10 Characteristics of Arabic Language that you may not know

here are several theories about the origin of the Arabic language: some ancient Arabic linguists believed that Arabic had more ancient origins than the Arabs themselves, and some say that it dates back to the Iron Age. In various places in the north of the Arabian peninsula ancient writings have been found in multiple languages ​​showing differences between them, and in the meantime they are different from the Qur’anic Arabic and that of the poetry of Jāhiliyya (the era preceding Islam); and elsewhere in the south there was a different version of the Arabic language which had a different grammar. However, in the absence of a solid theory on the origin of Arabic, linguists consider that Koranic Arabic is a starting and reference point.

Despite the different theories regarding the origin of Arabic and the various versions of this language spread today, the fact remains that Arabic is a Semitic language , whose alphabet is composed of 28 letters that developed from the late Nabataean form of the ‘Aramaic. And unlike many languages, Arabic is written from right to left, as well as Persian and Hebrew.
Currently the Arabic language itself can be distinguished in: classical Arabic which is the language of the Koran of Muslims; Modern Standard Arabic which is used daily as an official language in 22 countries, and which since 1974 has become one of the six official languages ​​of the UN; colloquial Arabicwhich consists of many dialects spoken in various Arab regions and countries, but not officially used.

Arabic is considered the fifth most spoken language in the world with around 422 million people speaking it in the Arab world (native and non-native); while there are 1.7 billion Muslims who use it as a liturgical language, that is, almost 23% of the world’s population. And it is believed to be the richest language in the world with around 12 million and 300 thousand words.
But not only for this reason the Arabic language continues to amaze us: while in many European languages ​​there are five vowels (a, e, i, o, u), and all other letters are consonants, all the letters of the Arabic alphabet can be vowels or consonants, given that through the use of the diacritical signs above and below the letters the letters of the word can be distinguished into consonants and vowels, and according to the pronunciation the letters acquire the function of vowel or consonant, while according to the function of the word all ‘ inside the sentence changes the sound of the vowel of the last letter of the word; but words never begin with a consonant.

One of the most essential characteristics of the Arabic language is that the conjugation of the verb changes according to the gender of the subject, male or female. And let’s not forget the dual formula that appears both in nouns and in adjectives and verbs; this formula is absent in many other languages. And when we speak of the characteristics that distinguish the Arabic language, we must mention the letter ض or d̪ˁ, which does not exist in any other language, so much so that sometimes Arabic is called the language of the d̪ˁض .
To tell the truth , Arabic is a very complex and difficult language, but in the meantime it is fun, rich, full of wonders, and has unlimited descriptive skills. And despite the constant linguistic change and the uninterrupted introduction of new words, this language has always had a solid and unchanged point of reference, that is, the Koranic Arabic which has helped to maintain the essential foundations of an ancient and adaptable language according to the needs of every age.


by Abdullah Sam
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