Arabic Intro


The Arabic language, like other scripts, is written and read from right to left.

Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. It is also one of the oldest existing languages in the world. It is a member of the Afro-Semitic language family. Semitic languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and others) were among the first to have a written form.

English has many Arabic loan words, some of them came into the English language from other languages such as French. Some of these words include admiral, adobe, alchemy, alcohol, algebra, algorithm, alkaline, almanac, amber, arsenal, assassin, candy, carat, coffee, cotton, hazard, jar, lemon, loofah, magazine, sherbet, sofa, sumac, tariff and many more. Did you know that Maltese language is derived from Arabic?

The Varieties of Arabic:

The Arabic language takes many forms and can be divided into three main categories.

Quranic or Classical Arabic (CA): This is the Arabic of Islam's Holy book, the Quran. It is an ancient text with modern usage, dating from the late 600's when the Quran was revealed and written down. It is the most read and memorised book in the world. Classical Arabic is not just used for the Quran, it is also used for poetry, history, debates and other literature. Classical Arabic is the standard from which Modern Arabic is derived. It is taught in schools, colleges and universities and is written and spoken in religious conversation's.

Modern Arabic (MA): This is a version of Classical Arabic which is taught in the schools of Arab countries. It is the language of the news, modern literature and secular education. It is understood by all regions of the Arab world. Modern Arabic is widely used in the media and books, it is the subject of GCSE and A'Level Arabic.

Spoken or Colloquial Arabic: There are many local varieties of Arabic. The most widely spoken and understood of these is Egyptian, Iraqi, Gulf, Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian. Most of these regional dialects have limited use in educated circles.