Arabic is spoken widely throughout the world but partiularly in the Middle East and in North African countries. In 2006, research estimated that there were 310 million Arabic speakers in the world.
It is also the religious language of the Qur’an: the Holy Book for Muslims. Arabic has a different script from English and it is read from right to left.
Arabic “al-ʿArabiyyah” written in Arabic!
- Hello: marhaba
- Please: min fadhlak (to a man), min fadhlich (to a woman)
- Thank you: shukran
Here are some other words that Lewis heard when he was in Dubai:
- Peace be upon you: al salaam alaykum
- Peace be upon you (response): wa alaykum e-salaam
- If God is willing: insha’allah
- Come on/ Let’s go!: Yalla!
- Tower: burj
- Market: souk
- Leader (or someone worthy of respect): sheikh
- Nomadic desert dweller: Bedouin
- Palm-leaf houses: barasti
- Wind towers: barjeel
- Small, flat-decked boat/ water taxi: abra
- Long, flat wooden boat: dhow
To learn some more Arabic words, go to the Language of the Month website.