Arabic has been around for quite awhile. So, just how old is the Arabic language? Well, it goes back to at least the 6th century, though some experts believe it could even be older. And a 1,500-year-old language surely has had to pick up some surprising facts that came along with it over the years. So, today, why don’t we let’s at some fun Arabic facts? Who knows? Maybe it’ll give you an even deeper appreciation of the Arabic language.

1.  There are 30 Different Arabic Dialects

Certainly, every language has its own dialects, but Arabic has 30 modern types of them. These dialects include Modern Standard Arabic, Gulf Arabic, and Levantine Arabic just to name a few.  What’s more, they’re often spoken in places many hundreds, or even thousands, of miles apart from one another. However, the most commonly understood of all them is the Egyptian dialect.

2.  Arabic Sounds Like No Other Language

As a language learner, you know by now that no two languages are alike. However, if you were to make a list of languages that sound like nothing like any other language, Arabic would top that list. Probably the most well known is example is the Arabic letter hah (ح), which sounds a little like the “h” sound in English when laughing with a chest cold.

3.  Arabic is the Official Language of over 20 Countries and the UN

Most of them are located in the Middle East like Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, to name a few. Others are located in Africa and include Egypt, Morocco, and Djibouti. By the way, you can also add the UN to that list of places where Arabic is an official language. In fact, In 2010, the UN even made December 18th Arabic National Day. Why?  Because that was the day when the language was officially included alongside Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

4.  Arabic is the Fifth Most-Spoken Language in the World

There are more than 315 million Arabic speakers (or 4.23 percent of the world’s population) who speak Arabic. That places it behind Hindi, English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese in fourth to first place, respectively.

5.  “To Be or Not to Be?”

In the case of Arabic, the answers is “not to be” as the present tense of the Arabic language has no verb “to be”. Though it does have equivalents to am, are, is, was, were, been, and being, they are not used at all in the present tense.

6. Still as Easy as ABC?

Rather than alphabet, Arabic actually uses an abjad – a system of symbols of glyphs that are used as constants. (Vowels are usually left for the reader to fill in, though Arabic uses diacritic marks to symbolize vowel sounds.) Still, once you get the hang of it, learning the Arabic alphabet is easy as alif, ba, tha.

7. Forget About Typing in ALL CAPS

Because it uses symbols (or glyphs) instead of letters, there are also no capital letters in Arabic. This means you don’t have to worry about shouting at somebody when you message them in Arabic.

8. Do You Speak Arabizi?

Arabizi is Arabic slang for using the Latin alphabet to text. Today’s young Arabs also use it to mean speaking using both Arabic and English. For instance, the phrase “Yalla, I’m hungry” combines both Arabic and English in the same statement. Even so, English has borrowed from Arabic long before phone texting came along. In fact, there are many words in English derived from Arabic that you likely use every day without even knowing. These include words like coffee, ghoul, loofa, sofa, sugar, tariff, racquet, sherbet, and many more.

See? You already know some Arabic words already, so why not add a few more by learning Arabic today? That’s right! You can start learning Arabic right now by heading over to our website and downloading the Kaleela Arabic Learning app. Learn Arabic where you want, when you want, and at the pace you’re comfortable with. Let Kaleela take you from learning the Arabic alphabet Arabic abjad (see number 6 above) to speaking an Arabic dialect today. Click here for more info.

Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way