Middle Eastern Languages at the Center

A political map of the Middle East region.

Spoken Arabic Dialects

Modern Standard Arabic is the language of print and mass media, academia, and law across the Arab world.

Levantine Arabic is the Arabic dialect primarily spoken along the Levantine Sea, an area that includes Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, and Israel. Levantine Arabic is offered through the Center's Spoken Arabic Program.world. Many students also benefit from learning a spoken dialect of Arabic to communicate more effectively while studying abroad or speaking with family members. 

Tourists and residents converse and walk around among tall buildings in downtown Dubai.

Moroccan Arabic is the spoken Arabic dialect of Morocco. Over its history, Moroccan Arabic has incorporated influences from Latin, French, Spanish, and Persian. It is offered through the Center's Spoken Arabic Program.

Egyptian Arabic is the spoken Arabic dialect of Egypt. While primarily a spoken language, it is sometimes used in plays, poems, comics, and popular songs. Egyptian Arabic is offered through the Center's Spoken Arabic Program.

Other dialects such as Gulf and Iraqi are occasionally offered. Contact the Center at fclrc@umass.edu for more information about these offerings. 

Persian

Persian, also known as Farsi, contains three mutually intelligible standard varieties: Iranian Persian, Dari (Afghan Persian), and Tajiki Persian (Tajik). Persian for centuries was the lingua franca from Central Asia to India and Iran. The Persian literary tradition, one of the world’s oldest, spans over two and a half millennia. Though they belong to different language families, Persian has borrowed thousands of words from Arabic. 

Turkish

Fireworks in the sky over a large city.

Turkish is the official language of Turkey and is also widely spoken in Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia, Albania, Northern Cyprus, and in the European Turkish diaspora. Turkish belongs to the Altay branch of the Ural-Altaic linguistic family. It is considered a critical language by the U.S. government. 

Other Middle Eastern Languages

The Center is sometimes able to offer instruction in other Middle Eastern languages such as Dari. If you are interested in other languages not listed here, please contact the Center.