Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
OK, you are probably learning classical Arabic then, or Qur’anic Arabic, same thing. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is almost the same as classical Arabic; and you are right, most people can’t speak it much, though if you talk to people they should get the gist of what you are saying. In Arabic MSA and classical are kind of lumped under the category fussah, while the dialects are referred to as amiyah.
Amiyah isn’t really slang though, though people do speak slang. Given the diversity of Arab people, there is also massive diversity in their dialects. The good thing is though that the dialects people speak are nowhere near as complex and hard as MSA or classical Arabic. So most of the case endings and tanween are gone, and many of the conjugations are much more simple, though different enough to be confusing till you get the hang of them. They do have completely different words for everything though.