السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Often, when we talk about learning Arabic, the first thing that comes to mind is the Arabic that was used during the time that the Quran was coming down to us. This is known as “classical Arabic” or العربية الفصحى القديمة (The “old” proper Arabic).
However, it’s not the Arabic that is used and spoken in today’s world. We’d look at what’s used in the news and published books to get an idea of what’s currently considered “proper”. Leaving aside the fact that there is a lot of new vocabulary that didn’t exist centuries ago, the basic rules are pretty much the same. It’s called Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), also known as العربية الفصحى الجديدة (the “new” proper Arabic).
MSA is actually a lighter form of classical Arabic. The best way I can explain that is that it applies a lot of the rules of classical Arabic without actually breaking any them (i.e. it doesn’t apply all the rules, but whatever rules it does apply, it applies correctly). It’s a pretty formal language and you won’t find as many eloquent touches in it as you will in classical Arabic, but it works.
Take a look at this article from http://www.aljazeera.net/
It actually looks and flows similarly to classical Arabic. That’s very comforting, and we might even think that learning MSA would serve as a great bridge over to the classical side (and I’d agree with you there), but the problem is learning MSA sucks!
I’m not saying MSA is necessarily a problem, I’m saying that learning MSA is a problem. You want to know why? I’ll let some students of MSA tell you directly from their experiences. [Read more…] about The problem with Modern Standard Arabic