Arabic (العربية, al-ʿarabiyyah) is a Semitic language, like Hebrew and Aramaic. Unlike the latter two, where the former drives from the other, however, Arabic is itself a root language, like Latin. Unlike Latin, it is still widely used and spoken today. Around 292 million people speak it as their first language. Many more people can also understand it as a second language. The Arabic language is written from left to right in a consonant alphabet, which is also called an abjad. Since it is so widely spoken throughout the world, the language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The other official languages of the UN are: English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
|Pronunciation||/al ʕarabijja/, /ʕarabiː/|
|Native to||Majorities 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|
|292 million (2017)|
Syriac alphabet (Garshuni)
Hebrew alphabet (Judaeo-Arabic)
Official language in
|Standard Arabic is an official language of 27 states, the third most after English and French|
Use of Arabic as the sole official language (green) and an official language (blue)
Many countries speak Arabic as an official language, but not all of them speak it the same way. The language has many dialects, or varieties, such as Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, Levantine Arabic and many others. Some of the dialects are spoken so differently from one another that some speakers have a hard time understanding the other. Many dialectic words however are nonetheless still rooted in the original, or classical language.
Arabic 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 the language. Many but not all Arabic-speakers are Muslims. The miracle of the Quran is believed to be in its language.
Arabic is also becoming a popular language to learn in the Western world even though its 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, cotton, magazine, algebra, alcohol and emir.
Arabic is an official language of these countries:
- Western Sahara
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
It is also a national language of:
|Arabic edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- "Arabic - Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2017. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twentieth edition. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "World Arabic Language Day". UNESCO. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Wright, 2001, p. 492.
- "Abjads / Consonant alphabets". omniglot.com. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
- Nations, United. "Official Languages". United Nations. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
- "sugar, n." Oxford University Press – via Oxford English Dictionary.
- "cotton, n.1". Oxford University Press – via Oxford English Dictionary.
- "magazine, n." Oxford University Press – via Oxford English Dictionary.
- "algebra, n." Oxford University Press – via Oxford English Dictionary.
- "alcohol, n." Oxford University Press – via Oxford English Dictionary.
- "emir - Search Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com.
- "emir - Definition of emir in US English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English.
- "Definition of EMIR". www.merriam-webster.com.