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Languages > Arabic
Most Popular Arabic Language Product Types
Baby - Kindergarten
ANIMAL COLORS Board Book in Arabic & English
Bible in Arabic/English - Contemporary Arabic -English NIV
Children's Books
Very Hungry Caterpillar - Arabic & English (PB)
Intensive FSI Arabic Iraqi Dialect (4 Audio CDs)
Arabic - My First Encyclopedia
Wolf and The Seven Little Goats,The
Harry Potter
Harry Potter in Arabic [1] Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Arabic
Keyboard for Arabic (Arabic and English Bilingual) ACK-260UA Black USB
Keyboard Stickers
Keyboard Stickers for Arabic (Blue Letter)
Eastern Arabic with MP3 Files
Shalom Sesame (DVD) Vol. 2 - The People of Israel and Jerusalem
Software - Mac
Arabic - Millie's Math House
Software - Windows
Tango Creator Lite V 3.1
Berlitz Arabic Cassette Pack with Phraseb Book
Word to Word Dictionary
Word to Word Arabic / English Dictionary (Paperback)
All Arabic language product types

Language Information

Arabic is one of the world's major languages, spoken in a broad belt extending from the Arabian Peninsula across the Fertile Crescent and on to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the official language of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, making it the mother tongue of about 215 million people. In addition many millions of Moslems in other countries have some knowledge of Arabic, it being the language of the Moslem religion and of the sacred Koran. in 1974 Arabic was made the sixth official language of the United Nations.

Great languages spring from great empires, and Arabic is no exception. A Semitic language closely related to Hebrew, its use was confined to the Arabian Peninsula until the 7th century A.D. But the spectacular Islamic conquests of that century carried the language far beyond its original borders, and it supplanted almost all the previous languages of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa. After further conquest in succeeding centuries Arabic was spoken as far east as Afghanistan and as far west as Spain.

The Arabic alphabet is believed to have evolved from that of an ancient people known as the Nabateans, but how, when, and where exactly it originated is still a matter of controversy. By the early Mohammedan period two scripts were in use~the Naskhi, the ordinary cursive form used in books and correspondence, and the Kufic, an angular script used mainly for decorative purposes. The present alphabet of twenty-eight letters consists basically of consonants, the vowel signs being indicated by marks above or below the letters. While these marks are generally omitted, they do appear in elementary school books and in all editions of the Koran. Like the other Semitic languages, Arabic is written from right to left. (ln the text below the numbers appear at the end, rather than the beginning, of each verse.) The script is employed in many other languages, such as Persian, Pashto, Urdu, and Sindhi.

Spoken Arabic naturally varies from country to country, but classical Arabic, the language of the Koran, has remained largely unchanged since the 7th century. It has served as a great unifying force in the development and standardization of the language. When educated Arabs from different countries meet, they generally converse in classical Arabic. On the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula the people speak a number of dialects known collectively as South Arabic, but these differ so greatly from the Arabic of the north that South Arabic is often considered a separate language.

Arabic has contributed many words to the English language, many of them beginning with the Arabic definite article al-. These include algebra, alcohol, alchemy, alkali, alcove, alfalfa, and albatross. Others are mosque, minaret, sultan, elixir, harem, girafte, gazelle, cotton, amber, sofa, mattress, tariff, magazine, arsepial, syrup, sherbet, and artichoke. Coffee is also an Arabic word which entered Fnglish by way of Turkish and Italian. The word assassin comes from a similar Arabic word meaning "hashish addicts."

Arabic is spoken/used in the following countries:
Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros (Federal Islamic Republic), Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gaza Strip, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, West Bank, Western Sahara, Yemen Arab Republic.

Language Family
Family: Afro-Asiatic (Hamito-Semitic)
Subgroup: Semitic
Branch: North Arabic

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


1. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
2. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
3. The Beneficent, the Merciful.
4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
5. Thee (alone) do we worship, and Thee (alone) we ask for help.
6. Show us the straight path.
7. The path of those whom Thou hast favored; not (the path) of those who earn Thy anger nor of those who go astray.

Opening sura (chapter) of the Koran

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