Difference between revisions of "Arabic"
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Latest revision as of 18:17, 4 January 2010
Arabic is a reference to anything connected with Arabia. Mainly, it is a reference to the Central Semitic language, thus related to and classified alongside other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Syriac. In terms of speakers, Arabic is the largest member of the Semitic language family. It is spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language and by 250 million more as a second language.
Most native speakers live in the Middle East and North Africa. Different spoken varieties of Arabic exist and differ according to region. Not all of the varieties are mutually intelligible and speakers may use a sort of medial language with features common to most Arabic varieties to communicate with speakers of mutually unintelligible varieties. Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools, universities, and used in the office and the media.
Arabic is the language of the Qur'an. Arabic is often associated with Islam, but it is also spoken by Arab Christians, Arab Druze, Mizrahi Jews and Iraqi Mandaeans.
Most of the world's Muslims do not speak Arabic as their native language but can read the script and recite the words of religious texts. Some Muslim speakers of Arabic consider their language to be "the language chosen by God to speak to mankind."
- See Wikipedia article on Arabic for more information