Arabic is considered to be one of the world’s major languages. As a language of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, Arabic has a long history, graceful script, magnificent style and rich vocabulary. Because of its religious roots, Arabic is widely used in the Muslim world.
Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family which also includes such languages as Amharic widely used in Ethiopia and Hebrew spoken in Israel. To be exact, the Arabic language is considered to be the largest member of this language family. The same to Hebrew and Amharic, Arabic is written from right to left.
The Arabic language appeared long ago. Its history goes back to the pre-Islamic Arabia where it existed in the form of Arabic dialects spoken by the tribes.
It is important to mention that in the pre-Islamic Arabia, the prestige and importance of tribes were related to the tribe’s involvement in poetry. So the most influential tribe of that time, the powerful Quraish clan which was made up of people who used Arabic as the main language, helped the Arabic dialect to become dominant in the urban center of trade, culture, and religion of the pre-Islamic Arabia – the city of Makkah.
Nevertheless, the very beginning of Arabic as a world language is mainly associated with the revelation of the Quran. Exactly the Quran with its unique, elaborate style and the important message changed the Arabic world. As the religion of Islam became popular in the lands beyond Arabian Peninsula, the Arabic language came to these lands as well and developed into a language with numerous forms of expression, styles, and genres. That is how from regional language, Arabic turned into international language if major importance.
It is worth to mention that the Arabic language influenced many other languages such as Spanish, English, Persian, Urdu and many others. Arabic loanwords can be found in numerous languages spoken across the globe.
Today, there are about 200 million people in the Arab world who speak Arabic as their first language. It is important to mention that the Arabic language gained a status of the official language in 22 countries in the world. Since 1974, Arabic has a status of official language at the United Nations. Furthermore, it is considered to be a popular language in bordering countries to the Arabic world, such as Mali, Niger, Chad, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Arabic is also used in such countries as Turkey and Iran. Actually, you can meet people who speak Arabic anywhere in the world. As a language of Quran, it is taught nearly to all Muslim children regardless of where they live. This helps them to understand the message of the holy book and to learn it in the original language.