Which Arabic Dialect Do I Need?

Which Arabic Dialect Do I Need?

There is an average of 7000 spoken languages today, and I have chosen to learn the fifth most spoken language in the world – the Arabic language. This language is spoken by an average of 300 million speakers across the globe. You should know that this language is the native tongue of the 22 countries that make up the Arab League. On Dec. 18, 1973, my choice language took its place among the big players in the U.N. With its approval, the world became more aware of its vast contribution to humanity.

Now, if you live in any of the 22 Arabic-speaking nations, conversing fluently in the language may soon become a norm for you. However, it is ranked one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers. The most apparent reason you might find it challenging to learn is that the language has very few words similar to those of European languages. In fact, the Arabic language lacks vowels.

When you are writing in the Arabic system, you have to use only the 28 consonant letters. Of course, you can include vowels in the language by using the language’s vowel marks. The Arabic language has a rich vocabulary. This vocabulary is made up of about 12.3 million words. And over its 1,500 years of existence, many other languages have adopted some of these words. This language, however, exists in dialects, which I have to choose which one I need.

How many Arabic dialects can I choose from?

I have identified the formal distinctions of the Arabic dialect. The differences are two dialects: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Classical Arabic (CA). In the 19th century, MSA was developed as the modern version of CA. CA is also considered Quranic Arabic, which was used to write the Holy Quran and literature works. CA is also the dialect used in day-to-day conversation in Arab gatherings.

I found another distinction of the Arabic dialect. This distinction is based on regional language groups. These regional groups are not described by the borders of modern states. However, different Arabic dialects that are nearby or share the same region can readily understand one another. The primary factor for this distinction is the influence of other languages previously spoken in the regions.

What Regional Arabic dialects do we have?

The main regional Arabic dialects we have are Gulf, Egyptian, Maghrebi, and Levantine Arabic. I will have to visit countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania if I want to get better acquainted with the native Maghrebi Arabic dialect. These countries are north of the Sahara desert and west of the Nile River. The word Magreb does mean western in the Arabic language. Hence, Maghrebi Arabic dialect is also referred to as western Arabic.

Another region that I can use to choose a dialect of Arabic is Levantine Arabic. This dialect has varieties. The two varieties are North and South Levantine Arabic. You will come across these varieties in countries like Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

Gulf Arabic is a regional dialect that is closely related. However, they differ in vocabulary, grammar, and accent. The dialect is common to counties around the coasts of the Persian Gulf. Hence, countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Oman are where you can find the majority of its native speakers.

Which Arabic dialect do I need?

If I wanted to pick the most widely used dialect, then the Egyptian or Masri dialect is the Arabic dialect I need. Of course, it is typically spoken in Egypt. And with this dialect, I will be able to converse with the 68 million other speakers.

Egypt has a strong media influence. This influence can be seen across their books, plays, and music. Hence, this dialect gives me access to understanding Egyptian heritage. I would also need it for a grand entrance into the Arabic language. More so, it is part of the simple section of the difficult Arabic language.

If I employed an Arabic immigrant, our relationship stands a better chance to succeed with my knowledge of the Egyptian dialect. When I travel to any of the areas where Egyptian Arabic is dominant, I will be enjoying the benefit of easy communication.

I may as well need the Egyptian dialect because of the high demand for Arabic speakers. My choice will then allow me to be a language instructor, translator, interpreter, lecturer, or bilingual business and commerce employee. And with each of these jobs come above-average financial incentives.

Final thoughts

The Arabic dialect I will need depends on what I will achieve using the dialect. To narrow down what dialect would be suitable for your need, here is a summary: If you are a professional translator, or you need to read the newspaper, write a report for your project, or even work in politics, then what you need is Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).

By choosing MSA, you should know that native speakers may not understand you because MSA is not used anywhere in the world as a day-to-day dialect for conversation. However, if you need to be coherent on social media, speak fluently with your family members, friends, professors, or co-workers, then you need a Classic Arabic (CA) dialect.

To Learn Which Interpreter do I need?

Check out the Crystal Clear Translation website to learn the Arabic dialect you need.

Ready for a Learning Quote?

You need to be vast in the use of an Arabic dialect. It is not only lucrative, but it is also an opportunity for you to connect to the heart of the native speakers of the dialect. Now, connecting with them will make your trips more excellent. And your workplace will become more productive. To be trained in speaking fluently in the dialect you need, click on our language classes to find out more about how we can help you.

Like what you see? Arrange a 30-minute call to chat about your requirements.


How Vital is Interpreting and Translation Services For Organisations Working With Migrants and Refugees?

How Vital is Interpreting and Translation Services For Organisations Working With Migrants and Refugees?

Language interpreting and translation services are in high demand amongst the many different organisations that deal with refugees and migrants. With families arriving in the UK from a wide array of different countries, finding a reliable, professional and flexible service can be invaluable in helping both parties communicate effectively.

