Baharna Arabic (also known as Bahrani and Bahrani Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken by the Bahranis of Bahrain, and also in Oman.
In Bahrain, the dialect is spoken in the capital, Manama, and in most Bahraini villages. Others speak a Gulf dialect which is more similar to those spoken in the United Arab Emirates.
In Saudi Arabia, the dialect is spoken in and around Qatif.
The differences between Bahrani Arabic and neighboring dialects suggest differing historical origins. The main differences between Bahrani and non-Bahrani dialects are evident in certain grammatical forms and pronunciation. Most of the vocabulary, however, is shared between dialects, or is distinctly Bahraini, arising from a shared modern history. Many Bahrani words have also been borrowed from Hindi or English.
Examples of words borrowed from other languages
Bahrani dialect has borrowed some vocabulary from Persian, Hindi and more recently from English.
Bahrani Arabic (called Baħrāni by its speakers) has the main features of Gulf Arabic dialects (e.g. Kuwait, UAE, Qatar) in addition to its own unique features. General features include the Standard Arabic q becoming g (qamar vs gamar 'moon'), k becoming ch in some positions (kalb vs chalb 'dog'). J becoming y in some villages (jiħħe vs yiħħe 'watermelon'). Final Standard Arabic -ah becomes -e in some positions. Unique features include changing "th" and "dh" into "f" and "d". Many younger speakers avoid such pronunciations, however.
- ^ John Jones, 2011. Introduction to the Baharna, p. 40