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The history of the Arabic Language

Arabic Language

Through the vast lands that stretch across the Middle East and North Africa, there is a variety of the ‘Arabic’ language spoken. Arabic is the name given to those descendants of the language from the 6th century AD.  The main forms of Arabic are its literary form and the varieties of the language spoken all over. The Literary form of Arabic is the official form of the language from now on which is used for formal speeches and documents.

The Arabic language is closely related to Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Ugaritic. Although there is a form a literary Arabic that is common to all official purposes, the varieties of Arabic spoken varies from country to country. Furthermore, Arabic has uncountable some dialects. For both political and ethical reasons some of these are grouped together basically with a fear that there may never be a perfect number to the dialect count. Also, if ever Arabic was considered one single language, almost 280 million speakers exist with it as their first language. If considered separate languages, the most popular variety would be the Egyptian Arabic spoken by over 54 million natives.

The Modern Standard Arabic, the current writing standard, is derived from the ancient classical ‘Quran’. Widely taught to school and college children, the Modern Standard Arabic mostly follows the grammatical standards prescribed in Quranic Arabic and uses similar vocabulary. Both the formal varieties of the language are grouped together under Literary Arabic, the official language in 26 states and considered to be the liturgical language of Islam.

Though Modern Standard Arabic is said to follow the Quranic Arabic grammar, it has deviated from certain grammatical constructions and vocabulary which have ceased to have any importance when it comes to spoken varieties of Arabic. Instead it is said to have adopted new constructions and vocabulary that form integral part of the above mentioned spoken varieties. The new vocabulary is largely used to denote the post-Quranic concepts that have risen especially during the modern times.

When it comes to actual words of the Arabic script, it can be seen all across the arc of land across the Middle East and North Africa. Arabic has provided many words to other languages in the world of Islam, like Turkish, Bosnian, Hindi, Malay , Bengali, Persian, Kazakh and Urdu. The middle ages saw the widespread growth of the language that seemed to play vital roles in the travel of culture in Europe mainly in the subjects of mathematics, science and philosophy.  This in turn has resulted in the borrowing of Arabic words by the European languages namely in the romace languages like Spanish, Catalan and Sicillian.

Not only has Arabic given many words away, the language has also implemented many foreign words into its script. Languages like Greek, Hebrew,  Persian and Syriac have contributed to the Arabic language in the early centuries. In the medieval times the Turkish language was a great influence to the Arabic. In recent times, English and French have been vastly influential in the modern time alteration to the Arabic Language. Interestingly, Arabic is ranked number 11 in USA.


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