This year, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair at ADNEC from April 26 – May 2, saw the presence of a face all too familiar to DubaiBlog, Nico de Corato—the owner and founder of the Network. The occasion was significant as Nico presented his very first book, “Dialetto Emiratino – Manuale di conversazione” to the audience at the Book Fair.
The 120-page book is for Italian business and leisure travelers and residents, as well as for Arabic students coming from Italy or already based in the UAE. For them, studying and learning the Emirati dialect might prove more useful than learning classical or modern Arabic.
The manual is practical thanks to its hands-on approach and contains about 1500 words and phrases in emirate dialect. The pocket phrasebook includes tips on learning the Emirati dialect and simplified translations of the most used local idioms and words, such as greetings, emotions, colors and numbers.
The presence of western transliteration of western phonetics helps foreigners with the all-important correct pronunciation. The manual includes also a handy guide to “Arabizy”, an informal writing style featuring Arabic words written with a mix of English letters and numbers.
Nico de Corato was in charge of preparing the Italian version of the book in a partnership with Hanan Al Fardan and Abdulla Al Kaabi of Alramsa Institute and in cooperation with the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The manual is part of a series of initiatives that aim at preserving and encouraging the use of the Emirati dialect. It is also a great occasion and a practical way for new generations of Emiratis to practice and not lose memory of the local language; a great way to remain connected to the past while still moving forward in a society that is more and more global and multinational.
For foreigners, as Nico mentioned “with the learning of the dialect, it will be easier to integrate into the local community of the Emirates and deepen the culture itself. This manual is well suited to different levels of knowledge: from the absolute beginner who wants to learn the first basic conversations, to those who already speak Arabic but want to deepen the knowledge of the dialect Good reading and … as salam al leykum!”
This effort promises to be only the first of a series of endeavors. Today, in fact, the three authors are already working on other projects together! In the meantime, the just-published manual will continue to be presented in other important venues such as the Italian Industry & Commerce Office in UAE on 20 May at the event Aperitivo Italiano at Al Grissino Dubai.