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What Is The Arabic Language?

Many people in the world today have heard of the Arabic language, but only a few outside of the nations where it is spoken would be able to recognize it when spoken. The cultural differences ingrained over a thousand years have forced many Westerners to completely ignore this beautiful language, a shame because there is so much that could be learned from it, especially in how the dialects interact, yet define the speaker. Of all the languages spoken in today’s society, Arabic is the fifth most common, and should be respected for the history it carries with it, even today.

The Arabic Language One Of The Oldest In The World

With nearly 200 million speaking it today as their primary language, the Arabic language is also one of the oldest spoken and written languages in the history of our world. Descended from the Semitic language branch of world languages, it shares elements with both Hebrew and Aramaic, making it one of the widest spread languages in the world today. Even though it is most prevalent in the Arab world, every country has its own regional dialect, all of which may not be readily understood, even by another person from an Arab state. 

There is one true form of the Arabic language, that is used as the standard for the entire cultural world. The Arabic language is the true language of the Qur’an, or Koran, and all other forms shall be considered regional dialects in comparison to this language in its most beautiful state. The true form that spills forth from the Qur’an allows for a standard translated language that all Middle Eastern peoples will understand, regardless of their origin. This belief is also part of the reason that it is rare to find a translation of the Qur’an in any other language, because it is thought to be the only one that will convey the true message of that Holy Book in the spirit in which it was intended.

The Path Of Language

Primarily spoken in the Middle East, the Arabic language is also one of a few languages that still exists today that can link its journey to an event outside of its creation. If you took a map of the Middle East and Europe, and overlaid it with the path created by the spread of the religion Islam, you would see exactly where, and which countries it touched as it grew. If you drew one to mimic the spread of the Arabic language, it would follow the exact same course, country by country. As many do, you would probably assume that the link comes from the Qur’an, and while that may be true in some areas, it is not true of them all. There are a lot of followers of Islam that actually have little knowledge of the Arabic language, other than a few memorized greetings.

Arabic Language Today

There are seven standard accepted dialect groups within the Arabic language today. The first two, Classical and Standard, are the dialects spoken for trade and political negotiations. The remaining five are considered to be the most widespread and understood dialects of them all: Egyptian Arabic, Iraqi, Gulf, Levantine, and Maghreb. There is another, Maltese, that is considered to be the European dialect of all the spoken dialects.

Contact Axis Translations for assistance with Arabic translation, transcription and interpreting.