Arabic – Lebanese Dialect
What is Lebanese Arabic?
Lebanese Arabic is a dialect of Arabic, specifically of Levantine Arabic, spoken in Lebanon. Lebanese Arabic is heavily influenced by both French and English. In fact, most Lebanese people are multilingual and often code-switch between Lebanese Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, French and English.
How many speak it?
Lebanese Arabic is spoken by over 5.5 million citizens of Lebanon and approximately 8 – 14 million speakers in the Lebanese Diaspora. In the United States, as of the 2010 Census, there are just under half a million Lebanese Americans. However, it is possible that there are an additional half a million Americans who descend from Lebanese immigrants to the United States.
Where did it come from?
Lebanese Arabic has its roots in Aramaic and Phoenician. It is fairly similar to Modern Standard Arabic but, unlike Modern Standard, Lebanese Arabic is a spoken language that adapts to cultural and historical changes.