language currently spoken was developed from its parent Semitic language Aramaic. Aramaic was spoken in the whole region untill about 900 AD. Later, the people in Lebanon were speaking several dialects of Aramaic especially in the mountains and North Lebanon while some Arabic dialects were introduced in some costal cities.
Eventually, the people of Lebanon blended their Aramaic with Arabic. From the 17 th to 20 th centuries, some of the Turkish language was incorporated. The Lebanese language kept developing until these days where some French and English were introduced in the past century.
Some scholars go further back to the Canaanite (Phoenician) language that the inhabitants of the region spoke before Aramaic, which has common words with Aramaic, Arabic and Hebrew.
. How does Lebanese language differ from Arabic language?
Arabic and Lebanese are both of Semitic roots. They have many common words and grammar, just as Spanish and Italian have in common. However, if people learn Arabic they will not be able to speak Lebanese and visa versa. Although some people refer to Lebanese as Lebanese-Arabic due to the Arabic mix in it, Lebanese and Arabic are two different languages. Despite the fact that almost half of the words used in Lebanese are from Arabic origin, they were reshaped and developed through several centuries.
. How does Lebanese language differ from Aramaic language?
The Aramaic language gave words and structure to Lebanese, as will as it gave to other Semitic languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew. Many Lebanese words and grammar trace their roots into Aramaic. Although some people refer to Lebanese as Neo-Aramaic referring to its roots, they are two different languages. Except for some Aramaic words that are used in Lebanese language as-is, many Aramaic words were reshaped and developed through several centuries.
. Who speaks Lebanese?
There are about 3 million in Lebanon and almost double the number around the world who speak Lebanese today.
. Who understands Lebanese?
Due to being one of the most popular languages of television and entertainment production, most of the people in the Arabic countries understand Lebanese. The Lebanese songs and television production attract over 200 million from the region between the Arabic/Persian Gulf and Morocco. This applies to the many immigrants from that region to the Americas attracting several million there.
. If I speak Lebanese, what languages can I understand?
Lebanese is very close to the languages that were derived from the same Aramaic roots and got the Arabic and Turkish mix. So people who speak Lebanese can easily communicate with the people who speak Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian (except those who speak Badawin).
. How many Dialects does the Lebanese language have?
Seven main dialects are commonly recognized for the Lebanese language: Northern Lebanese, Central-Mountain Lebanese, Southern-Lebanese, Traditional-Beiruti-Lebanese, Biqaxii-Lebanese, the Durzi-Mountain Lebanese, and modern Lebanese that evolved in the recent few decades.
Most of the Lebanese now, in all Lebanese regions, speak the modern Lebanese. The modern Lebanese simply developed toward dropping the regional dialects.
. If I learn Arabic, would I be able to speak Lebanese?
No. Despite the similarities in structure and words between the two languages, they are still two different languages just as Italian-and-Spanish. People in Lebanon learn Lebanese form their daily life conversation and television programs. They are introduced to Arabic when they go to school and study Arabic language and literature, and they practice Arabic by reading books and newspapers.
It is not advised for the people outside Lebanon to try to study Arabic if they do not speak their native language – Lebanese, Egyptian etc..
. Is it true that the Lebanese people speak Lebanese but write Arabic?
This is a false statement often used by people who confuse the use of Arabic script to write with the language itself. The Lebanese use Arabic script to write both Lebanese and Arabic; They write, read and speak Lebanese for their songs, poems, television production and letters, while they write, read, and speak Arabic in Arabic Literature, courts and some religious rituals. This is not different from the people utilizing Latin letters to write both English and Spanish languages.
. How many people in the world now have Arabic as their native language?
None. Currently, Arabic is not the first language for any person around the world. The only way to learn Arabic is to study it. Which means that you cannot learn Arabic if you live among Lebanese, Egyptians, Kuwaitis or any nation today, rather you will learn the language they speak.
For more: Lebanese Language Center - www.abcleb.com