If you work directly with refugees and migrants, whether you are part of a legal firm, an insurance company, school, charity or any other organisation, this article will explain all you need to know about hiring the right translation and interpreting services to fit your requirements and why it is vital to find a professional to help you.


How Vital is Interpreting and Translation Services For Organisations Working With Migrants and Refugees?


Professional interpreting and translation services are vital for organisations working with migrants and refugees in order to make sure that they receive the support that they need and understand exactly what is happening in a host of different, important aspects of life.

Migrants and refugees with little or no English need to be able to engage with organisations ranging from car insurance companies to schools and must be able to understand the often complex and legally binding agreements they are entering into. Without a professional, accurate interpreting or translation service they can easily miss vital information or misunderstand their responsibilities, leading to problems in the future for them and the organisation in question.

When it comes to finding help, law firms and charities that look after the needs of refugees and migrants must be able to communicate with them clearly to enable them to access the benefits and support to which they are eligible. This makes it easier for them to settle into their new life with as few issues as possible.

For example, the British Medical Association states that “NHS providers have certain obligations to reduce inequalities between patients accessing services”, and confirms that it is best practice for healthcare providers to “use professional language interpreters with these patients [people with limited English].”

Why are Language Interpreting and Translation Important?


Many refugees have found it difficult to access English lessons following cuts to ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) programmes over the last decade. The charity Refugee Action reports that two-thirds of those who responded to a survey felt they had not received enough teaching, and a similar number claimed they didn’t think their English was good enough to secure work in the UK.

With 15% of migrants who came to the UK within the last two years admitting to struggling with understanding English, according to University of Oxford data, this delay in language lessons can leave them isolated and unable to support themselves and their families. This is why interpreting and translation services are important in helping migrants and refugees to integrate more easily.


Tips and Reminders for Language Interpreting and Translation


What is the Difference Between Interpreting and Translation?

There are a number of differences between interpreting and translation. Chiefly, interpreting is to do with the spoken word and translating is usually associated with written language. Another distinction is that interpretation takes place at the moment. The interpreter performs their task live as the person is talking or just after. A translation is performed away from the live situation.

Both skills require the professional to have a deep understanding of the language and culture, as well as the ability to clearly portray what it is the subject is saying.


Do I Require a Professional to Interpret or Translate?

The skills of interpreting and translating are complex and finely honed. Professionals dedicate themselves to continual learning and keeping on top of linguistic and cultural changes and developments. This is part of the job and essential to keep at the top of their game.

When it comes to the very important interactions that migrants and refugees need to have with all manner of different bodies, there is little margin for error. You need to be sure that the person interpreting or translating is up-to-date and immersed in the culture enough to pick up on subtle uses of language. This is the best way to ensure the individual understands exactly what is happening and makes the most accurate representations they can, and that the organisation can provide the correct decisions based on the information received.

However, there will be times when organisations cannot afford to employ a professional interpreter or translator. In these cases, they may look to utilise a volunteer.


Pros and Cons of Using Volunteers to Do Professional Work

The main pro of using a volunteer interpreter or translator is that they don’t charge a fee. For companies with tight profit margins or funding issues, this is an attractive prospect.

However, there are a number of cons. Firstly, a volunteer will not always be as up-to-date with cultural and linguistic trends as a professional. As they have other commitments in their lives, they cannot immerse themselves in keeping on top of developments as a professional would. Interpreting and translation are also skills where you need regular practice to stay sharp. A volunteer does not have the advantage of performing these tasks all day, every day. The service you get from a professional will be the most accurate and efficient for your needs.

Interpreting and translation are skills that go beyond simply knowing more than one language. You have to understand people, the way conversations really work, legislation, bureaucracy and much more to be able to do the job to the best of your ability. You wouldn’t expect a volunteer dentist to perform a root canal as well as a professional and that principle is the same with interpreters.


Are Professional Language Interpreting and Translation Expensive?

There are many different types of interpreting and translation services, so there is always something to fit your budget. From telephone interpreting for as few or as many delegates as you need, to simultaneous interpreting where multiple interpreters supply their target language audience with the words of a single speaker.

Take a look at the Crystal Clear Translation website to find out more about the many different offerings available. 

Ready for an Interpreting and Translation Quote?


As you can see, professional interpreting and translation services are essential for organisations that work with migrants and refugees. In order to provide clear communication between the parties, use our quote tool to find out more about how we can help you.



The importance of interpreters and translators – How they are working during the pandemic?

The importance of interpreters and translators – How they are working during the pandemic?

With our world becoming ever more interconnected and with the rise of globalisation, interacting with people from different countries that speak different languages is almost becoming a part of our everyday lives. As this intercultural communication rises the demand for translators and interpreters will also see an increase.

The role of Interpreters and linguists should not be understated. They are a vital communication bridge, facilitating conversation between parties that do not share a common tongue. It is important for them to have a firm grasp of the cultural nuances and traditions of the languages that they work with. For example, if you were to directly interpret ‘raining cats and dogs’ to another language, I assure you it would create a lot of confusion. Similarly, Arabic in North Africa and Arabic in the middle East can be very different and present a whole host of cultural dissimilarities within the vernacular. Thus, Interpreters and translators need to be versed in the language as well as the culture and the norms of that society.

