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  • Southern-Central Semitic language spoken in North Africa, most of the Arabian Peninsula, and other parts of the Middle East.

  • The expressions Arabic and Classical Arabic usually refer to both the language of present-day media across North Africa and the Middle East (from Morocco to Iraq) and the language of the Qur'an.

  • The term Modern Standard Arabic is sometimes used in the West to refer to the language of the media as opposed to the language of "classical" Arabic literature; Arabs make no such distinction, and regard the two as identical. The word "Arabic" also refers to the many national or regional dialects/languages derived from Classical Arabic, spoken daily across North Africa and the Middle East, which sometimes differ enough to be mutually incomprehensible. These dialects are not frequently written, although a certain amount of literature (particularly plays and poetry) exists in many of them, notably Lebanon and Egypt.

  • The chief dialect groups are those of Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa. With the exception of the dialect of Algeria, all Arabic dialects have been strongly influenced by the literary language.

  • Arabic alphabet is second most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world (the Latin alphabet is the most widespread). It has 28 letters, all representing consonants, and is written from right to left. The shape of each letter depends on its position in a word—initial, medial, and final. There is a fourth form of the letter when it is written alone.


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