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Al-ʿArabiyyah in written Arabic (Naskh script)
|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|
|Native speakers||292 million (2017)|
|Writing system||Arabic alphabet|
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|
|ISO 639-3||ara Arabic (generic)|
Use of Arabic as the sole official language (green) and an official language (blue)
Arabic (العربية) is a Semitic language, like Hebrew and Aramaic. Around 292 million people speak it as their first language. Many more people can also understand it as a second language. The Arabic language has its own alphabet written from right to left, like Hebrew. Since it is so widely spoken throughout the world, it is one of the six official languages of the UN, the others being English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
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 so different from one another that speakers have a hard time understanding the other.
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 but not all Arabic-speakers are Muslims.
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:
|This language has its own Wikipedia project. See the Arabic language edition.|
- "Arabic - Ethnologue". Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2017. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twentieth edition. //www.ethnologue.com/language/ara. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "World Arabic Language Day". UNESCO. 18 December 2014. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-arabic-language-day/.
- Wright, 2001, p. 492.
- "sugar, n.". Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/193624.
- "cotton, n.1". Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/42480.
- "magazine, n.". Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/112144.
- "algebra, n.". Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/4919.
- "alcohol, n.". Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/4703.
- "emir - Search Online Etymology Dictionary". https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=emir.
- "emir - Definition of emir in US English by Oxford Dictionaries". https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/emir.
- "Definition of EMIR". https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emir.