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

Bahrani Arabic (also known as Bahrani and Baharna Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken by the Baharna in Eastern Arabia and Oman.[2] In Bahrain, the dialect is primarily spoken in Muslim villages and some parts of Manama.

The Bahrani Arabic dialect has been significantly influenced by the ancient Aramaic, Syriac, and Akkadian languages.[3][4]

An interesting sociolinguistic feature of Bahrain is the existence of three distinct dialects: Bahrani, Muslim and Ajami Arabic.[5] Muslim 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.[6] 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 languages

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. Some general features:


Bahrani Arabic consonants[7]
Labial Dental Denti-alveolar Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
 plain  emphatic
 plain  emphatic
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless t k q ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative voiceless f θ s ʃ x ħ h
voiced ð z ɣ ʕ
Trill r
Approximant l j w

See also


  1. ^ "Arabic, Baharna Spoken". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  2. ^ "Arabic, Baharna Spoken". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
  3. ^ Jastrow, Otto (2002). Non-Arabic Semitic elements in the Arabic dialects of eastern Arabia. Clive Holes. pp. 270–279. ISBN 9783447044912.
  4. ^ Holes, Clive (2001). Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia: Glossary. Clive Holes. pp. XXIX–XXX. ISBN 9004107630.
  5. ^ Bassiouney, Reem (2009). "5". Arabic Sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 105–107.
  6. ^ Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia: Glossary. Clive Holes. 2001. Page XXX. ISBN 90-04-10763-0
  7. ^ Al-Tajir, Mahdi Abdalla (1982). Language and linguistic origins in Baḥrain : the Baḥārnah dialect of Arabic. London: K. Paul International. ISBN 0-7103-0024-7.

Further reading