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Arabic language

Semitic language

Arabic (العربية) is a Semitic language, in the same family as Hebrew and Aramaic. Around 250 million people use it as their first language. Many more people can also understand it, but not as a first language. It is written with the Arabic alphabet, which is written from right to left, like Hebrew. Since it is so widely spoken throughout the world, it is one of the six official languages of the UN, alongside English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese.

Arabic
العربية al-ʻarabiyyah
Arabic albayancalligraphy.svg
al-ʿArabiyyah in written Arabic (Naskh script)
Pronunciation/al ʕarabijja/, /ʕarabiː/
Native toMajorities in the countries of the Arab League, minorities in neighboring countries: Israel, Iran, Turkey, Eritrea, Mali, Niger, Chad, Senegal, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Arabic-speaking communities in the Western world
Native speakers
292 million (2017)[1][2]
Standard forms
Dialects
Arabic alphabet
Arabic Braille
Syriac alphabet (Garshuni)
Hebrew alphabet (Judaeo-Arabic)
Official status
Official language in
Standard Arabic is an official language of 27 states, the third most after English and French[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-1ar
ISO 639-2ara
ISO 639-3ara Arabic (generic)
Arabic speaking world.svg
Use of Arabic as the sole official language (green) and an official language (blue)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Arabic language poem

Many countries speak Arabic as an official language, but not all of them speak it the same way. There are many dialects, or varieties of a language, like Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, Levantine Arabic, and many others. Some of these dialects are so different from each other that speakers have a hard time understanding the other.

Most of the countries that use Arabic as their official language are in the Middle East. They are part of the Arab World. This is because the largest religion in the Middle East is Islam.

The language is very important in Islam, because Muslims believe that Allah (God) used it to talk to Muhammad through the Archangel Gabriel (Jibril), giving him the Quran in Arabic. Many Arabic speakers are Muslims, but not all are.

Arabic is also becoming a popular language to learn in the Western world, even though Arabic grammar is sometimes very hard to learn for native speakers of Indo-European languages. Many other languages have borrowed words from Arabic, because of its importance in history. Some English words that can be traced to Arabic are: sugar,[4] cotton,[5] magazine,[6] algebra,[7] alcohol,[8] and Emir.[9][10][11]

Arabic is an official language of:

It is also a national language of:

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Arabic - Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2017. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twentieth edition. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  2. "World Arabic Language Day". UNESCO. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  3. Wright, 2001, p. 492.
  4. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/193624
  5. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/42480
  6. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/112144
  7. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/4919
  8. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/4703
  9. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=emir&searchmode=term
  10. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/emir?q=emir
  11. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emir