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Do you know?
Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world. The majority of the native Arabic speakers live in the Middle East, North Arica, and the Arabic Peninsula:
Globally, around 422 million people speak Arabic. Among them, 313 million people are native speakers.
French is recognized as an official language in 29 countries.
Arabic is the official language in 22 countries
History of the Arabic Language
Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family. The other Semitic languages include Kurdish, Hebrew, Aramaic, and others. The earliest sign of Arabic can be traced back to 2,000 BCE. Historians believe the language was originated in Peninsula and used by the nomadic tribes. The history of the language around this time is not very clear as there were no scripts. Linguists are yet to come to a consensus about the origin of the Arabic script. The latest findings suggest Arabic script was originated sometime between 110 BCE and 525 CE.
The Quraish tribe of Mecca used to speak in Arabic. Prophet Muhammad was born in this community. The Quran, written around the late 6th century CE or early 7th century CE, used Classical Arabic.
Islamic Conquest that happened in the 7th century CE led to the rapid growth of Arabic. As Islam became popular and spread across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and Western Asia, Arabic made its way to this region.
By the second half of the 7th century, it became critical to standardize the language as millions of newly converted non-natives wanted to read and recite Quran. Arab poet and grammarian Abu al-Aswad ad Du’ali (c. 603-689) took the responsibility to standardize the Arabic grammar. In the following century, Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi compiled the first dictionary of Arabic language-- Kitāb al-'Ayn. The standardization process took over a hundred years and was concluded by the 8th century. By then, knowledge of Classical Arabic was made mandatory for studying in advanced classes across the Islamic world.
Modern Standard Arabic, which is now the language of education, workplaces, media, and the government, is a variation of Classical Arabic.
However, spoken Arabic has evolved over the years and has taken different forms in different geographic regions. There exist around 30 different types of spoken Arabic, and together they are called the Arabic language. These languages are not mutually intelligible, but the variation is often significant.
Why learn Arabic?
How to learn Arabic?
Is it hard to learn Arabic?
Arabic is a pretty hard language to learn. The US Foreign Service Institute considers Arabic to be one of the most challenging languages and puts it in category V along with Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean. However, learning the Arabic alphabet is easier than Mandarin or Cantonese, as it has only 28 letters.
What makes it challenging to learn Arabic?
Learning Arabic takes more time because it is very different from English and Romance languages. Arabic speakers use verbal sentences, which means the verb comes first in a sentence followed by the subject. This word arrangement is new to an English speaker. Besides, small markings at the end of the word indicate its role in the sentence. Only the beginner’s books include these marks, but they impact pronunciation.
The verb conjugation system is also fairly complicated. The conjugations reflect the number, person, tense, voice, gender, and mood. You need to memorize a much larger chart to get it right.
Besides the complex grammar, the other things that make it difficult for non-native speakers to learn Arabic are its pronunciation and writing system. Arabic letters change their shapes depending on their position in a word. Also, Arabic books or newspapers do not include short vowels. A native speaker can read the script without vowels, but it can be challenging for a beginner. Some letters in Arabic require a specific tongue movement that is not present in Western or any East Asian languages. You need to make the sound with the back of your throat. Western speakers often find it difficult to master.