Arabic Language: Its Origins and Use in Today’s World

Having originated in the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabic language has been around for over 1500 years now. Firstly spoken by the nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, its name actually means “nomadic”. The people who developed this language used to live in the area between Mesopotamia and the mountains of Lebanon.

Language Connections and Uses

Arabic is a member of the Semitic family of languages, more specifically, it is considered to be a northern Semitic language. As members of the same language family, Arabic is connected to Akkadian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Tigre, Berber, and Abyssinia. However, out of these languages, Arabic is the most widely spoken one. In fact, due to its large spread, some of these Semitic languages have become greatly limited or even gone extinct.

The Arabic language spread fast due to the various nomadic tribes which traveled out of the Arabian Peninsula, however, its fastest growth took place between the 6th and the 7th century C.E. during the Arab conquests in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and China. And although it is classified as one language, it is comprised of multiple varieties, different when used in each Arab country, out of which Egyptian Arabic is the most widely spoken type of this language. However, as a single language, it belongs in the top 6 most widely spoken languages in the world consisted of over 400 million users in 22 countries that form the Arab League. In the US, the Arabic language is spoken by over a million people, and according to Wikipedia, “Arabic in 2006 became the 10th most-studied language in the United States”.

Every language in the world is under influence by other languages, the closest to it. It is the same with the Arabic. Until now, in the many centuries of existence, the Arabic language has words with roots from the Greek, French, Hebrew, Persian, French, and Aramaic. However, this relationship goes both sides, so Turkish, Hindi, Tagalog, Bengali, and Indonesian can be listed as languages with the largest influence by the Arabic language.

Written Arabic

When first emerged, the Arabic language was mostly spoken and there hasn’t been a written form recorded up until the appearance of the Qur’an, the holy book of the Islamic faith around the 7th century C.E. To this day, this holy book serves as the main basis of the Arabic Language. Now, in recent years, the MSA or the Modern Standard Arabic is a form of the language mostly used internationally by people of different Arab countries when they talk between themselves, and is almost identical to formal Arabic of the Qur’an, with the only difference being the addition of the modern words and certain corrections in the grammar. This form of the Arabic language is taught in schools, colleges and used most commonly in the media and government.

This being said, the Arabic language is definitely becoming a very important language used in world affairs. At United Language Services we work with a wide array of certified professional translators and interpreters that have mastered the Arabic language. So if you need translation, interpretation, localization, or transcription of the language, please do not hesitate to contact us.