Introduction to Arabic


Arabic is the native language of millions of people throughout the world, and an important language of science, history, and religion. As the language of the Qur’an, Arabic is also the primary language of Islam, a religion with millions of adherents worldwide. Due to cultural and religious ties, a number of other modern languages have been influenced by Arabic to one degree or another.

Arabic is a Semitic language, related to other modern languages such as Hebrew, Amharic, and Syriac, and to ancient languages such as Phoenician and Akkadian. Like all Semitic languages, the grammar of Arabic is based on a unique root-and-pattern system, with consonant roots matched to various vowel patterns to produce large numbers of related vocabulary. One example of this is the root K-T-B, which refers to “writing”, and which is the root of such varied words as the verb كَتَب katab / يَكتوب yaktub “to write”, and the nouns كِتاب kitāb ‘book’, كاتِب kātib ‘writer’, مَكتوب maktūb ‘letter’, مَكتَبَة maktaba ‘library’, and more. This property of Arabic facilitates learning and recognizing new vocabulary despite the fact that it is not related to most other major world languages.

Although many people—including native Arabic speakers—think of Arabic as a single language, it is better understood as a family of closely related languages and dialects, some of which are mutually intelligible, and some of which are not. The Maltese language is one variety of Arabic that has become standardized, and is the only Semitic language that is an official language of the European Union. Elsewhere in the Arabic-speaking world, the Arabic language has a single standardized form that is spoken by educated individuals whose local dialects may not be mutually intelligible, but who are often able to easily communicate using this standard form, known in English as Modern Standard Arabic. Other major varieties of Arabic include Maghrebi Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Arabian Peninsula Arabic, Mesopotamian Arabic, and Levantine Arabic.

Elementary Arabic


Intermediate Arabic


Advanced Arabic


The Project


Authors and Contributors
Major Authors · Contributors 100% developed

Project History
Announcing the Project · New Page Log · Latest News & Updates 0% developed

Current Development
Setting Up · Tasks · Help needed! 0% developed

Aims and Objectives
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Basic Resources · Structural Syllabus · Target Lexicon · Lesson Design · Choosing Model Sentences · Explaining Grammar · Composing Mini-exercises · Vocabulary Control · Review Exercises · Layout Procedures 0% developed

Integration with Intensive Arabic course at Wikiversity 0% developed

Authors' Workbench


Proposed Syllabus
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Planned Lexicon
Provisional Word List 0% developed

Unit & Lesson Structure
How to Write a Lesson · Overall Structure · Themes and Functions · Communicative Goals · Structures · Culture · Composition · Vocabulary · Commentary · Review 0% developed

Layout Guide
Model Component · Themes and Functions · Communicative Goals · Structures · Culture · Composition · Vocabulary · Commentary · Review 0% developed

Using the Templates
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How to...
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Page Log
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Project Notebook
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