Every year on the 18th of December the United Nations host World Arabic Language Day. Arabic has been one of the six official languages of the United Nations since 1973, and the date coincides with when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the UN. To celebrate Arabic Language Day we have put together 5 facts about the Arabic language below!
Arabic is the official language of 22 countries
These 22 countries form the Arab League which stretches from Southwest Asia to Northwest Africa. Arabic is also the liturgical language of over a billion Muslims around the world as it is the language of the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam.
Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world
According to Babbel, recent numbers place Arabic at around 315 million native speakers making it the 5th most spoken language in the world after Chinese, Spanish, English and Hindi.
There are two different forms of Arabic
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is similar but easier than Classical Arabic. MSA is used in newspapers and by television presenters and politicians, as well as to teach Arabic as a foreign language. The other form of Arabic is Classical Arabic which is what the Qur’an is written in and is the base of the grammatical norms of the Arabic language. Classical Arabic is used by religious scholars and is taught in schools. Today, Classical Arabic is considered more of a written language than a spoken one.
Arabic is written from right to left
Arabic words and sentences are written and read from right to left, and books and papers from back to front. However, Arabic numbers are read and written from left to right.
Arabic is part of the Central Semitic language family
The Central Semitic language family includes Hebrew, Aramaic and Phoenician. Babbel also states that Arabic is believed to have evolved from Aramaic more than a millennium ago among the Bedouin nomadic tribes in the deserts of the Arabian peninsula.
So there you have our 5 facts about the Arabic language. If you have any more interesting facts about the Arabic language or culture then please share them with us in the comments below!
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