qalbrawan replied to your post: “oh man i just sent one of my syrian friends a message in arabic (but…”:
my accents are so sad and pathetic everyone can tell im an egyptian tryna act like she can speak in other dialogues. yeah no.
well it’s also harder/sort of funny because the egyptian dialect is a) super recognizable and b) really well known because of the movies? so people are really likely to pick up on little egyptian thingummies and make a deal out of it. like, in egypt, if i said something in pure shami people would look at me like i was speaking martian; when i was at the point of doing about half and half (which was a super weird* little personal transitional dialect–i never actually took any lessons in egypt i just kind of made an effort to listen and speak and learn by doing) they just thought i was lebanese. but in syria, i remember i had a british friend who had been in egypt for the last few months before she came, and when she talked everyone would be like “WHOOOOAAAA, MASRY” just because she said “quais” or something. whereas like syrian, lebanese, palestinian, and jordanian are all different but pretty similar (not so much jordanian, but relatively) and so you can kind of just muddle through among them and nobody really bothers pointing out any differences/problems. like when i went to lebanon and was speaking the way i did in damascus there were like one or two tiny differences, as far as anyone told me, and otherwise it was completely fine.
lulz i used to have these funny experiences where egyptian friends of mine who had shami family would be like “oh cool! you speak shami? let’s speak shami!” and they’d try, and even though i’d be struggling, sometimes more than them, to switch over (because it’s not even like putting on an accent or speaking another language, just…remembering how you used to speak this other language that more or less you speak every day, but you’ve FINALLY gotten used to speaking it in a different way, and you’ve worked really hard to unlearn that older way of doing it, it’s like all your impulses are working against each other) they also would be completely wrong about things? (not saying you are! just talking about times i had) like i’d say “shlon” or something and they’d be like “no no, they don’t say that in syria, that’s khaleeji” and like
i’ve never fucking been to the khaleej, where would i have picked that up if it were only khaleeji? I’ve known a few khaleejis (all while i was in syria), but seriously are you telling me having a few conversations with iraqis would impact my dialect in a major way when i was living in syria?
and i never felt comfortable being like NO UR WRONG DUDE because i’m not a native speaker and so it doesn’t seem like it’s my place, but…they were super wrong. i told some of my syrian friends about this sort of thing and they would laugh themselves practically off of their chairs. like yeah in shami you can say “keef” but mostly you’d say “shlon,” what were these guys (all male, like literally guys) even talking about, in syria there are whole specialized jokes based just on the use of “shlon,” it was weird. but fun! but weird.
*seriously, that half and half stage was bizarre. when i’d finally started to speak some masry, like, instinctively, i remember i was talking to a syrian friend, so i was hearing shami and i was still on the border enough that i was getting dragged back into it, and i’m pretty sure i said something was “jayyid giddan,” which like, WHAT. STRUGGLES. [anyone who’s not familiar with arabic dialects: in the levant, the J sound is a sort of soft french J, but in egyptian it’s a hard G as in “good,” so combining the two back to back was like…ridiculous.]