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29 October 2014
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Arabic today
The history of Arabic
Names and writing system

The history of Arabic

Arabic, the sacred language of Islam, is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages. The religious conquests of the seventh century AD resulted in the spread of the language over a very wide area from the Arabian peninsula where it originated. Its grammar has remained largely unchanged over the centuries, though its vocabulary has developed to include modern elements.

A variety sometimes known as Modern Standard Arabic is used today for communication among educated people throughout the Arabic speaking world. In contrast, the colloquial Arabic used in everyday conversation varies a great deal from country to country. The Maghrebi Arabic spoken in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, for instance, is very different from the Mashriqi Arabic spoken from Egypt to the Persian Gulf.

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