The Arabic language is one of the most widely spoken languages all over the world. It is the means of communication for over 422 million people, mainly in North Africa, the Middle East and what is known generally as the Arab World. The Arabic language is also frequently used in the surrounding areas of Turkey, Chad, Mali, Senegal, and Eritrea. This language comprises 28 letters which are also used -with slight changes- in other languages such as Urdu, Persian, and originally Swahili and Turkish.
Actually, Modern Standard Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family and is the definitive form of written Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic provides a universal form of the language that can be easily understood despite the fact that it is more than one and a half thousand years old.
The rise of this language is inextricably intertwined with the rise of Islam as a major world religion; some practices can not be done without mastering the Arabic language as it is the language of the Quran.
The Arabic language has many unique specificities that differentiate it from all the spoken languages worldwide.
Among these differences:
Parsing is a feature of this language, which includes all the terms like the doer, the verb, prepositions, ect… And despite the fact that parsing is present in some other languages such as Hindi, Hebrew, Ethiopian, Germanic… it is rather a partial parsing. For instance, a word like (علم) whose racine root includes the letters “A”, “L” and “M” can be read in seven different ways, each having a distinct meaning; “alima”, “olima”, “allama”, “ollima”, “alamon”, “eelmon”and “olim”.
Modern Standard Arabic has the widest articulatory ladder among all languages. In other words, all of the articulatory organs participate in the creation of sounds from the lips to the glottis. Unlike other languages -that may contain more letters- Arabic sounds are balanced and distinct from each other. That’s why there are not many allophones to the same phoneme, but rather each phoneme is distinct and has its own particularities which creates harmony in the Arabic speech.
The hand-writing of the Arabic letters is an art in itself. Letters in Arabic are so flexible that they can cope with the aesthetic of each period. Thus, numerous styles were created using the Arabic script such as, the Kufic style, the Cursive style, the Maghrebian style and the Karawian style…These Arabesque motifs were not only used in books, but to decorate the walls and ceilings of mosques as well.
Colloquial Arab dialects
Arab colloquial dialects are generally only spoken. A colloquial language is used in daily conversation, but in a situation calling for greater formality, Modern Standard Arabic is usually used. Standard Arabic is more or less the same throughout the Arab World, while there are wide differences between the various colloquial dialects.