THE ARABIC LANGUAGE
Arabic is a
Semitic language with about 221 million speakers in Afghanistan, Algeria,
Bahrain, Chad, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel,
Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebannon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger,
Oman, Palestinian West Bank & Gaza, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan,
Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
There are over
30 different varieties of colloquial Arabic which include:
- spoken by about 46 million people in Egypt and perhaps the most widely
understood variety, thanks to the popularity of Egyptian-made films and
- spoken by about 22 million people in Algeria
- spoken in Morocco by about 19.5 million people
- spoken in Sudan by about 19 million people
- spoken by about 19 million people in Egpyt
- spoken in Lebanon and Syria by about 15 million people
- spoken by about 14 million people in Iraq, Iran and Syria
- spoken in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Syria by about 10 million
Arabic is a language divided into 3 separate groups: Classical written
Arabic; written Modern Standard Arabic; and spoken Arabic.
written Arabic is principally defined as the Arabic used in the "Koran"
and in the earliest literature from the Arabian peninsula, but also forms
the core of much literature up until our time.
Standard Arabic is a modernization of the structures of classical Arabic,
and includes words for modern phenomenon as well as a rich addition from
the many dialects spoken all over the Arabic world.
Arabic is a mixed form, which has many variations, and often a dominating
influence from local languages (from before the introduction of Arabic).
Differences between the various variants of spoken Arabic can be large
enough to make them incomprehensible to one another. Hence it could be
correct to refer to the different versions as separate languages named
according to their areas, like Moroccan, Cairo Arabic, North Syrian Arabic