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Bahrani Arabic (also known as Bahrani and Baharna Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken in Eastern Arabia and Oman.[3] In Bahrain, the dialect is primarily spoken in Shia villages and some parts of Manama.

Bahrani Arabic
العربية البحرانية
Native toBahrain, Oman, Qatif, Al Ahsa
Native speakers
730,000 (2001–2013)[1]
Arabic alphabet, Arabic chat alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3abv

The Bahrani Arabic dialect has been significantly influenced by the ancient Aramaic, Syriac, and Akkadian languages.[4][5]

An interesting sociolinguistic feature of Bahrain is the existence of three distinct dialects: Bahrani, Sunni and Ajami Arabic.[6] Sunni Bahrainis speak a dialect which is most similar to urban dialect spoken in Qatar.

The Persian language has the most foreign linguistic influence on all the Bahraini dialects.[7] The differences between Bahrani Arabic and other Bahraini dialects suggest differing historical origins. The main differences between Bahrani and non-Bahrani dialects are evident in certain grammatical forms and pronunciation. Most of the vocabulary, however, is shared between dialects, or is distinctly Bahraini, arising from a shared modern history. Many Bahrani words have also been borrowed from Hindi, Turkish, or English.

Examples of words borrowed from other languagesEdit

Bahrani dialect has borrowed some vocabulary from Persian, Hindi, Turkish, and more recently from English.


Bahrani Arabic (called Baħrāni by its speakers) shares many features with Gulf Arabic dialects (e.g. Kuwait, UAE, Qatar) of which it is not considered part by most linguists. General features include the Standard Arabic q becoming g (qamar vs gamar 'moon'), k becoming ch in some positions (kalb vs chalb 'dog'), and J becoming y in some villages (jiħħe vs yiħħe 'watermelon'). Final Standard Arabic -ah becomes -eh in some positions. Unique features include changing "th" and "dh" into "t" and "d". Many younger speakers avoid such pronunciations, however.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Arabic, Baharna Spoken". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Baharna Arabic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "Arabic, Baharna Spoken". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
  4. ^ "Non-Arabic Semitic elements in the Arabic dialects of eastern Arabia". Clive Holes. 2002. pp. 270–279.
  5. ^ "Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia: Glossary". Clive Holes. 2001. pp. XXIX–XXX.
  6. ^ Bassiouney, Reem (2009). "5". Arabic Sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 105–107.
  7. ^ Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia: Glossary. Clive Holes. 2001. Page XXX. ISBN 90-04-10763-0

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit