The Arabic Language

Arabic is a Semitic language. It is spoken by more than 300 million people around the world. It is the main language in a great number of countries, among them Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Emirates, Palestine, and  Yemen. There are different varieties of Arabic - Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic. Standard Arabic is the formal language used in religious texts, literature and the press. It is the means of reading and writing. It is also used for oral communication in conferences, presentations, lectures and other similar formal situations such as TV and radio interviews and discussions. On the other hand, Colloquial Arabic is the oral means of communication used in everyday-life situations, such as shopping, and it includes a variety of dialects among them Egyptian, Levantine (spoken in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan), Eastern Arabic, and North African.

Arabic is written and read from right to left. There are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet. Arabic script looks exotic, but it does not take long to learn how to read in Arabic.  Pronunciation is very simple. You will be surprised to find many familiar words in your language.

Many words in the English language today have origins in Arabic. Among them are:

Algebra al-jabr الجبر
Coffee qahwa قهوة
Sugar sukkar سكر
Cipher sifr صفر

Arabic has borrowed a lot of words from other languages. Among the English words in Arabic you will find:

computer   كمبيوتر
bus   باص
imperialism imperialyyah إمبريالية
romanticism romansyyah رومانسية

NOW look at and listen to the Arabic alphabet.