SUDANESE ARABIC is the variety of
Arabic spoken throughout
Some of the tribes in
Sudan still have similar accents to the ones in
Saudi Arabia .
* 1 History
* 2 Unique phonological characteristics
* 3 Influence of Nubian languages
* 4 Regional variation
* 5 Greetings in Sudanese
* 6 Assenting - saying yes
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 8.1 English
* 8.2 French
* 8.3 German
* 9 External links
In 1889 the
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great
Britain claimed that the
Arabic spoken in
Sudan was "a pure but
archaic Arabic". The pronunciation of certain letters was like Hijazi,
and not Egyptian, such as g being the pronunciation for the Arabic
Qāf and J being the pronunciation for Jim .
UNIQUE PHONOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Arabic is distinct from
Egyptian Arabic and does not share
some of the characteristic properties of that dialect despite the
overall similarity of the two dialects. Sudanese
Arabic is more
closely related to Hejazi
Arabic letter ج maintains an archaic pronunciation in Sudanese
(other dialects typically have , or , while
Egyptian Arabic has ).
Arabic also maintains an archaic rendering of qaf as
Voiced uvular plosive ) while Egyptian (like some other modern Urban
dialects) renders it as . The uvular rendering of qaf has been lost in
nearly every other
Arabic dialect and is also considered a relic.
Also peculiar to Sudanese is the quality of the
transliterated as _u/ū_; this is usually transliterated as _o_ in
materials on Sudanese because the sound ranges from ɵ~o rather than
the typical ʊ~u.
In addition to differences in pronunciation, Sudanese
uses some different words when compared to Egyptian Arabic. For
example, the interrogative pronoun "what" in
Sudan is _shinu_ rather
than "eh" as in Egyptian Arabic.
INFLUENCE OF NUBIAN LANGUAGES
In northern and central parts of Sudan, Sudanese colloquial Arabic
has been influenced by the Nubian language , which in ancient times
was the dominant language in Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. Many
of the agricultural and farming terms in Sudanese
Arabic were adopted
Arabic _angareb_ < Nobiin: _àngàréé_ "wooden bed"
Arabic _kadēsa_ < Nobiin: _kàdíís_ "cat" versus
Arabic _qiṭṭ_ and _hirr_ (and derivatives of the same,
i.e. diminutive _hurayrah_ "housecat, kitten").
Because of the varying influence of local languages in different
parts of Sudan, there is considerable regional variation in Arabic
spoken throughout the country. Sudanese
Arabic typically refers to
Arabic spoken mostly in northern parts of Sudan. The other most
commonly mentioned derivative of Sudanese
Juba Arabic , a
Arabic spoken in South
Sudan , which is much more heavily
influenced by other local languages.
GREETINGS IN SUDANESE ARABIC
In northern Sudan, greetings are typically extended, and involve
multiple questions about the other person's health, their family etc.
When greeting someone you know informally, it is common to begin with
the word _o_, followed by the person's first name: _Ō, Khalafalla_ or
_Ō, kēf ya Khalafalla_.
Formal greetings often begin with the universal _As-salām ˤalaykom_
and the reply, _Wa ˤalaykom as-salām_, an exchange common to Muslims
everywhere. However, other greetings typical to
_Izzēyak_ (to men) or _Izzēyik_ (to women). A rather informal way to
say "How are you", is _Inta shadīd? Inti shadīda?_ "Are you well?
(to a male and a female, respectively)", the response to which is
usually _al-Hamdo lillāh_ "Praise God" assuming you are indeed
feeling well, _ma batal_ "not bad" or _nosnos_ "half-half)" if feeling
only okay or _taˤban showayya_ "a little tired" if not so well. Of
course, there can be many other responses but these are used in
Other everyday greetings include _kwayyis(a), alhamdulilah_ "Good,
thanks to allah", _Kēf al-usra?_ "how is the family?" or _kēf al
awlād?_ "how are the children". For friends, the question _Kēf?_ can
also be formed using the person's first name, prefixed by _ya_, for
example; _kēf ya Yōsif?_ "How are you, Joseph?". Another standard
response in addition to _al-hamdu lillāh_ is _Allāh ybarik fik_
"God's blessing upon you". Additional greetings are appropriate for
particular times and are standard in most varieties of Arabic, such as
_Sabāh al-khēr? / Sabāh an-Nōr_.
