African Countries And The Arab World: Arab Countries In Africa

Dina Sarayra 7/29/2021
About Arabic language

Hey you, did you know that there are Arab countries in Africa?

Well, of course there is! Africa is huge continent after all and the most diverse one. So if you wanted to learn Arabic, just know that there are African countries that speak Arabic and have their own Arab culture, and that they can definitely help you attain the language. The Arab countries in Africa are mostly in North Africa.

There is so much to tell so let’s go on a journey to Africa together.

The Arab League and The Bonds of Arab Countries

Now firstly, it’s important to introduce and explain the Arab League. The Arab League is an organization that was founded in Cairo that is currently made up of 22 Arab states. These are in the Middle East and in Africa. All Arab countries are in the Arab League of course! But there are still Arabic speaking countries that are not considered part of the Arab League. Unfortunately, not many people know that African Arabs exist! Okay, now we can continue!

So what are the countries that are part of the Arab League and that are ALSO an African country?

There are 10 African Arab countries in the Arab League out of the whole 22. Hey that’s a lot! Wait till I name them for you. They are Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, Comoros, Djibouti, Sudan, and Egypt.

Their Languages: Yes, There Are Plenty

Each of these either have Arabic as their majority language or minority language, but it is still considered an official language in the country. Majority language means that more than 50% of the population speak it.

Some of the countries in the Arab League have other official languages such as Kurdish in Iraq and Berber in Algeria and Morocco. This means the language as co-official with Arabic. All Arabic speaking countries have their own dialect of Arabic that are mutually intelligible and are considered Arabic by linguists.

African Arabic differs from country to country. For North African countries such as Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Morocco, they speak a dialect called Darija. Darija Arabic is very close to the Arabic of the Quran. In fact, did you know that they found that Libyan dialect of Arabic is the closest? Meanwhile, countries like Sudan and Egypt have a similar dialect.

Other Countries in the Arab League

The rest of the Arab League countries are Jordan, Yemen, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Oman. There are semi autonomous regions where Arabic is an official language and they are Western Sahara (also known as Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic), Somaliland, Zanzibar in Tanzania. In Cyprus, Iran and Turkey, Arabic is a minority language.

Do you think we’re done with African countries that speak Arabic? We certainly aren’t! Well now we will talk about the countries where Arabic has a special status. This special status is because Islam is one of the dominating religions in the country and so, naturally, so would the language of the Holy Quran. These countries are Eritrea, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

Pretty cool huh? Arabic is really out there. I mean there are an estimated number of 313 million Arabic speakers in the world. That’s a whole lot of Arabic!

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