Arabic has been spoken either as a National language or Official language in various countries. The Arabic Language has been around for well over 1000 years. It is believed to have originated in the Arabian Peninsula. It was first spoken by nomadic tribes in the northwestern frontier of the Peninsula. In fact, Arabic, means “nomadic.” Arabs (aka nomads), from which the word Arabic is derived, primarily occupied the area between Mesopotamia to the east to the Lebanon mountains in the west, to the Sinai in the south, and from northwestern Arabia to the Sinai in the south.

Much of what is known of written, classical (or old) Arabic comes from the events recorded in the Qur’an, the holy book of the Islamic faith.  These events are said to have occurred around the 7th century C.E. Prior to the Qur’an, much of the Arabic language was spoken. The Qur’an has served as the basis of the Arabic language to this day.


In recent years, the term Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) has come about. MSA is almost identical to the classical, formal Arabic of the Qur’an, with the exception of the addition of modern words and some differences in grammar constructions.  MSA is the most common form of Arabic and is the variety taught in schools and colleges and is most commonly used in the workplace, in government and in the media.

Over the centuries of its existence, the Arabic language has adopted words from other languages including Hebrew, Aramaic, Persian, Greek, English and French. It has also influenced other languages as well including Turkish, Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian and Tagalog. Arabic has been used as a National or Official language in countries including:

BahrainManamaBahraini DinarArabic
EgyptCairoEgyptian PoundArabic
JordanAmmanJordanian DinarArabic
LibyaTripoliLibyan DinarArabic
MoroccoRabatMoroccan DirhamArabic
OmanMuscatOmani RialArabic
QatarDohaQatari RiyalArabic
Saudi ArabiaRiyadhSaudi RiyalArabic
SyriaDamascusSyrian PoundArabic
United Arab EmiratesAbu DhabiDirhamArabic
YemenSanaaYemeni RialArabic
KuwaitKuwait CityKuwaiti DollarArabic; English
SudanKhartoumSudanese PoundArabic; English
DjiboutiDjiboutiDjiboutian FrancArabic; French
LebanonBeirutLebanese PoundArabic; French
IraqBaghdadIraqi DinarArabic; Kurdish
AlgeriaAlgiersAlgerian DinarArabic; Tamazight; French
EritreaAsmaraNakfaArabic; Tigrinya; English

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