Mar 2, 2013

Arabic language

Twenty-six countries around the world have adopted Arabic as an official language - more than any other language but English and French. There are approximately 280 million native speakers, and it is a second language for millions more who are familiar with Arabic through the recitation of the Koran. As with the Chinese language, spoken dialects are not mutually understandable, but Arabic speakers share a written language called Modern Standard Arabic. The main dialects are Levantine (spoken in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine), Egyptian, Iraqi, and Moroccan. Arabic is an official language of the United Nations. (The New York Times ‘Smarter by Sunday – 52 Weekends of Essential Knowledge for the Curious Mind’)