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History of Arabic
The Arabic Language
Together with Hebrew, Arabic is the most vigorous of the living Semitic languages and is certainly the most widespread. The Arabic alphabet is believed to have evolved from that of an ancient people known as the Nabateans but how, when and where it exactly originated is open to controversy.

By the early Mohammedan period, two scripts were in use; the Naskhi - the ordinary cursive form used in books and correspondence and the Kufic, an angular script used mainly for decorative purposes. Like the other Semitic languages, Arabic is written from right to left. Arabic, whether handwritten, typed or printed, is cursive, that is to say, most letters are joined to each other by means of ligatures.

There are a few sounds in Arabic which are totally unfamiliar to the European ear yet correct pronunciation is vital. See how you get on with the sound of H: the sound itself comes from deep down in the throat. Sigh very deeply and keep your mouth wide open. Constrict your throat in the region of the Adam's Apple and tense your tongue tucking its tip behind the bottom teeth - that's all there is to it!

The medium of everyday conversation is Colloquial Arabic, which is a general name to give the many dialects spoken throughout the Arab world. There are certain differences however between Colloquial Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic.

The latter is used in newspapers, books and broadcasting and is the universal written language of the whole Arab world. It is the language used between educated speakers from different countries who would probably have some difficulty in understanding one another were they to speak entirely in their own pure dialect.

Modern Standard Arabic (or Modern Literary Arabic as it is sometimes known) is a development of Classical Arabic and they stand in somewhat the same relation to one another as Shakespearean or Biblical English does to Modern English.

The Linguaphone courses teach Modern Standard Arabic.

And Finally...
If you decide to join the millions of Arabic speakers you will be able to communicate with an amazing 20 per cent of the world's population.

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Did you know?
ARABIC ranks sixth in the world's league table of languages, with an estimated 186 million native speakers. As the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, it is also widely used throughout the Muslim world.
Arabic History
Arabic Speaking
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