As if learning standard Arabic wasn’t difficult enough, you may need to learn a separate dialect of the language if you plan to travel extensively in any one region. The following are some of the most common dialects and where you can expect to hear them used.
Different variants of the Arabic language are spoken in many different nations and regions around the world, most commonly throughout northern Africa and the Middle Eastern nations. However, in many areas, the differences in regional dialects may make one Arabic speaker nearly incomprehensible to another. In most cases, the different dialects don’t have a specific written form of the language, but there’s usually a certain amount of literature that accompanies each dialect, including poetry and plays. This is especially true for the dialects spoken in Egypt and Lebanon.
Sudanese Arabic – Mostly spoken in the Sudan
Levantine Arabic – This dialect is often heard in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and western Jordan
Gulf Arabic – Mostly heard throughout the Gulf Coast from Kuwait to Oman
Najdi Arabic – This dialect is most often heard in the desert and oasis areas of central Saudi Arabia
Yemeni Arabic – This dialect is most common to Yemen
Iraqi Arabic – The dialect most commonly spoken in Iraq
Hijazi Arabic – This dialect is spoken in the area west of present-day Saudi Arabia, which is referred to as the Hejaz region.
Egyptian Arabic – This is considered the most widely spoken and understood "second dialect." It’s mostly heard in Egypt
Maghreb Arabic – Spoken mostly in Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, and western Libya
Hassaniiya – Most often spoken in Mauritania
Andalusi Arabic – This dialect of the Arabic language is now extinct, but it still holds an important place in literary history.
Maltese – This form of Arabic dialect is most often found in Malta.