Talk:Mesopotamian Arabic

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This statement is pure unsubstantiated (uncited) speculation[edit]

Says the article: Iraqi Arabic is considered to be the most difficult and complex of all the other varieties of Arabic, along with Hijazi and Yemeni Varieties. It has changed very little, and has kept the closest pronounciation in comparision with all the other Arabic varieties towards the Arabic spoken by the Prophet Mohammed.

The Prophet Muhammad would probably be very surprised to hear that, as would most ordinary Iraqis. Now, I admit that my Arabic isn't even good enough to warrant an AR 1 tag on my userpage, but my Arabic instructor is from Iraq and I know for a fact that many Iraqi pronunciations are non-standard, such as cheleb for Standard Arabic keleb (کلب, "dog"). As far as vocabulary, Iraqi Arabic has far more borrowings from Persian and Turkish than other dialects. Since the Hejaz is a major site for pilgrimage, and the coastal areas have more contact with outside groups, I could see their dialects importing more words too. But the present Saudi dialect, I believe, is based more on the speech of tribes from the interior, that would have seen fewer foreign imports, and it is more conservative in other ways as well. The Prophet & his contemporaries would probably be much more at home with the pronunciation of Saudi Arabic, even though he would still be able to understand Arabs from farther afield.
I don't think Iraqi Arabic is any more or less diffucult for a non-Arabic speaker to learn than any other dialect. Foreign languages generally are hard to learn as an adult. It is rather more difficult for an English speaker to learn Arabic, which shares few cognates and uses a different alphabet and has a radically different grammar, than it would be to learn, say, French. But that applies to Arabic generally, not the Iraqi dialect in particular. Iraqi kids learn it just fine --- it can't be too difficult then, or it would have died out by now.
This article needs major renovations, and I'm not sure I'm wholly qualified. I just know enough to know that in its current state, it's pretty shabby. --Jpbrenna 03:56, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The claim that Iraqi is the closest to the dialect spoken by Muhammad is rather iffy. In my experience, ALL Arabs claim their dialect is the closest to the one spoken by Muhammad. I don't know much about the Iraqi dialect in particular, but what I do know leads me to believe that Iraqi is unlikely to be the most conservative dialect of Arabic. Rhesusman 14:40 4 August 2005 (UTC)
The claim seems quite valid, and many wouldn't be surprised to know if this was the case. [User:]

Please don't delete the Talk contributions of other users without discussing them first (especially if you haven't the courage in your convictions to create an account and identify yourself in some way). If you have any citations to back up the suppositions being bandied about here, please share them for examination. A linguistic study comparing the (reconstructed/assumed) pronunciation of Classical Arabic with modern Iraqi Arabic would probably be most appropriate. RJCraig 10:23, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

As an Arabic speaker (not from Iraq) I must say that it is completely wrong to say that Iraqi is the closest to standard Arabic. However I do agree that Iraqi Arabic is rather hard to understand if you are not familiar with the accent (similar to Marrocan and Lebanese/Palestinian)! Iraqi Arabic does have many Persia/Turkish loanwords as well as some homogenous words (possibily Akkadian origin?). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

The point is that, compared with medieval Iraqi Arabic, which was fairly Aramaic-influenced (like Syrian and Maslawi), the current Iraqi dialect reflects a process of "re-Bedouinization" (Joshua Blau). It is easy then to believe that everything Bedouin must be the most pure, authentic, Arabian, etc etc, and that would lead Iraqis to make this claim. But the people of Damascus also believe their pronunciation is closest, etc etc. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:22, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


The article distinguishes an "Anatolian cluster" of dialects. But surely this refers to the North Mesopotamian, i.e. Maslawi, dialect, which a later part of the article excludes from the group altogether? The Ethnologue entry is hopelessly confused; it equates the whole group with North Syrian. In fact Syria has three groups, a Damascus (southern) group, an Aleppo (northern) group and a north-eastern group which is somewhat like Iraqi, though I don't know whether it's closer to normal Iraqi or North Mesopotamian or divided into some of each (as the Ethnologue entry for Syria claims). Clarify, please, someone! --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:19, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Since no one has taken me up on this, I have clarified the article in accordance with what I believe to be the position. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 12:34, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


Izzedine, without consulting anyone, has moved "Iraqi Arabic" to "Iraqi language" (similarly "North Mesopotamian Arabic" has become "North Iraqi language"). This is highly dubious, and I have never heard them referred to in this way. Is he saying that Iraqi is not a form of Arabic? In my experience, people who claim that, for example, "Lebanese" is a separate language and not part of the wider Arabic continuum are generally motivated by a nationalistic agenda. If this goes on we shall also have to recognise separate languages called "Syrian", "Egyptian", "Algerian" etc, and put them in a new category called "Languages of the Arab world" or something like that. Can we please have a proper discussion about this? Otherwise I shall move these articles back again. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:05, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

An excellent suggestion, I fully support it. There are precedents such as Maltese. Shouldn't be any problem with it. (talk) 09:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
This article was moved without any discussion or consensus. It is Iraqi Arabic and should remain there until a full discussion is had. (Taivo (talk) 09:36, 24 July 2009 (UTC))
That is not how Wikipedia works. (talk) 09:37, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Iraqi languageIraqi Arabic — This article was moved from Iraqi Arabic to here without any discussion or consensus. "Iraqi language" is not a recognized English designation of this language, in violation of WP:NAME. All reputable linguistic sources call this "Iraqi Arabic". Taivo (talk) 09:42, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I was able to revert the move of the Talk Page, but unable to revert the move of the main article. Need some help from an admin. (Taivo (talk) 10:00, 24 July 2009 (UTC))
Situation resolved. (Taivo (talk) 10:31, 24 July 2009 (UTC))