Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pidgin Arabic

In the countries of the Arabian Gulf, there exists a veritable salad bowl of ethnicities, nationalities, cultures and races. The language that unites them is English when it comes to upper classes and the so called Expat Arabic when it comes to working folks.

Expat Arabic has no grammar, no tenses and no verb declensions but it is spoken by millions of people. If you spoke English like that, this is how it would sound:

Yesterday I is go your house. You is no there. I very sad. I say: Where you go? Why you no here. I is call you phone. You no answer. What is problem?

Those Westerners who come to the Gulf buy expensive books to teach them correct Arabic, but the public outside rarely speaks it. Gulf Arab themselves are so used to hearing Expat Arabic that they do not laugh at the non existent grammar, and do not correct it. Rather, they themselves address various non-Arab ethnicities in Expat Arabic. Westerners should try and learn this lingua franca, instead of busting their brains learning the correct variety, however, the problem is, there are no books teaching it. If someone could write a textbook on this subject, one would possibly make a fortune. In the meantime, the best way to study eat would be by learning it on the street while speaking to Afghans, Indians, Bengalis and Pakistanis.


Anonymous said...

sooo... where's the story about thai girls? I lived in turkey a bit and knowing arabic anywhere in the middle east is a huge advantage

Anonymous said...

Gosh, there are so many stories about Thai girls on the web. Nothing original. However, if you want to hear some, email me personally: