Article | What is Palestinian Arabic

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The Arabic spoken in Israel and Palestine, and by the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere, is an eastern dialect of Arabic which is understood throughout the Middle East. This dialect, no doubt because of its central geographical location, has several advantages over neighbouring dialects such as Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian: in Palestinian the stress falls almost exactly as it does in classical Arabic (this is not the case with Egyptian dialect, for example), while the vowels are close to those of Standard Arabic, being more varied and more distinct than those of Lebanese or Syrian. In addition, the Palestinian vocabulary contains both words used in Egypt and words common in Lebanon and Syria, thus providing access to these neighbouring dialects, e.g., lissa/ baced still; bαrdo / kamān = also; zayy / mitel = as, like. From this brief survey it may be concluded that the study of Palestinian dialect provides an excellent basis for communication in Arabic throughout the Middle East.