The Arabic language is the unifying language of Arabian countries, in addition to being the official language of over 29 countries it’s also a pretty ancient one. The oldest written form of Arabic is over 1500 years old and the spoken language is much older, some claim spoken Arabic is over 5000 years old. Here are some interesting facts you might not know:
- Arabic is the sacred language of Muslims. Before the dissension of the Quran, Arabic was chiefly an oral language. Arabic is considered a holy language as it is the language of the Quran. Hence it is the chief prayer language for Muslims.
- Arabic is the written and spoken language of more than 350 million inhabitants of the Arab world. Arabic is spoken in a lot of the countries of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. According to the CIA’s The World Fact book, Arabic is spoken in around twenty-nine countries in this part of the world.
- Arabic script is used by 1/7th of the world’s population. Hundreds of millions of people in Africa and Asia write their languages in the Arabic alphabet. In addition to that the Arabic script is the co-official script of many countries including China and India.
- Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family which includes Aramaic and Hebrew. It is the most common spoken Semitic language in fact.
- Arabic script reads from right to left and its alphabet contains 28 characters. Words are written horizontally from right to left. Numerals on the other hand are written from left to right. The number 4, 5, 6, 7 have various forms in the languages of Iran, Pakistan, and India. It has complex text language, because it has script which is bidirectional. It is written right to left, apart from numbers and Latin words are written left to right. Many letters depending on whether they appear alone, at the start, middle or end of the word, change their form.
- The Arabic script unlike many other alphabetic scripts, denotes a high phonetic correctness, when diacritics are added.