Arabic Language Facts

Interesting Arabic Language Facts

If you’re thinking about learning a language it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Arabic language facts:

1. Arabic is a Semitic language

The Arabic language originates from the Arabian Peninsula. As the Muslim World expanded, Arabic spread into North Africa and Western Asia.

2. There are around 280 million Arabic native speakers worldwide

Arabic is an official language in 26 countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Israel (along with Hebrew), Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world.

3. Arabic has influenced a great number of languages

Arabic has influenced a great number of languages, including most European languages as well as Asian and African languages. English has many Arabic loanwords such as alcohol, algebra, algorithm, average, candy, caravan, cotton, giraffe, guitar, jar, lemon, lilac, magazine, sugar and talisman.

4. There are around 14 words that describe “love”

Each word for “love” describes specific stages of falling in love. For example, “hawa” describes the initial attraction towards someone, “huyum” the loss of reason that follows, and “ishq” a blind desire.

5. Arabic and Hebrew share distinctive features

Arabic and Hebrew are both Semitic languages. Their similarities make it easier for Arabic speakers to learn Hebrew, and vice versa.

6. Arabic has no capital letters

The Arabic alphabet uses quotation marks for emphasis instead of capital letters.

7. Arabic has sounds that don’t exist in other languages

Some non-native speakers find it difficult to pronounce words in Arabic, due to the some of the sounds being uncommon in other widely spoken languages. For instance, ‘ح’ is a ‘h’ sound that is only found in Arabic.

8. Arabic words are written from right to left

Unlike many other widely used languages, Arabic words are written from right to left, and Arabic numbers are written from left to right.

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