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Arabic language

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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 speakers295 million  (2010)[1]
Language family
Standard forms
Writing systemArabic alphabet
Arabic Braille
Syriac alphabet (Garshuni)
Hebrew alphabet (Judaeo-Arabic)
Official status
Official language inStandard Arabic is an official language of 27 states, the third most after English and French[2]
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)

Arabic (العربية) is a Semitic language, in the same family as Hebrew and Aramaic. Around 250 million people use it for their first language. Many more people can also understand it, but not as a first language. It is written with the Arabic alphabet. There are many different dialects (varieties) of Arabic found around the Arab world.

Many countries speak Arabic as an official language, but not all of them speak it the same way. Most of the countries that use Arabic as their official language are in the Middle East. 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. 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,[3] cotton,[4] magazine,[5] algebra,[6] and alcohol.[7]

Arabic is an official language of:

It is also a national language of: