Syrian Arabic

For anyone who is interested in learning Syrian Arabic, specifically the Damascus dialect, I am currently working on a new course featuring audio provided by a native speaker, along with both Arabic and Roman script. The first 11 levels are complete and I intend to make further progress in the coming weeks. Any feedback is welcome.


Hey all,

Does anyone know a Syrian Arabic speaker who could help contribute to this course? It only needs a little more audio/script to complete the current levels.

Thanks for making a Syrian course!

There seems to me some inconsistencies, that make it confusing when typing. Ex. : the first letter in أنا.
level 3: انا بخير level 8: ana, أنا

Also in some exampels one have to type the Latin transcription. I don’t see a system in when one has to type the Latin transcription, so one have to memorize if it is needed or not. Also I would prefer not to have to memorize to different spelling systems. I would prefer only to write in Arabic. Ex. : In level 8 one have to type: “hooweh, هوي” for “he, it”. The Latin spelling “hooweh” is not intuitive to me, so I have to memorize that as well.

Cheers Marie.

Hey Marie,

Thanks! And apologies for the inconsistencies. I started making this course a while ago with the help of a native speaker and sadly never got around to finishing it.

The Latin transcription is not based on an official system - it is simply a rough approximation of how the words sound to an English native speaker. I made the course when I was volunteering with Syrians to make it easier for myself and other volunteers to pick up some basic Arabic without having to study the alphabet etc, hence the basic transcription. This means that I’m unfortunately unable to fix the examples you cited in levels 3 and 8. Could you tell me the correct forms? Then I can fix the problem.

I thought I had included Arabic/Latin script alternatives for all words in the first 13 levels (excluding level 10), but you’re right - several are missing. I have now included them so either form should be accepted for all of those levels - let me know if you still have issues.

I recently met a Syrian guy where I live and I’m going to see if he is willing to help complete the course. So potentially you’ll see some improvements in the coming weeks.

Hey Silent Shuffle

Thanks for fast reply!

I myself do prefer just to read in Arabic script, but I am sure that others will apreciate that you have also included the Latin transcription.
My objection is that it seems mandatory to include the Latin transcription in (at least some of) the answers in level eight. It would be nice if answers only in Arabic script was accepted as well.

I have no objections to the chosen transcriptions. I am Danish, so this makes transcription to English phonetic less intuitive to me.

Once again thanks for the course!
I have missed a course like this, so I was happy to find it!

Kind regards Marie.

Totally understood - Arabic script answers should now be accepted for all words in level 8 and also in level 13 (in which the majority were missing). If you encounter any words that do not accept only Arabic script, let me know here, and I’ll fix them. Thanks!

Thanks a lot!

I have gone through the first 13 levels of this course. I really like it. Is there anyway to add the Arabic script for the courses after 13?

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the positive feedback! Unfortunately I am no longer in contact with any Arabic speakers who can provide me with the script… And I have personally stopped studying Arabic so I can’t be of any help myself. If you can tell me the correct script, I can certainly add it to the course!

Thank you.

Just in case you guys didn’t know: if @SilentShuffle no longer supports the course, this would be a good time to add someone else (i.e. @LevantineAspirations) as a course contributor so he/she can administer the course.

For more info on course contributors (and how to add them), look here:

Hello there, I am currently at level “Foods”. It says there are 15 words but I only get tomato is this an error from Memrise or is the course still not finished. Btw awesome course, thanks for your time!

Apologies for the late reply and thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately the error you are seeing is because the Arabic words are missing from that level onwards. I intend to update the course at some point, but need help from a Syrian Arabic speaker. If you know of anyone interested, let me know!

Thank you very much for your message and that you plan to continue the course. It is great! Unfortunately I do not know one who could assist. Hope you‘ll find someone. I have another question at the colors you have to write the English Transliteration and the arabic word otherwise you do not get the points. Is this intended? In the other lessons you do not have to write both. I was a little wondered :joy::joy:

I’m a Syrian Arab. However, transliteration from Arabic to Latin letters has never been my strong suit. Still, if you need any assistance, I’d be happy to help.

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Thanks for pointing that out - I’ve now fixed the colours level.

If you have time that would be incredible - I can add you as a course contributor.

Currently the course needs audio from levels 19-30 and arabic script from level 13. My transliteration is very approximative - I imagine serious learners will prefer to answer in Arabic script.

Although I am no longer studying Arabic (I’ve taken on too many languages!), I really enjoyed the little I learned of Syrian Arabic and it would be wonderful for there to be a decent course on Memrise. Obviously this course could also be expanded - it is currently rather limited and I’m sure you as a native speaker will spot errors/inconsistencies in the levels created so far. Nonetheless, over 500 people have used it so improving it could help a lot of learners!

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Okay then, I’d appreciate adding me as a contributor. I’ll start by doing audio.

Done! And many many thanks in advance! Let me know if you spot any errors along the way.

In fact I’ve just spotted that the Arabic translations are pretty much all missing from level 21 onwards, so the words needed to be translated first… I can attempt to transliterate them later and make both the Arabic and Roman script versions available as answers.

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