Communication is crucial, it is the factor that sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. When a non-English speaking hospital patient is suffering and wants to convey the extent of their pain, it is an interpreter who ensures that she does not suffer in silence.

The language sector is extremely valuable in the community and regardless of the effects of the pandemic, it is something that will remain be available. Interpreters are having to explore new, intuitive ways to continue to deliver their services. The usual form of delivery included sitting beside both parties face to face and interpreting the conversation as it transpired.  However, to respect social distancing concerns and to continue delivering their vital services during quarantine, Interpreters have now adopted a more technology-based approach. Interpreting has now become a more remotely delivered service, with the help of video conferencing platforms such as Skype and Zoom, interpreters are still able to deliver their vital service. Other industries have had to adapt alongside this, some court services and prison visits are being held via call or video call with interpreters facilitating the conversation virtually.

As for translators, the pandemic has not affected their work as much as it has for interpreters, as their work is usually done remotely. Translating important documents is something that is easily done remotely, hence, they are able to continue business as usual from the comfort of their home.

Additionally, with many of the COVID-19 updates being given in English, Interpreters and translators need to be aware of them immediately so as to deliver this vital information to non-English speakers. Important medical documents such as regulatory documents, scientific papers, patient forms need to be translated to save lives. As well as healthcare, prevention is at the top of everyone’s mind, we must ensure that we thoroughly communicate the latest prevention strategies to everyone. It is apparent that COVID-19 is a global issue, so it requires global solutions through the means of interpreters and translators.

The Growing Importance of Multilingualism in London

The Growing Importance of Multilingualism in London

Multilingualism is the ability of an individual to master, speak and write effectively in three or more languages. Understanding more than a language isn’t anything out of the ordinary these days, with at least 75% of the world’s population being at least bilingual.

Diversity in languages is necessary for evolution, this may be attributed to the manner through which cultures are passed and understood through language, plus, these languages tend to reflect the history of the people who speak them.

Speaking a language is of utmost importance to any human, but speaking more than one language ensures a plethora of possibilities especially in today’s world.

London and Multilingualism

London has high rates of multilingualism in comparison to the rest of the UK. In the 2011 census, 90 languages were reported to be spoken in London alone. Today, London may be likened to the proverbial Tower of Babel (post-confusion). It has been reported that within the boundaries of the city, 300 different languages are regularly spoken. In any supermarket queue in London, it is possible to hear many languages spoken other than English. From Urdu, Pashto, Somali, Polish, Czech, Yoruba, Arabic among so many others.

Many educational institutions in London not only offer their students the option to learn a second language, but they also make it mandatory. From French, Italian to even Spanish. Students of today can benefit from a growing multilingual culture. However, the increasing lingual diversity of the city of London has attracted much interest and debate among public service providers, educationalists and even the public.

The biggest question of all, what are the benefits/ importance of multilingualism in London?

The growing importance of multilingualism in London

Multilingualism continues to exhibit certain traits of importance within the city of London. From economic growth to diverse employment opportunities, the list continues to grow exponentially. Below are some of the measurable benefits of multilingualism in London.

  1. It Eases Up The Effects Of Culture Shock – Diversity of languages can help with travel opportunities. As there are over 300 languages spoken in London, people of different cultures can travel to London and still be able to speak their languages, thus eliminating the effects of culture shock.


  1. Expansion of Business Opportunities in London– Today, businesses in London are actively seeking individuals who are bilingual or multilingual due to the diversity in the population.


Some companies are multinationals, hence hiring an individual who knows multiple languages can prove to be a better human resource management decision.

On the other hand, social workers and school teachers who are multilingual can aid the seamless integration of students and families who have just recently moved into the city, thereby ensuring a solid workforce and an array of cultures on display.  

  1. Help with Social Developments of the Citizens– Being multilingual changes the way individuals may view other cultures. As a British person who is conversant only with the British culture, once diversity is introduced, the individual in question begins to develop deep-rooted knowledge of how different cultures and languages work, as opposed to watered-down truths emanating from hear-says.


  1. It Aids The Peace– In line with the aforementioned point, most of our actions or inactions are largely based on oral beliefs passed on based on experiences of a select few. It is no wonder that at the mention of a bomb blast, the average Londoner believes a Muslim is responsible. Multilingualism tackles this prejudice in more than one way.

In a situation where the majority of the population is bilingual, it becomes increasingly difficult to communicate in any language without being understood, hence making it incredibly difficult for brewers of trouble to pass messages without being noticed.

It also helps to avoid the natural attacks on fellow Muslims which may follow such attacks, in schools and work, as well as other public places.

Multilingualism in London can also help to deal with certain variances and create cultural sensitivity, help with competency in international contexts, and also help with successful international interactions, especially in professional environments.