Language Arab Arabic Language Learning - Basic
This is a critical step in learning any language, but doubly so when learning Arabic. The best way to learn a new word is to see it, hear it, write it and speak it, so combine those activities as much as you can.
Language Arab Arabic Language Learning - Basic
Arabic (اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ, al-ʿarabiyyah [al ʕaraˈbijːa] (listen); عَرَبِيّ, ʿarabī [ˈʕarabiː] (listen) or [ʕaraˈbij]) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world. Having emerged in the 1st century, it is named after the Arab people; the term "Arab" was initially used to describe those living in the Arabian Peninsula, as perceived by geographers from ancient Greece.
Spoken varieties are the usual medium of communication in all other domains. They are not standardized and vary significantly, some of them being mutually unintelligible. The International Organization for Standardization assigns language codes to 33 varieties of Arabic, including MSA. Arabic vernaculars do not descend from MSA or Classical Arabic. Combined, Arabic dialects have 362 million native speakers, while MSA is spoken by 274 million L2 speakers, making it the sixth most spoken language in the world.
There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz. These features are evidence of common descent from a hypothetical ancestor, Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic:
On the other hand, several Arabic varieties are closer to other Semitic languages and maintain features not found in Classical Arabic, indicating that these varieties cannot have developed from Classical Arabic. Thus, Arabic vernaculars do not descend from Classical Arabic: Classical Arabic is a sister language rather than their direct ancestor.
Arabia boasted a wide variety of Semitic languages in antiquity. In the southwest, various Central Semitic languages both belonging to and outside of the Ancient South Arabian family (e.g. Southern Thamudic) were spoken. It is also believed that the ancestors of the Modern South Arabian languages (non-Central Semitic languages) were also spoken in southern Arabia at this time. To the north, in the oases of northern Hejaz, Dadanitic and Taymanitic held some prestige as inscriptional languages. In Najd and parts of western Arabia, a language known to scholars as Thamudic C is attested. In eastern Arabia, inscriptions in a script derived from ASA attest to a language known as Hasaitic. Finally, on the northwestern frontier of Arabia, various languages known to scholars as Thamudic B, Thamudic D, Safaitic, and Hismaic are attested. The last two share important isoglosses with later forms of Arabic, leading scholars to theorize that Safaitic and Hismaic are in fact early forms of Arabic and that they should be considered Old Arabic.
Linguists generally believe that "Old Arabic" (a collection of related dialects that constitute the precursor of Arabic) first emerged around the 1st century CE. Previously, the earliest attestation of Old Arabic was thought to be a single 1st century CE inscription in Sabaic script at Qaryat al-Faw, in southern present-day Saudi Arabia. However, this inscription does not participate in several of the key innovations of the Arabic language group, such as the conversion of Semitic mimation to nunation in the singular. It is best reassessed as a separate language on the Central Semitic dialect continuum.
The earliest attestation of continuous Arabic text in an ancestor of the modern Arabic script are three lines of poetry by a man named Garm(')allāhe found in En Avdat, Israel, and dated to around 125 CE. This is followed by the Namara inscription, an epitaph of the Lakhmid king Imru' al-Qays bar 'Amro, dating to 328 CE, found at Namaraa, Syria. From the 4th to the 6th centuries, the Nabataean script evolves into the Arabic script recognizable from the early Islamic era. There are inscriptions in an undotted, 17-letter Arabic script dating to the 6th century CE, found at four locations in Syria (Zabad, Jabal 'Usays, Harran, Umm el-Jimal). The oldest surviving papyrus in Arabic dates to 643 CE, and it uses dots to produce the modern 28-letter Arabic alphabet. The language of that papyrus and of the Qur'an are referred to by linguists as "Quranic Arabic", as distinct from its codification soon thereafter into "Classical Arabic".
The Nahda was a cultural and especially literary renaissance of the 19th century in which writers sought "to fuse Arabic and European forms of expression." According to James L. Gelvin, "Nahda writers attempted to simplify the Arabic language and script so that it might be accessible to a wider audience."
