The significance of Arabic dialects

August 9, 2022

Arabic remains the lingua franca across 26 countries in Western Asia and Africa. There are half a billion people who speak Arabic as a first language worldwide. It is, however, important to not get blinded by the word “Arabic”. Arabic is what’s called a macrolanguage with 30 modern varieties.

Arab societies are what linguists call diglossia, that means that in these societies people need to know two ‘species’ of the language.

The MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) or Fusha (الفصحى) is what you find in journals, official documents, sermons and is learnt in school, then you have ‘aammiyya (العامية), is what we popularly refer to the different Arabic dialects used in popular culture media and everyday conversations.

A lot of this reflects in the online Arab world and how your consumers converse online. Actually it only gets more complicated with online conversations, because Arabglish, also known as Arabizi or Arabish, is the informal Arabic chat alphabet when communicating with friends and family via text messaging or chatting and on social media platforms.

It is basically Arabic text written in its transliterated form using Latin characters and numbers, so it can look something like this: Hi, 9ba7 el 5air! Sha5barich? [Hi, good morning! How’re you doing?]

And all this complexity around the Arabic language is important to know, because?

70% of the online conversations happen in dialect, and all the consumer led big data that marketing teams premise their decisions on, do not understand Arabic dialects, for that matter not even Arabic. Almost every technology uses translation tools to source and analyse data, HUGELY compromising on data accuracy.

That is why an AI technology like Sila makes so much sense! Sila (‘connection’ in Arabic), is an Arabic-native AI natural processing technology, that provides most accurate insights into Arabic speaking consumers in the world.


Sila is equipped to understand 20+ Arabic dialects so that nothing ever gets lost in translation. That is our AI.

If you want to know more about Sila, get in touch with us.


Faisal Khan, Head of Research. D/A.

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