Arabic is one of the world’s top historical and religious languages for Muslims. People worldwide study Arabic as a foreign language or for religious purposes. Here is more information about the origins and evolution of the Arabic language into today’s different dialects:
The Arabic language can be traced back to the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula before the 8th century BCE. It is classified as a Semitic language due to its Afro-Asiatic origins. Arabic is the most spoken semantic language. One of its prominent Semitic traits is the lack of vowels in writing. Arabic is among the languages that spread as Arab traders and scholars traveled along the Eurasian Silk Roads. The nomads carried their language to Mesopotamian regions, the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, the north of the Taurus Mountains, and Northern Africa. Intermarriages among Arabs and locals along the trade routes facilitated the spread of the language.
Over the years, the Arabic language has gone through various changes. The first major evolution in the language occurred from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD when letters were refined to avoid confusion. More improvements were made to the language in the 7th century AD when supplementary signs were added to letters to further reduce confusion when reading text. Between the 8th and 13th centuries, Arabic became the language of Islamic scholars. Arabic linguists produced several Arabic dictionaries and other specialized works during this time. Islamic scientists and philosophers also wrote some Arabic pieces that people still study today.
The Arabic language changed drastically between the 19th and 20th centuries because the Arabic world underwent significant social and political modifications. Modernization paved the way for new vocabulary additions and other adjustments in written and spoken Arab. Classical Arabic was improved and standardized to accommodate more people. Modern Arabic has remnants of its early interactions with Persian or Greek languages and their vibrant cultures. Arabic dialects have developed into the numerous vernaculars of today. Ancient local dialects and modern European languages such as French, English, Italian, and Spanish have impacted these vernaculars.
While Arabic is considered one language, there are many different dialects. Arabic speakers refer to the distinct dialects as “Arabic Colloquial.” There are 30 different Arabic colloquial dialects, including Modern Standardized Arabic. Egyptian Arabic is the most spoken Arabic dialect. The Qur’an, the sacred book of Islam, is written in Classic Arabic and forms the basis of many Arabic variations.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is a recently developed dialect that is most similar to the formal, classical Arabic of the Qur’an. The main difference is that MSA has contemporary terms and minor grammar structure variations. MSA is the Arabic dialect that is most often taught in schools and used in the workplace, government, and media. Many other dialects that developed throughout Arabic’s history are still used today.
Learning the Arabic Language
Arabic has evolved since its early origins, developing into various dialects. Many institutions offer Arabic lessons to people of all ages interested in learning the intricacies of the Arabic language. Contact a course provider today to enroll in an online or physical Arabic class and begin to learn the Arabic dialect of your choice.