In the wake of the industrial revolution and European hegemony and colonialism, pioneering Arabic presses, such as the Amiri Press established by Muhammad Ali (1819), dramatically changed the diffusion and consumption of Arabic literature and publications. Rifa'a al-Tahtawi proposed the establishment of Madrasat al-Alsun in 1836 and led a translation campaign that highlighted the need for a lexical injection in Arabic, to suit concepts of the industrial and post-industrial age. In response, a number of Arabic academies modeled after the Académie française were established with the aim of developing standardized additions to the Arabic lexicon to suit these transformations, first in Damascus (1919), then in Cairo (1932), Baghdad (1948), Rabat (1960), Amman (1977), Khartum [ar] (1993), and Tunis (1993). They review language development, monitor new words and approve inclusion of new words into their published standard dictionaries. They also publish old and historical Arabic manuscripts. In 1997, a bureau of Arabization standardization was added to the Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization of the Arab League. These academies and organizations have worked toward the Arabization of the sciences, creating terms in Arabic to describe new concepts, toward the standardization of these new terms throughout the Arabic-speaking world, and toward the development of Arabic as a world language. This gave rise to what Western scholars call Modern Standard Arabic. From the 1950s, Arabization became a postcolonial nationalist policy in countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Sudan.
Classical Arabic is the language found in the Quran, used from the period of Pre-Islamic Arabia to that of the Abbasid Caliphate. Classical Arabic is prescriptive, according to the syntactic and grammatical norms laid down by classical grammarians (such as Sibawayh) and the vocabulary defined in classical dictionaries (such as the Lisān al-ʻArab).
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) largely follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic and uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties and has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties. Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the industrial and post-industrial era, especially in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, which is construed as a multitude of dialects of this language. These dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are usually acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children. The relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Classical Latin and Vulgar Latin vernaculars (which became Romance languages) in medieval and early modern Europe.MSA is the variety used in most current, printed Arabic publications, spoken by some of the Arabic media across North Africa and the Middle East, and understood by most educated Arabic speakers. "Literary Arabic" and "Standard Arabic" (فُصْحَى fuṣḥá) are less strictly defined terms that may refer to Modern Standard Arabic or Classical Arabic.
Colloquial or dialectal Arabic refers to the many national or regional varieties which constitute the everyday spoken language. Colloquial Arabic has many regional variants; geographically distant varieties usually differ enough to be mutually unintelligible, and some linguists consider them distinct languages. However, research indicates a high degree of mutual intelligibility between closely related Arabic variants for native speakers listening to words, sentences, and texts; and between more distantly related dialects in interactional situations.
Hassaniya Arabic and Maltese are only varieties of modern Arabic to have acquired official status. The Senegalese government adopted the Latin script to write Hassaniya Maltese is spoken in (predominantly Catholic) Malta and written with the Latin script. Linguists agree that it is a variety of spoken Arabic, descended from Siculo-Arabic, though it has experienced extensive changes as a result of sustained and intensive contact with Italo-Romance varieties, and more recently also with English. Due to "a mix of social, cultural, historical, political, and indeed linguistic factors," many Maltese people today consider their language Semitic but not a type of Arabic.
Even during Muhammad's lifetime, there were dialects of spoken Arabic. Muhammad spoke in the dialect of Mecca, in the western Arabian peninsula, and it was in this dialect that the Quran was written. However, the dialects of the eastern Arabian peninsula were considered the most prestigious at the time, so the language of the Quran was ultimately converted to follow the eastern phonology. It is this phonology that underlies the modern pronunciation of Classical Arabic. The phonological differences between these two dialects account for some of the complexities of Arabic writing, most notably the writing of the glottal stop or hamzah (which was preserved in the eastern dialects but lost in western speech) and the use of alif maqṣūrah (representing a sound preserved in the western dialects but merged with ā in eastern speech). 041b061a72