If you’ve ever traveled to Indonesia, you’ll notice that many of its people choose to speak Arabic over English. Seeing how English is the lingua franca of the world, this led us to question why they learn Arabic. As a result, we did a little research on the subject and were awestruck by the answers. We hope you will be, too, as today we look at why some Indonesians choose to learn Arabic over English.
Many Languages, One Nation
According to a 2010 census, there are over 800 languages in Indonesia. This is because 17,508 islands make up the country, with people living on 6,000 them. Each island has its own tribe and each tribe has its own language. As a result, you have one nation that speaks with many tongues.
Still, the people living on the island nation speak three main languages: Indonesian, Arabic, and English. Of course, Indonesian is Indonesia’s main language. However, Arabic and English are the second languages of the country. Its well-known English is the language of the world and is used in business, medicine, and the like all over the globe. However, many Indonesians choose to learn Arabic over English, and there are many reasons why.
A Nation of Islam
Recent surveys have shown that 87% of Indonesians are Muslim. As a result, Arabic is vital because it’s the solemn language of Islam. A Muslim must be able to read the Quran. Therefore, every Muslim living in Indonesia learning Quran verses must know it. Sure, there are versions of the Quran translation in Indonesian. However, it’s better to learn the Holy Quran in the language it was meant to be read in. This way a Muslim in the country doesn’t have to always make Indonesian to Arabic translation and vice versa on Google.
Further, even some prayers have to be prayed in Arabic. One example is Al-Fatiha, the first book of the Quran. This is an ayat that is recited in Arabic at the start of every one of the five daily prayers. As a result, a good handle on the language is a crucial part of being a Muslim, especially those learning Islam in Arab Indonesia.
Another reason someone might want to learn Arabic is that it’s part of their culture. Take for instance the Arab Indonesians. Arab Indonesians (also know known in Arabic as hadhrami or jama’ah) are such a people. They are either of pure Arab descent or of mixed Arab and Indonesian descent. Either way, they most likely have the blood of an Arab from an Arabic-speaking country running through them. Thus, they learn Arabic because it’s part of who they are.
These are just a few reasons why Indonesians prefer to learn Arabic. Still, isn’t it nice to know that’s one more beautiful country you can visit after learning Arabic?
Whether you plan to travel to Indonesia or Egypt, be sure to make learning Arabic part of your plans. You’ll have a much better time eating real local food, using buses and taxis and meeting new friends as you travel by learning their language. Get started today and start talking Arabic tomorrow by downloading Kaleela Arabic language app. Find out more at kaleela.com.
Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way!