12 Surprising Facts About the Arabic Language

Intriguing Facts Regarding Arabic Dialects

Arabic one great language that fascinates many people from around the globe. Lessons on how to read and write using Arabic are given in religious institutions to enable Muslims to understand and read the Quran. As a result, it has become prevalent in the Middle East areas and is often a favorite option for people who want to study a second foreign language. While it also has its roots in a spiritual environment, learning Arabic helps an individual to understand Arab culture better. To help you know more about the Arabic language, here are some fascinating facts.

Arabic Is Over 1500 Years Old

If you are wondering how old is the Arabic language? The language has existed for more than 1500 years. In fact, the dialect was used by Syro Arabian desert settlers, and the Arabic engravings can be traced back to the first century.

Has 90 Million Words

The Arabic language holds between 90 million and 500 million words. It also boasts of having 28 consonantal phonemes and six vowels. Twenty-five are consonants, and only 3 are vowels. Unlike spoken Arabic, which has vowels, when writing, you can omit the vowels. However, diacritical marks have to be placed on top or below a letter. Additionally, several letters tend to share a similar shape; hence are differentiated by placing dots above or below.

Has a Unique Writing Style

Arabic sound system and literature style are different as compared to those used in English speaking countries. Unlike letters in English that start left and move towards the right, Arabic is penned starting right then ends on the left. When writing, verbs have to come before the subject. Additionally, basic English statements like cotton, Algebra, coffee, and magazine originate from Arabic regions. Furthermore, merchants that come from Arabic areas played a significant part in writing as they introduced the famous number system currently being used in western.

December 18 Is the Arabic Language Day

The United Nations selected December 18 as the official Arabic language day to help increase awareness about this unique language. It’s also a way to honor its various enrichment to society. Arabic ranks amongst the top official languages of the UN. As a result, you can translate English to Arabic in case an individual needs to know the language in detail.

Has Over 400 Million Speakers

It is impossible to rank the commonly spoken native tongues in the world and fail to mention Arabic, which is considered a primary mode of communication for over ten nations in Asia as well as Africa. Nations that consider Arabic as its main language are:

  • Oman
  • Egypt
  • Yemen
  • Libya
  • The United Arab Emirates
  • Mauritania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Bahrain, and many others.

This flourishing language also ranks amongst the top five most spoken lingo. Popular areas where Arabic acts as the co-official mother tongue are Chad, Algeria, Somali, Lebanon, and Tanzania. It’s also a minority language in Turkey, Mali, and Niger.

The Arabic Lingo Has No Capital Letters

Arabic does not include capital letters. As a result, there is no difference between upper and lowercase letters. Instead, it uses dashes or curves to distinguish each letter.

It’s a Macro Language

Arabic is known to have around 30 dialects, all of which are distinctive from each other. However, the native tongue is classified into three main categories: Dialectal, modern standard, and classic Arabic. Some countries, including Lebanon, speak Levantine dialect, while those in Saudi Arabia mostly express themselves using a gulf dialect. Although there are many accents, the Egyptian accent is easy to grasp and accepted in many regions. The diverse ethnic communities from every state that speaks Arabic further work to bring out the uniqueness of each dialect.

Has Roots From the Central Semitic Native Tongue

The rich history of Arabic began from the proto Semitic, where the Arabian tribes were the earliest individuals to speak it. Arabic has preserved a big portion of its Semitic features. Some famous nomads who are known to speak the ancient Semitic language are Hebrews, Babylonians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Arameans.

Arabic Poetry Is Deemed the Earliest Mode of Literature

Since pre-Islamic eras, nomads gathered around a poet to listen to live narrations. Through poetic compositions, the past is remembered, and its history carried on to the present and future. Such literature was often a tool for recording Arabs glorious achievements and deeds as well as guard the tradition of that particular community. As a result, the writing was able to be passed from one generation to another without losing its meaning.

There Are Around 100 Words for Camel

There are so many words related to a camel because Arabs define this animal based on food habits, drinking behavior, the color of the fur, physical disposition, and the number in a specific habitat. For example, “al-haribis” or a female camel that is considered the leader as it tends to walk ahead of the others. On the other hand, “Jamal Hamil” is a pregnant camel.

Abbreviation Doesn’t Exist

Just like capital letters, abbreviation does not exist in the Arabic language.

Uses Abjad Order

Another quality which makes Arabic interesting and unique as it uses the abjad alphabet arrangement. Through this order, every character will stand for a consonant instead of a vowel. The alphabet contains 28 letters arranged in a series of eight symbols, whereby each has a unique arrangement.

Based on these comprehensive facts provided, it’s simple to see why the Arabic vernacular is impressive. It’s also an ancient lingo conversed by personalities from a wide range of nations. Hopefully, the information has motivated individuals to aspire to master this great language or know a few basic phrases because for one to be a seasoned traveler, they will visit a region where most locals speak Arabic.