Five Fun Facts about the Arabic Language
There are many fascinating languages all around the world, and the Arabic language is one of them. It is one of the languages that includes many curiosities, and many of them stem from the Arabic culture. Given that there are many Arabic speakers, it’s no wonder why so many interesting quirks were developed. From Arabic letters that sometimes get lost between English and Arabic translation, to having 14 Arabic words for ‘Love’, here we will show you 5 of the most fun facts about the Arabic language!
The Arabic Language Is Spoken in Approximately 20 Countries
This fact is amazing by itself! Although the number can be somewhat imprecise, you will find on the Internet that approximately 20 countries are Arabic speakers. According to Wikipedia, several countries share this trait with the Arabic culture.
As described by the website, 22 sovereign states use Arabic as the official language. Some countries mentioned therein possess a second language, such as French or English. It is said that four unrecognised states and territories can exist and have Arabic as their official language. If you consider the latter, more than 20 claim the Arabic language as theirs! Something you may find shocking is that the Arabic language is also the 6th most spoken language. National Arabic Day was created on December 18th, 2010, to celebrate the Arabic culture.
Arabic has Many Different Dialects
As you can tell, languages usually contain several dialects. In the case of the Arabic language, it is on a whole different level. Since it proceeds from Central Semitic origins, it is closely bonded to Aramaic and Hebrew. Roots of these can even exist in Quranic or Classic Arabic. This form of speaking and writing exists in many formal settings, such as the Holy Quran.
Modern Standard Arabic is the form of the Arabic language that is used in books, newspapers, movies, and daily conversation. As you would expect, there are a lot of dialects from region to region. From the ones that normally stand out, the vernacular that is mostly understood by many Arabic speakers is Egyptian colloquial.
You can deduce that many of the words will change, making English to Arabic translation somewhat complex for foreigners. This is one of the reasons, along with many others, that make the Arabic language difficult. Therefore, Arabic speakers are in demand! Regardless of this, Arabic is a language that doesn’t cease to surprise with its facts!
Arabic Words Can be Found in English
Considering it’s a 1,500-year-old language, it’s a natural expectation that the Arabic language blends with other languages and regions. A normal occurrence is that both Arabic speakers and time move on. Hence, so does the language, adopting features from other languages into its own, and vice versa. When learning about Arabic, some of the common English words that come from Arabic include: ‘algebra’, ‘coffee’, ‘ghoul’, ‘loofah’, ‘tariff’, ‘racquet’, and more.
On a side note, here we will tell you the reason for the use of the letter ‘X’ in algebra. “Shay” means “thing” in Arabic. This word was adopted by the Spanish, resulting in “xay”. This would later evolve into the renowned “x”. Provided that math and numbers are the subjects of conversation, you should note that Arabic numerals replaced Roman ones. Therefore, it’s easy to tell that the Arabic language has influenced many others in ways that one normally doesn’t notice. Arabic words can be found in English, Spanish, and many others.
The 14 Ways of Love in the Arabic Language
Lovebirds will certainly enjoy this. In the English language, the word “love” can imply many different concepts. Yet, most of the diverse stages and “gradients” of love can get quite fuzzy. However, the Arabic language got this down right. Arabic speakers have 14 words to express the different stages of love. Yes. 14 words!
What makes it more interesting is that these 14 words from the Arabic language entail the different intensities of the stages of love. Meaning that the characteristic feelings of this emotion are thoroughly described into one single concept by Arabic speakers. However, the fervor of the descriptions may slightly fade away if you do an Arabic to English translation.
For instance, what we would loosely translate as “Passion”, the Arabic language describes it as “al-shaghaf ”, or should we say الشغافة. This term alludes to the outer layer of the heart. It resembles the surfacing of actual feelings of love, and when the members of the relationship feel “love-struck”. On the other side of the equation, there is “al-hoyam”. Arabic speakers use this word to reference the insanity and madness caused by drastic feelings of love. In short, when people lose all sense of self and reasoning, this one seems to be a perfect fit.
More Curiosities About the Arabic Language
Another feature of the Arabic language that can leave one scratching their head is that no capital letters exist. This means that, at least in written form, quotations add emphasis. Arabic speakers should consider this when doing an English to Arabic translation.
On the other hand, the Arabic language also uses a system of writing named Abjad. It is a form of writing that involves using consonants instead of vowels. How are vowels indicated, though? Very simple. Vowels are simply implied by the sounds of the consonant letters. This signals that the reader needs to have full knowledge of the alphabet to be able to decipher vowel sounds. Arabic is also read from right to left. Contrary to what Westerners use, reading from left to right, Arabic speakers do the opposite.
Arabic is an Amazing Language!
As you can observe, the Arabic language has much more depth than what meets the eye, and a rich culture. Many Arabic-speaking countries use it as their official language and it has many dialects, influences in other languages, and much more. We can also tell that Arabic to English translation is a quite challenging task too!
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