The Arabic Language

Arabic

Arabic has been the language of Islam since the 7th century. It is classified as a member of the semitic language family. It is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. During the middle ages it was a vehicle for scientific and philosophical culture. As a result many European languages have been borrowed from Arabic. The influence of the Arabic language is especially strong in Spanish and Portugese. Arabic is considered a macrolanguge with 27 different sub-languages.

Fast Facts

  • Number of Speakers: Between 186 and 207 million native speakers
  • Official language in: 25 countries including Libya, Syria, Sudan
  • Major dialects: Egyptian, Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Iraqi Arabic, East Arabian Arabic, Gulf Arabic
  • Written Arabic: Classical and modern standard
  • Read from: Right to left

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