The Arabic Language is believed to have originated , according to some, over 1500 years ago in the Arabian Peninsula, being spoken by nomadic tribes in the northwestern frontier of the Peninsula. In fact, Arabic, means “nomadic.
From its earliest stages, Arabic has been the language of poetry which has reflected the deepest sense of Arab self-identity and aspirations for the future.
There is one Arabic proverb which beautifully describes the vision of Arabic speakers and their thoughts on the nature of destiny and personal responsibility: “Trust in God, but tie up your camel”. A very practical approach😊. The matter of destiny is also very much embedded within everyday Arabic phrases such as ‘Insha’Allah’ (If God wills).
Like most languages, Arabic has evolved and changed throughout the centuries. It is now the official language of 26 countries, with more more than 300 million speakers across the world and one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
So, let’s take a look at some of these Arabic language facts and explore some of the history of the language:
1. There are several different forms of Arabic.
It’s already common knowledge that every language has different dialects and Arabic makes no exception, on the contrary. Arabic is a Central Semitic language, which means it’s closely related to Aramaic and Hebrew, and a lot of those roots are still found in Classic or Quranic Arabic, a form of the language used in various formal settings, and, of course, the Quran.
Modern Standard Arabic, on the other hand, is the language used in books, movies, newspapers, political speeches. However, no one speaks it spontaneously.
Colloquial Arabic is the everyday language and it varies according to the region and country.
2. An abjad replaces the alphabet.
What is an abjad? Basically, it’s a form of writing in which each letter stands for a consonant and not a vowel. The vowels are indicated with vowel marks rather than a full letter.
If English were written with an abjad, it would look like this: wht wrds cn y rcgnz? 😊Any familiar words?
Understanding how this system works, we’ll open new doors, if you are learning Arabic!
3. There are no capital letters.
The Arabic alphabet does not include capital letters. As a result, Arabic letters have slightly different forms, depending on whether they come at the beginning, middle or end of a word.
4. To the right, to the right😊
Unlike most Latin languages, which read from Left-to-Right, the Arabic language belongs to the bidirectional languages that are read from Right-to-Left, with small exceptions, like numbers.
5. Unique Sounds
The Arabic language has many sounds such as specific throat sounds that don’t exist in any other language. Let us give you an example: ‘ح’ , which is an ‘h’ sound as in ‘hubb’ (love). To get an idea of how this sound is pronounced, imagine breathing on a window pane in order to create a mist. Lovely image. I am sure it brings back childhood memories!
5. Love is always complicated!
Arabic has at least 11 words for love and each of them describe a different stage in the process of falling in love. The word “hawa”, for example, describes the initial attraction while “ Alaaqa” ( to cling on to) describes the next stage when the heart begins to attach itself to the beloved.
The most common word for love is “hub” and it can be translated as “that which has the potential to grow into something beautiful”. A true language of poetry!
We’ll mention here that there are hundreds of words for “camel” as well😊