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**Classification and History of Arabic**:
– Arabic is classified as a Central Semitic language.
– Linguists debate the best classification of Semitic language sub-groups.
– Innovations in Central Semitic languages, maintained in Arabic, include past tense from stative formation and present tense from preterite-tense formation.
– Arabic shares features with Classical Arabic, modern Arabic varieties, and Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions, indicating common descent from Proto-Arabic.
– Old Arabic is a collection of related dialects considered the precursor of Arabic, emerging during the Iron Age.
– Old Arabic gradually displaced epigraphic Ancient North Arabian.
– Arabia had various Semitic languages in antiquity, and Old Arabic is believed to have coexisted with and replaced epigraphic Ancient North Arabian.

**Influence, Spread, and Development of Arabic**:
– Arabic has influenced many languages globally, especially those of Muslim cultures and conquered nations.
– Arabic is spoken by around 380 million people worldwide, making it the fifth most spoken language.
– Arabic spread with Islam’s spread, gaining vocabulary from Middle Persian and Turkish.
– Classical Arabic terms entered Arabic in the early Abbasid period.
– Ibn Jinni of Mosul pioneered phonology in the 10th century, and Ibn Mada of Cordoba realized an overhaul of Arabic grammar in the 12th century.
– Modern Arabic dialects emerged from contact situations following conquests.

**Standardization and Development of Arabic**:
– Abu al-Aswad al-Duali is credited with standardizing Arabic grammar, and Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi compiled the first Arabic dictionary.
– Al-Jahiz proposed an overhaul of Arabic grammar in the late 8th century, leading to the completion of Arabic standardization.
– Sībawayhi’s Kitāb, based on a corpus of poetic texts, Quran usage, and Bedouin informants, played a crucial role in standardizing Arabic.
– Arabic was influential in science, mathematics, and philosophy during the Middle Ages.
– The Maltese language developed from a dialect of Arabic and is written in the Latin alphabet.

**Varieties and Usage of Arabic**:
– Arabic is an official language in 26 states and one disputed territory, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
– Arabic exhibits diglossia, with regional vernacular Arabic dialects that may not be mutually intelligible.
– Educated Arabs speak both Standard Arabic and their native dialects, with code-switching between them being common.
– Colloquial Arabic has many regional variants, some of which are considered distinct languages by linguists.
– Hassaniya Arabic is official in Mali, Maltese is official in Malta, and Cypriot Arabic is recognized as a minority language in Cyprus.

**Arabic as a Foreign Language and Vocabulary**:
– Arabic is taught in schools worldwide, especially in Muslim schools, and universities offer Arabic classes in various disciplines.
– Arabic lexicography has a long tradition dating back to early times, with Western scholars contributing to Arabic lexicons.
– Many Muslims study Arabic due to its importance in Islamic texts, with online resources and radio programs aiding in learning Arabic.
– Loanwords have entered Arabic from Semitic languages like Aramaic and Ethiopic, as well as from Iranian languages.
– Modern Arabic lexicography continues to develop with new dictionaries, aiming to compile and explain Arabic roots.

Arabic (Wikipedia)

Arabic (اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ, al-ʿarabiyyah [al ʕaraˈbijːa] or عَرَبِيّ, ʿarabīy [ˈʕarabiː] or [ʕaraˈbij]) is a Central Semitic language of the Semitic language family spoken primarily in the Arab world. The ISO assigns language codes to 32 varieties of Arabic, including its standard form of Literary Arabic, known as Modern Standard Arabic, which is derived from Classical Arabic. This distinction exists primarily among Western linguists; Arabic speakers themselves generally do not distinguish between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, but rather refer to both as al-ʿarabiyyatu l-fuṣḥā (اَلعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ "the eloquent Arabic") or simply al-fuṣḥā (اَلْفُصْحَىٰ).

al-ʿarabiyyah in written Arabic (Naskh script)
[al ʕaraˈbijːa]
Native toArab world and surrounding regions
EthnicityArabs and several other peoples of the Middle East and North Africa
Speakers380 million native speakers of all varieties (2024)
330 million L2 users of Modern Standard Arabic (2023)
Early forms
Standard forms
Arabic alphabet
Signed Arabic (different national forms)
Official status
Official language in
Special status in Constitution
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1ar
ISO 639-2ara
ISO 639-3ara – inclusive code
Individual codes:
arq – Algerian Arabic
xaa – Andalusi Arabic
abv – Bahrani Arabic
avl – Bedawi Arabic
shu – Chadian Arabic
acy – Cypriot Arabic
adf – Dhofari Arabic
arz – Egyptian Arabic
acm – Gelet Iraqi Arabic
afb – Gulf Arabic
ayh – Hadhrami Arabic
mey – Hassaniya Arabic
acw – Hejazi Arabic
apc – Levantine Arabic
ayl – Libyan Arabic
ary – Moroccan Arabic
ars – Najdi Arabic
acx – Omani Arabic
ayp – Qeltu Iraqi Arabic
aao – Saharan Arabic
aec – Saʽidi Arabic
ayn – Sanʽani Arabic
ssh – Shihhi Arabic
sqr – Siculo-Arabic
arb – Standard Arabic
apd – Sudanese Arabic
acq – Taʽizzi-Adeni Arabic
abh – Tajiki Arabic
aeb – Tunisian Arabic
auz – Uzbeki Arabic
  Sole official language, Arabic-speaking majority
  Sole official language, Arabic-speaking minority
  Co-official language, Arabic-speaking majority
  Co-official language, Arabic-speaking minority
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Arabic is an official language of 26 states and one disputed territory, the third most after English and French, one of six official languages of the United Nations, and is the liturgical language of Islam. Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities around the world and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, governments and the media. During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence, mainly in vocabulary, is seen in European languages—mainly Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, and Sicilian—owing to both the proximity of European and the long-lasting Arabic cultural and linguistic presence, mainly in Southern Iberia, during the Al-Andalus era. The Maltese language is a Semitic language developed from a dialect of Arabic and written in the Latin alphabet. The Balkan languages including Greek and Bulgarian have also acquired, through contact with Ottoman Turkish, a significant number of vocabulary of Arabic origin.

Arabic has influenced many other languages around the globe throughout its history, especially languages of Muslim cultures and countries that were conquered by Muslims. Some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Turkish, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Kashmiri, Kurdish, Bosnian, Kazakh, Bengali, Malay (Indonesian and Malaysian), Maldivian, Pashto, Punjabi, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Sicilian, Spanish, Greek, Bulgarian, Tagalog, Sindhi, Odia Hebrew and Hausa and some languages in parts of Africa, such as Somali and Swahili. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Aramaic as well as Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Persian and to a lesser extent Turkish, English, French, and other Semitic languages.

Arabic is spoken by as many as 380 million speakers, both native and non-native, in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world, and the fourth most used language on the internet in terms of users. It also serves as the liturgical language of more than 1.9 billion Muslims. In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Arabic the fourth most useful language for business, after English, Standard Mandarin Chinese, and French. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, which is an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography.

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