27 Facts About Arabic


Since the 7th century, Arabic has been characterized by diglossia, with an opposition between a standard prestige language—i.

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Combined, Arabic dialects have 362 million native speakers, while MSA is spoken by 274 million L2 speakers, making it the sixth most spoken language in the world.

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Arabic is traditionally written with the Arabic alphabet, a right-to-left abjad.

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Previously, the earliest attestation of Old Arabic was thought to be a single 1st century CE inscription in Sabaic script at Qaryat Al-Faw, in southern present-day Saudi Arabia.

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In late pre-Islamic times, a transdialectal and transcommunal variety of Arabic emerged in the Hejaz, which continued living its parallel life after literary Arabic had been institutionally standardized in the 2nd and 3rd century of the Hijra, most strongly in Judeo-Christian texts, keeping alive ancient features eliminated from the "learned" tradition.

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The standardization of Arabic reached completion around the end of the 8th century.

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These dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible.

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Colloquial or dialectal Arabic refers to the many national or regional varieties which constitute the everyday spoken language.

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Colloquial Arabic has many regional variants; geographically distant varieties usually differ enough to be mutually unintelligible, and some linguists consider them distinct languages.

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Linguists agree that it is a variety of spoken Arabic, descended from Siculo-Arabic, though it has experienced extensive changes as a result of sustained and intensive contact with Italo-Romance varieties, and more recently with English.

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Issue of whether Arabic is one language or many languages is politically charged, in the same way it is for the varieties of Chinese, Hindi and Urdu, Serbian and Croatian, Scots and English, etc.

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From a linguistic standpoint, it is often said that the various spoken varieties of Arabic differ among each other collectively about as much as the Romance languages.

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Arabic has been taught worldwide in many elementary and secondary schools, especially Muslim schools.

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Influence of Arabic has been most important in Islamic countries, because it is the language of the Islamic sacred book, the Quran.

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Arabic words made their way into several West African languages as Islam spread across the Sahara.

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Classical Arabic pronunciation is not thoroughly recorded and different reconstructions of the sound system of Proto-Semitic propose different phonetic values.

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The point is, Arabic has only three short vowel phonemes, so those phonemes can have a very wide range of allophones.

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The Iraqi and Gulf Arabic has the sound and writes it and with the Persian letters and, as in "plum"; "truffle".

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Arabic has a nonconcatenative "root-and-pattern" morphology: A root consists of a set of bare consonants, which are fitted into a discontinuous pattern to form words.

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Nouns in Literary Arabic have three grammatical cases; three numbers (singular, dual and plural); two genders (masculine and feminine); and three "states" (indefinite, definite, and construct).

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Adjectives in Literary Arabic are marked for case, number, gender and state, as for nouns.

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Arabic alphabet derives from the Aramaic through Nabatean, to which it bears a loose resemblance like that of Coptic or Cyrillic scripts to Greek script.

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Originally Arabic was made up of only rasm without diacritical marks Later diacritical points were added (which allowed readers to distinguish between letters such as b, t, th, n and y).

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In modern times the intrinsically calligraphic nature of the written Arabic form is haunted by the thought that a typographic approach to the language, necessary for digitized unification, will not always accurately maintain meanings conveyed through calligraphy.

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However, in Egypt and Arabic-speaking countries to the east of it, the Eastern Arabic numerals are in use.

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Arabic believed that Latin script was key to the success of Egypt as it would allow for more advances in science and technology.

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In particular, the older Egyptian generations believed that the Arabic alphabet had strong connections to Arab values and history, due to the long history of the Arabic alphabet in Muslim societies.

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