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Arabic language

Arabic
العَرَبِيَّة / عَرَبِيّ
ʻarabiyy / al-ʻarabiyyah
Arabic albayancalligraphy.svg
al-ʿArabiyyah in written Arabic (Naskh script)
Pronunciation /ʕaraˈbijː/, /ʔalʕaraˈbijːah/
Native to Countries of the Arab League, minorities in neighboring countries and some parts of Asia,Africa, Europe etc.
Native speakers
420 million (2016)
Standard forms
Dialects
Arabic alphabet
Arabic Braille
Syriac alphabet (Garshuni)
Hebrew alphabet (Judeo-Arabic languages)
Greek alphabet (Cypriot Maronite Arabic)
Latin script (Maltese, Lebanese Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Libyan Arabic, Tunisian Arabic)
Signed Arabic (national forms)
Official status
Official language in
Modern Standard Arabic is an official language of 28 states, the third most after English and French
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ar
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3
Glottolog arab1395
Linguasphere 12-AAC
Dispersión lengua árabe.png
Dispersion of native Arabic speakers as the majority (green) or minority (chartreuse) population
Arabic speaking world.svg
Use of Arabic as the sole official language (green) and an official language (blue)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Arabic (Arabic: العَرَبِيَّة‎‎, Al-ʻarabiyyah [ʔalʕaraˈbijːah] or Arabic: عَرَبِيّ‎‎ ʻarabiyy [ʕaraˈbijː]) is a Central Semitic language that was first spoken in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living from Mesopotamia in the east to the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, and from northwestern Arabia to the Sinai in the south.

Some of the spoken varieties are mutually unintelligible, both written and orally, and the varieties as a whole constitute a sociolinguistic language. This means that on purely linguistic grounds they would likely be considered to constitute more than one language, but are commonly grouped together as a single language for political or religious reasons (see below). If Arabic is considered a single language, it is perhaps spoken by as many as 422 million speakers (native and non-native) in the Arab world, making it one of the six most-spoken languages in the world. If considered separate languages, the most-spoken variety would most likely be Egyptian Arabic with 94 million native speakers—still greater than any other Afroasiatic language. Arabic also is a liturgical language of 1.6 billion Muslims. It is one of six official languages of the United Nations.


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