10 Reasons Why Arabic Is An Incredibly Interesting Language

arabic language camels

Written by Kristina Temelkova

I'm from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria and I'm currently pursuing an English degree at the University of Vienna. My lifelong passions are languages and writing. I speak English, Bulgarian, German and Russian.

May 28, 2020

The Arabic language is currently enjoying ever-increasing popularity. It has become one of the fastest growing language on the Internet and more than 420 million speakers worldwide.

It is the official language in more than 20 countries in Asia and Africa. The Arabic language is famous as the language of poetry and its origin dates back to the first century.

Here is a list of 10 interesting facts about the Arabic language that will make you appreciate it even more!

  1. The word Arab means nomad

    If we have a look at the history of the Arabic language, it originated before more than 1, 500 years from nomadic tribes in the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula. These nomadic tribes primarily occupied the area between Mesopotamia and the Lebanon mountains.

    mesopotamia arab language origin

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  1. The Arabic alphabet is not actually an alphabet but an ajbad

    This is a system where each letter stands for a consonant and not a vowel. In written language are used vowel marks to denote the vowels as well as their length. Have a look:

    arabic language structure

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  1. There are many Arabic words which have entered the English language

    Directly or indirectly through the Romance languages. Such words are admiral, cotton, coffee and giraffe as well as alcohol, algebra, algorithm and alkaline. Interestingly, the article al means the in Arabic. Here is a list of all English words with Arabic origin:

    arab words from english

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  1. Besides English the Arabian language has influenced many other languages

    Persian, Turkish, Hindi, Malay as well as Bosnian and Swahili all contain Arab words or vocabulary borrowed from Arabic words

  2. One of the greatest Arab contributions to the European culture is numbers

    Not many are aware of the fact that it was the Arab merchants who introduced the Europeans to the numbers we use nowadays. More precisely, since 10th century onwards the Europeans began using the new numerical system.

  3. The letter ‘x’

    In mathematic, x represents an unknown quantity or number, originated from the Arabic word shay meaning thing in English. Initially it was translated to ‘xay’ in Spanish and later became ‘x’.

  4. Arabic is the language of the Qur’an and the Islamic law.

    Indeed, it is an obligation for all Muslims and anyone who is practicing the Islam religion to know the language. Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 Billion Muslims around the world.

  5. Words are written from right to left

    ….while numbers are written from left to right. These images illustrate the difference:

    arabic numbers and letters

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  1. There are at least 14 words for love in the Arabic language

    Each denotes a different stage in the process of falling in love with a person. Hub is the most common one and stems from the same root as the Arabic word for This could be interpreted as if love is a seed that has the potential to grow into something much bigger.

    Arabic-words-for-love

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  1. Camels are a prominent part of the Arabic culture

    As a result, there are more than 100 words for camel in the Arabic language. There are distinct words not only for male and female camel but also for the different types of camels, depending on the manner they drink water. Have a look:

    camel names in arabic based on water

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