Wikijunior:Languages/Arabic

What writing system(s) does this language use?Edit

The standard Arabic greeting As-salaam `alaykum in Arabic script

Arabic is a Semitic language written from right to left. Arabic consists of 28 letters: 25 consonants and 3 "long vowels".

There are also what are called "short vowels" (harakat) which are used to show correct pronunciation, for example, the word deen=religion and dayn=owe are normally written exactly the same way (3 letters D Y N) but to make the pronunciation clear deen can be written with a haraka/accent of a little dash under the D like so /. In dayn it can written as a little dash (horizantal) above the [D].

The Arabic script is used in many other languages such as Urdu and Farsi. In some of these languages there are added letters (or added dots/slightly different shapes) as in Farsi to compensate for sounds that are not found in the Arabic alphabet.

How many people speak this language?Edit

Arabic is spoken as a first language by more than 280 million people, and as a second language by another 250 million.

Where is this language spoken?Edit

Green indicates the countries where Arabic is the only official language and blue indicates where Arabic is one of several official languages.

Arabic is spoken across the Middle East, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in North Africa, and in portions of Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa. Since Muslims believe the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, can only truly be read in Arabic, it is fairly common for people in other predominantly Islamic countries to understand religious words in Arabic.

What is the history of this language?Edit

In the third century B.C.E., Nabateans, a tribe of people in Asia, settled near the northern part of the Arabic Peninsula. They spoke a language very similar to Arabic, however they still wrote in an early language called Aramaic, which was itself closely related to Hebrew.

Modern Arabic first truly formed when Arabic and Amharic combined in the mid fourth century C.E. It stood out among other new Semitic Languages for its ability to not be overtaken by other, already existent, languages.

Around the sixth century C.E., Arabic "took over" another language found in the Arabic peninsula, Sabaic, because the chief religious text, the Qur'an, was written and spoken only in Arabic. Although Sabaic exists today as a spoken language, only a small number of people use it.

Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?Edit

The Qur'an is the holy book of Islam

The most famous and influential book in Arabic is the holy book of muslims called "Qur'an", which Muslims believe was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) over a period of about 23 years. Muslims hold that he was the last messenger of God. The Qur'an, Islam's holy book is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎, Allah). It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language.

"One Thousand and One Nights" is a collection of Arabic stories written and adapted over time by many authors. In English this collection is called "Arabian Nights" and includes the stories "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp," "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor."

Khalil Gibran was an Arabic writer, poet, and artist that wrote famous poems and books in Arabic and English while living in the United States between 1906–1933.

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?Edit

The Arabic letters for “Ahlan"
  • Ahlan means “Hello” أﻫﻼ
  • Kayfa 'alok? means "How are you?" but can be used to say "Hello"
  • Ma'a salama is used to say “Good-bye”, but has a literal meaning of "Peace be with you." مع السلامة
  • Ismee means “My name” اسمي
  • Min fadlak means “Please” من فضلك
  • Shukran means “Thank you” شكراً
  • Manzil means “house” منزل Synonym: Addar الدّار
  • Uhibuki means “I love you” أحبكِ when speaking to a girl or woman.
  • Uhibuka means “I love you” أحبكَ when speaking to a boy or man.
  • Walad means “boy” ولد
  • Bint means “girl” بنت
  • Qitar means "train" قطار
  • Ana mina aldjazair means "I am from Algeria." أنا من الجزائر
  • Hal tatakalam aarabi? means "do you speak Arabic ?" هل تتكلّم عربي ؟


To introduce yourself you would say: “Ahlan, ana ismi” (“Hello, my name is”), then your name. ...أهلا ، أنا اسمي

If you are saying hello to your friend you would say: "Ahlan ya" then your friend's name.

To ask someone their name you would say: "Ma ismik?" for a girl ما اسمكِ ؟

or "Ma ismak?" for a boy ما اسمكَ ؟

To apologize you say:

"Asifah" for a girl when she says to other girl or to a boy.أسفه
"Asif" for a boy if he is telling to a boy or to a girl.أسف

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?Edit

Here are some interesting Arabic expressions that you can learn

Arabic Literal Translation What it means

احفظ قرشك الأبيض ليومك الأسود

"Save your white penny for your black day."

Save your money for when you really need it.

أعط الخبز لخبازه ولو أكل نصفه

"Give the bread dough to the baker even if he eats half of it."

Give the job to a person who knows how to perform it best even if it will cost you more.

"Bend a fish while it is (still) fresh/wet."

Children should be given guidance early in life (before it is too late).

سمن على عسل

"Cooking fat on honey."

To be doing very well.

الصديق وقت الضيق

"The friend in tight times."

A friend is the one that lends a hand during times of need.

القرد فى عين أمه غزال

"To his mother's eye a monkey looks like a deer"

A mother always thinks that their child is beautiful.

ReferencesEdit

Last modified on 25 April 2013, at 03:22