Sudanese that know each other well will often use many of these
greetings together, sometimes repeating themselves. It is also common
to shake hands on first meeting, sometimes simultaneously slapping or
tapping each other on the left shoulder before the handshake
(particularly for good friends). Handshakes in
Sudan can often last as
long as greetings.
ASSENTING - SAYING YES
Arabic word for "yes" depends on the tribe; _aye_ is
widely used, similar to the Scottish aye, although _aywa_ or _na‘am_
are also commonly used.
* _ This article incorporates text from_ Journal of the Royal
Anthropological Institute of
Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 17_, by
Royal Anthropological Institute of
Great Britain and Ireland, JSTOR
(Organization), a publication from 1888 now in the public domain in
the United States._
* ^ Sudanese
Arabic at _
Ethnologue _ (18th ed., 2015)
* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank,
Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Sudanese Arabic". _
Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max
Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
* ^ Royal Anthropological Institute of
Great Britain and Ireland,
JSTOR (Organization) (1888). _Journal of the Royal Anthropological
Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 17_. p. 11. Retrieved
* ^ Bruce Ingham, "Some Characteristics of Meccan Speech", Bulletin
of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,
Vol. 34, No. 2. (1971), pp. 273–297.
* Arlette Roth, 1969–1972, _Lexique des parlers arabes
tchado-soudanais. An Arabic-English-French lexicon of dialects spoken
in the Chad-
Sudan area compiled by Arlette Roth-Laly_, Paris: Editions
du Centre Nationale de la recherche scientifique.
* Victoria Bernal, 1991, _Cultivating Workers, Peasants and
Capitalism in a Sudanese Village_, New York: Colombia University
Press, see glossary of Sudanese
Arabic words pp 203–206.
* James Dickins. 2008. Online Arabic/English Dictionary of Sudanese
Arabic, and English/
Arabic Dictionary of Sudanese
Arabic available at
* James Dickins. 2007a. _Sudanese Arabic: Phonematics and Syllable
Structure_. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
* James Dickins. 2007b. _Khartoum Arabic_. In _The Encyclopedia of
Arabic Language and Linguistics_ (Vol. 2) (K. Versteegh et al. eds.).
Leiden: Brill. pp. 559–571, available at
* James Dickins, 2006. _The Verb Base in Central Urban Sudanese
Arabic_. In _Grammar as a Window onto
Arabic Humanism: A Collection of
Articles in Honour of Michael G. Carter_ (L. Edzard and Janet Watson,
eds.). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. pp. 155–195.
* Elizabeth M. Bergman, 2004. _Spoken Sudanese Arabic, Grammar,
Dialogues and Glossary_, Springfield, VA, Dunwoody Press.
* Abdel-Hadi Mohammed Omer, 1984, _
Arabic in the Sudanese setting: A
Sociolinguistic study (Language Planning, Diglossia,
Standardisation)_, Unpublished dissertation, Indiana University
(available on Proquest).
* Andrew and Janet Persson with Ahmad Hussein, 1979, _Sudanese
Arabic for beginners_, Summer Institute of Linguistics,
Horsleys Green, High Wycombe, United Kingdom: This book is a good
introduction to Sudanese colloquial
Arabic as spoken in Khartoum. Text
is in both
Arabic and Latin scripts, making it accessible to those
that do not read
Arabic but want basic conversational skills.
* Alan S. Kaye, 1976, _Chadian and Sudanese
Arabic in the light of
Arabic dialectology_, Mouton: The Hague, ISBN
* El Rashid Abubakr, 1970, _The noun phrase in the spoken
Sudan_, Unpublished dissertation, University of London, UK.
* J. Spenser Trimmingham, 1946, _
Sudan Colloquial Arabic_, London,
Oxford University Press, G. Cumberlege.
* Vincent Llewllyn Grifiths a foreigner's guide to polite phrases in
common use among sophisticated
Arabic speaking population of Northern
Sudan_, Khartoum, published by the
* S. Hillelson, 1935, _
Arabic texts_, Cambridge, UK: The
* Michel Baumer, 1968, _Les noms vernaculaires soudanais utiles à
l'écologiste_, Unpublished dissertation, Université de Montpelier,
* Randolph Galla, 1997, _Kauderwelsch, Sudanesisch-Arabisch Wort
für Wort,_ Reise Know How-Verlag, Bielefeld, 1. Auflage, ISBN
* Stefan Reichmuth, 1983, _Der arabische Dialekt der Šukriyya in