Arabic is a widely spoken language. It is a native language in all 22 countries making up the Arab League and has large numbers of native speaking minorities in Africa. It is a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew, although the two are not mutually intelligible in either written or spoken form.
It is written from right-to-left and there is only one official written form for all Arabic speakers: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). That said, written texts do vary from country to country as there are so many different influences and inputs to the varieties spoken – for example French has an influence on Arabic speakers in the North of Africa and Lebanon. Spoken Arabic differs massively from country to country and area to area.
The influence of Arabic on other languages and cultures can be seen in many European place names and English words. Words such as Algebra (al-jabr), admiral (amir), alcohol (al-kuhul) and many more can trace their roots back to Arabic.
Normally 20-30% longer than English.
In countries east of Egypt it is customary to use the Arabic-Indic numeral system. Others use the Hindu Arabic system:
Hindu Arabic: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Arabic-Indic: ٠ ١ ٢ ٣ ٤ ٥ ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩
Notable Grammar and Punctuation Differences
Where to begin? It’s a right-to-left language using a completely different script, so there are many differences. Layouts will normally need to be completely reversed and images flipped. That said, many punctuation marks are recognizable mirror images of those you may be used to seeing, such as the comma (،) and question mark (؟).
Usually “…” or chevron style <<>> (but remember it is right-to-left)
Most Arabic countries follow the same system as in English with regard to the markers of the decimal point and comma…but not all. Morocco and Algeria are notable exceptions.
For more information contact us here: Arabic Translation Services.