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Arabic (اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ, al-ʿarabiyyah, [al ʕaraˈbijːa] (listen) or عَرَبِيّ‎, ʿarabīy, [ˈʕarabiː] (listen) or [ʕaraˈbij]) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in Northwestern Arabia and in the Sinai Peninsula. The ISO assigns language codes to thirty varieties of Arabic, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, also referred to as Literary Arabic, which is modernized Classical Arabic. This distinction exists primarily among Western linguists; Arabic speakers themselves generally do not distinguish between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, but rather refer to both as al-ʿarabiyyatu l-fuṣḥā (اَلعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, "the purest Arabic") or simply al-fuṣḥā (اَلْفُصْحَىٰ). Modern Standard Arabic is an official language of 26 states and 1 disputed territory, the third most after English and French

Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, government and the media. Arabic, in its standard form, is the official language of 26 states, as well as the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic.

During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence, mainly in vocabulary, is seen in European languages—mainly Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese and Catalan—owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and the long-lasting Arabic culture and language presence mainly in Southern Iberia during the Al-Andalus era. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words, many of which relate to agriculture and related activities, as a legacy of the Emirate of Sicily from the early-9th to late-11th centuries, while Maltese language is a Semitic language developed from a dialect of Arabic and written in the Latin alphabet. The Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have also acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish.

Arabic has influenced many other languages around the globe throughout its history. Some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Turkish, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Kashmiri, Kurdish, Bosnian, Kazakh, Bengali, Malay (Indonesian and Malaysian), Maldivian, Pashto, Punjabi, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Sicilian, Spanish, Greek, Bulgarian, Tagalog, Sindhi, Odia and Hausa and some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Persian in medieval times and languages such as English and French in modern times.

Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, and Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by perhaps as many as 422 million speakers (native and non-native) in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, which is an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography.

Arabic Media

84,359 media by topicpage 1 of 844
[Pietro da Montagnana, a Paduan medical teacher surrounded by Greek and Arabic medical books, and three patients waiting to have their urine examined]

[Pietro da Montagnana, a Paduan medical teacher surrounded by Greek an...

Illus. in: Fasciculus medicinae / Johannes de Ketham. Venice : J. and G. de Gregoriis, de Forlivio, 1495. Published in: The tradition of science / Leonard C. Bruno. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1987, p. 130.

Conference of Arabs at Wady Moosa, Petra March 6th 1839 / David Roberts.

Conference of Arabs at Wady Moosa, Petra March 6th 1839 / David Robert...

Illus. in: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia / from drawings made on the spot by David Roberts ... ; lithographed by Louis Haghe. London : F.G. Moon, 1842-1845, v. 3, pts. 16-18, p. 1. Surro... More

Arabs of the Tribe of the Benisaid Feby 17th 1839

Arabs of the Tribe of the Benisaid Feby 17th 1839

Illus. in: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia / from drawings made on the spot by David Roberts ... ; lithographed by Louis Haghe. London : F.G. Moon, 1842-1845, v. 3, pts. 14-15, p. 1. Surro... More

Abâziz - intérieur d'un village Arabe / Félix Teynard.

Abâziz - intérieur d'un village Arabe / Félix Teynard.

General view showing palm trees growing among ruins of buildings of an Arab village. Illus. in: Égypte et Nubie : sites et monuments les plus intéressants pour l'étude de l'art et de l'histoire / Félix Teynard.... More

Assouan - cimetière Arabe - inscriptions funéraires / Félix Teynard.

Assouan - cimetière Arabe - inscriptions funéraires / Félix Teynard.

Funerary inscriptions on tablets at Arab cemetery, Aswān, Egypt. Illus. in: Égypte et Nubie : sites et monuments les plus intéressants pour l'étude de l'art et de l'histoire / Félix Teynard. Paris : Goupil et C... More

Syout - habitations Arabes sur le bord du Nil / Félix Teynard.

Syout - habitations Arabes sur le bord du Nil / Félix Teynard.

Exterior view of Arab dwellings along the edge of the Nile in Asyūṭ, Egypt.

Assouan - ruines de l'ancienne enceinte Arabe, au sud-est de la ville / Félix Teynard.

Assouan - ruines de l'ancienne enceinte Arabe, au sud-est de la ville ...

General view of ancient Arab structures at the southeast end of the town of Aswān, Egypt. Illus. in: Égypte et Nubie : sites et monuments les plus intéressants pour l'étude de l'art et de l'histoire / Félix Tey... More

Arab temple, Baalbek

Arab temple, Baalbek

Building in ruins at Baʻlabakk, Lebanon. On recto: Thomas Wilson, Washington, D.C. Title from item. Written in pencil on mount: "Photo by Dumas, 188- ". No. 50.

(Alger) Rue arabe

(Alger) Rue arabe

Street scene with man and women in a residential section of Algiers, Algeria. Title from item. No. 29.

Cairo. Mosque of Kaget Bey, Arab village

Cairo. Mosque of Kaget Bey, Arab village

In album: Jerusalem, Alexandria, Cairo, Rome, no. 151.

Cimetière Arabe, Caire / P. Sebah, Phot.

Cimetière Arabe, Caire / P. Sebah, Phot.

Cemetery with tomb(?) and minarets in background, Egypt. Title from item. No. 32.

Beyrouth. Arabs en promenade / R. Dumas Pho., Beyrouth.

Beyrouth. Arabs en promenade / R. Dumas Pho., Beyrouth.

An Arab man standing beside woman on a donkey. Title from item. No. 2068.

... limonade et son client. Arabs Siriens / Dumas Ph.

... limonade et son client. Arabs Siriens / Dumas Ph.

Lemonade vendor and customer. Title from item. No. 22. On verso: Asia. Syria - Natives. Arabs.

Arabe abitent les cédres du mont liban / Dumas.

Arabe abitent les cédres du mont liban / Dumas.

Young Arab woman of the Cedars of Mount Lebanon.

Alger. Le Tribunal arabe / ND. Phot.

Alger. Le Tribunal arabe / ND. Phot.

Entry to a domed building off a courtyard, Algiers, Algeria. Title from item. No. 229(?).

Types Algériens. Un Arabe / ND.

Types Algériens. Un Arabe / ND.

Arab man, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing front, Algeria.

Rivers & Derious' combination circus! and Bedouin Arab troupe for a short time only, on lot cor. of New York Avenue and 6th Street, commencing Thursday, September 29, 1864 ... [Washington, D. C.] M. Polkinhorn & Son's steam job press. [1864].

Rivers & Derious' combination circus! and Bedouin Arab troupe for a sh...

Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. 6 duplicate copies Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 204, Folder 51b. Copy scanned: 2

Musée arabe - Salle des vases et ornements en pieces / Bonfils.

Musée arabe - Salle des vases et ornements en pieces / Bonfils.

Museum room with urns on floor and fragments of tablets on shelves, large lamp? hanging from ceiling. Title from item. No. 1366.

Village arabe au bord du Nil / Bonfils.

Village arabe au bord du Nil / Bonfils.

Palm trees, thatched roof huts, and villagers along the banks of the Nile River, Egypt.

Miss Alexandria Tinne, the celebrated African traveler, recently murdered by a party of Arabs [Miss Tinne seated, full lgth., (3); Black girl standing behind her]

Miss Alexandria Tinne, the celebrated African traveler, recently murde...

Title and other information transcribed from caption card. Illus. in: Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper, vol. 29, no. 738 (1869 Nov. 13), p. 149. Reference copy may be in BIOG FILE. Caption card tracings: Af... More

[Interior view of the Arap Camii (Mosque of the Arabs) ] / Abdullah Frères, Phot., Constantinople.

[Interior view of the Arap Camii (Mosque of the Arabs) ] / Abdullah Fr...

Title translated from album caption. Captioned in Ottoman Turkish and French. No. 2. No. 454. In album: Ayasofya Camii, Kariye Camii and other mosques, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire. Forms part of: Abdul-Hamid II Co... More

[Interior view of the Arap Camii (Mosque of the Arabs) ] / Abdullah Frères, Phot., Constantinople.

[Interior view of the Arap Camii (Mosque of the Arabs) ] / Abdullah Fr...

Title translated from album caption. Captioned in Ottoman Turkish and French. No. 1. No. 455. In album: Ayasofya Camii, Kariye Camii and other mosques, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire. Forms part of: Abdul-Hamid II Co... More

[Inside cover of portfolio, Bilder aus Mekka, showing bookplate with Arabic inscription]

[Inside cover of portfolio, Bilder aus Mekka, showing bookplate with A...

Title devised by Library staff. Translation of inscription on bookplate: This volume belongs to the library of the Office of Economic Research for the Far East at the Southern Manchuria Railroad Company. Inside... More

Juive Arabe / Dumas Ph.

Juive Arabe / Dumas Ph.

