Arabic has about 422 million native speakers who make it one of the five most spoken languages in the world, despite it being concentrated in the Arab World. Classical Arabic originated in the sixth century and is 1500 years old that puts it amongst the oldest languages in the world.
1. One Of The Six Official Languages Of The UN
As we all know, there are six official languages in UN, one of which is Arabic. Arabic was approved as the official UN language in 1973. Later UN declared December 19, 2010, as Arabic Language day as it was on the same day in 1973 that Arabic got accepted as the official language. The purpose of the initiative is to increase awareness of and respect for the history and culture of the Arabic language, as well as celebrate its beauty and enormous contributions to the heritage of humanity.
2. One Needs 1.69 Years To Learn Arabic
If your native language is English, learning Arabic is going to be extremely difficult for you. According to a study in 2014 conducted by the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State, it takes about 1.69 years (88 weeks or 2200 hours) for an average English speaker to reach speaking and reading proficiency, as opposed to the 23-24 weeks of study, or 575-600 class hours required for the world’s easiest language.
3. 11 Different Words For Love And Surprisingly 100 For Camel
Arabic has as much as 11 words for love and each of them conveys a different stage in the process of falling in love. The word ‘hawa’ for example, describes the initial attraction or inclination of the soul towards another. The term comes from the root word ‘h-w-a’ – a transient wind that can rise and fall. The last stage is depicted by the words ‘huyum’ meaning complete loss of reason. The most common word for love, however, is ‘hubb’ coming from the root word seed, meaning- the potential to grow into something beautiful!
Now since a lot of countries that has native Arabic speakers are the land of camels and thus Arabic is said to have hundreds of words for ‘camel’. For example, ‘Al-Jafool’ means a camel that is frightened by anything; ‘Al-Harib’ is a female camel that walks ahead of the others by a great distance so that it appears to be fleeing.
4. From Right To Left
Perhaps the unique characteristic of Arabic language is that it is written right to left. It is a Semitic language and Semitic languages are known to written from right to left whereas European languages are written left to right.
5. Some English Words Derived From Arabic
Words in English like racquet, alchemy, alcohol, algebra, algorithm, alkaline, (the article ‘al’ in Arabic denotes ‘the’), amber, arsenal, candy, coffee, cotton, ghoul, hazard, lemon, magazine, sherbet, sofa, tariff are actually derived from Arabic. The algebraic letter ‘x’ that is often used to represent an unknown number, originates from the Arabic word ‘shay’ (thing), which eventually became translated to ‘xay’ in Spain, leading to its final abbreviation and use in algebra as ‘x’. Even the number system used today was introduced to Europeans by Arab merchants.
6. No Capitalization Or Abbreviation
There is no such thing as capital letters in the language of Arabic. So you don’t need to be careful about which letter has to be capitalized. Also, Arabic doesn’t use abbreviations or contractions like the English words don’t, won’t, I’m, she’s or would’ve.
7. Upside Down Punctuation
The only difference between English and Arabic punctuation is that the punctuation marks in Arabic are upside down. ( , ? “ ”) becomes ( ، ؟ ”“) in Arabic.
8. The Sacred Language Of Muslims
Arabic is often known as the sacred language of Muslims. It considered extremely holy as Quran is written in Arabic.Before the dissension of the Quran, Arabic was chiefly an oral language. Hence it is the chief prayer language for Muslims.
9. 30 Countries Speak It
Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Almost each country in Middle-East Asia and North-Eastern Africa speak it. It is an official language about in 27 countries.
source: Wikipedia, image: Wikimedia.org