Mutual Intelligibility between the Arabic of Jeddah+Damascus


New Member
British English (Surrey)
Good afternoon,

This is a question for specifically native speakers of Hejazi Arabic ( Jeddah variety) and Syrian Arabic ( Damascus variety). Other native Arabs from these countries who are familiar with either of the two dialects or are in close proximity geographically are more than welcome to offer their expertise.

In terms of having a detailed sophisticated conversation on a number of topics between two individuals who respectively speak Hejazi and Syrian Arabic; what level of understanding is their between the two in terms of an approximate percentage (without either having to water down or adjust their dialect in any way - Additionally assuming neither have had exposure to any media/programmes in the others dialect).

From what I have read and been informed; the Hejazi variety is different to other Gulf/Saudi dialects and contains many elements of Egyptian/Palestinian and Syrian.

Thank you.
  • Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Edit: Sorry, I didn't know it was your own post I sent you ahahahaha!!!

    Then, I'll try to tell you the difference (as an Arab who was born abroad and never went to both places but still, it's better than nothing? :D)

    Syrian (Dimashq/ash-sham) dialect: I have a friend who is half Syrian and who is from there so when she speaks, it sounds similar to Lebanese to my ears.
    -They use a lot of "é" (امالة) instead of "a" (especially at the end of words)-They don't pronounce the "ق".
    -They tend to eloooooongate vowels :D

    Hijazi (Jeddawi) speakers:
    -pronounce the "ق" as a "g" (like in "goal").

    Now, about differences of vocabulary, I give you some words and expressions in Hijazi (H) and their counterpart in Syrian (S):


    -What do you want?
    H=Esh tibgha?/Esh tabi? esh biddik? (may be, even "esh widdik?")
    S=shu baddek?

    -what are you doing?
    H=Esh ga3ed tsawwi?/Esh ga3ed ta3mal? (words in black are used for continuous present)
    S=Shu 3am ta3mal?

    -How are you?
    H=Kif 7alek?

    Judging by what I wrote, it seems different but those dialects are in fact pretty close. Of course, there are differences but people from both cities can understand each other pretty well, unless they haven't been exposed to each other dialect which is pretty rare nowadays for urban areas, especially with Syrian series which invade medias :D.

    I hope it helps you and if you have any question, I'll try to reply with my modest knowledge about those dialects :).
    < Previous | Next >