Jewish woman, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front. Title from item. No. 2016. Reproduction of painting? Asia. Natives (Turkey) Syria. Damascus. Arabian Jewess.

Arabe druse du Mont Liban / Dumas Ph.

Arabe druse du Mont Liban / Dumas Ph.

Young Druze woman, three-quarter length portrait, facing front, wearing tall headdress with veil. Title from item. No. 2080.

Arab

Arab

Head and shoulders of man, (3 - facing left - left side of face is most visible).

Arabia. Shiek's fortress in the desert [with group of Arabs posed.] (Alois Masil)

Arabia. Shiek's fortress in the desert [with group of Arabs posed.] (A...

Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. LOT subdivision subject: Arabia. Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection (Library of Congress). Caption card tracings: Geogr.; Fortresses.

Group of Arabs around well - Sinai (?)

Group of Arabs around well - Sinai (?)

May not be Egypt. Caption on lantern slide is: At the well, Siam. Not traditional Bedouin or Egyptian dress. Gift; William P. Meeker; 1971. Forms part of: Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942. World's Transportati... More

Group of Arabs around well - Sinai (?)

Group of Arabs around well - Sinai (?)

May not be Egypt; looks more like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, or Aden. Could also be Sudan. Gift; William P. Meeker; 1971. Forms part of: Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942. World's Transportation Commission ... More

Two Arabs with camels - Sinai (?)

Two Arabs with camels - Sinai (?)

May not be Egypt. Probably a European or American a left and Arab at right in red. Gift; William P. Meeker; 1971. Forms part of: Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942. World's Transportation Commission photograph c... More

An Arab farmer departing into Egypt

An Arab farmer departing into Egypt

Woman and child sit on burro with man standing on her right, another child on her left.

Arab Dahabeahs, upper Nile, Egypt

Arab Dahabeahs, upper Nile, Egypt

Photo shows sailboats (dhows) on the Nile River, Egypt. 44922-BB2 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. On mount: "Copyright 1896 by Underwood & Underwood."

The Arab's shibriyeh, a home on the desert, Egypt

The Arab's shibriyeh, a home on the desert, Egypt

Stereograph showing man leading a camel which has a tented litter on its back with two people inside. 44920-BB2 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. On mount: "Copyright by 1896 by Underwood & Underwood."

Arab girl
A street Arab /

A street Arab /

A preadolescent boy, dressed like a street urchin, performs acrobatic stunts for the camera. From a contemporary Edison Company catalog: A STREET ARAB. Umreichen [code for telegraphic orders]. Shows one of New ... More

Arabic school, learning the Koran, Egypt

Arabic school, learning the Koran, Egypt

41786 U.S. Copyright Office. No. 9715. Copyright by B.L. Singley.

[Arabs before a cafe, Algiers, Algeria]

[Arabs before a cafe, Algiers, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "6285". Forms part of: Views of people and sites in ... More

[Couscous sellers and an Arab cafe, Tunis, Tunisia]

[Couscous sellers and an Arab cafe, Tunis, Tunisia]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue F Scenic, Architectural and Marine Views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Co., 1899. Print no. "6297". Forms part of: Views of architecture and people in T... More

[Arabs disputing, Algiers, Algeria]

[Arabs disputing, Algiers, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "6286". Forms part of: Views of people and sites in ... More

[Arabs at a cafe, Algiers, Algeria]

[Arabs at a cafe, Algiers, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "6281". Photograph taken by Swiss photographer Arnol... More

[Arab school of embroidery, Algiers, Algeria]

[Arab school of embroidery, Algiers, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "6288". Forms part of: Views of people and sites in ... More

[Group of wandering Arabs, Tunis, Tunisia]

[Group of wandering Arabs, Tunis, Tunisia]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue F Scenic, Architectural and Marine Views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Co., 1899. Print no. "8494". Forms part of: Views of architecture and people in T... More

[Arab juggler, Algiers, Algeria]

[Arab juggler, Algiers, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "6257". Forms part of: Views of people and sites in ... More

[Arab market, Blidah, Algeria]

[Arab market, Blidah, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "6299". Forms part of: Views of people and sites in ... More

[Luce Ben Aben, School of Arab Embroidery, Algiers, Algeria]

[Luce Ben Aben, School of Arab Embroidery, Algiers, Algeria]

Title from the Detroit Photographic Co., catalogue F scenic, architectural, and marine views, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, c1899. Print no. "16426". Forms part of: Views of people and sites in... More

Library Of Congress

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