Why do you need to start learning Arabic?
The Arabic language is one of the oldest living languages on the face of the earth, researchers dispute the age of this language. The Arabic language used today can be dated back more than 1600 years. The Arabic language is the largest language of the Semitic group, it is also the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, as it is the mother tongue of more than 480 million people.
The Arabic language has been able to embrace and accommodate different contemporaneous civilizations; Arabic, Persian, Greek, and Indian. This fascinating mixture came up with a rich and unique civilization.
Arabic is the language of the Holy Qur’an, the sacred holy book of Islam. Under the Holy Qur’an, the Arabic language became a global language and the mother tongue of 22 countries located in the Middle East, the mother tongue of more than 480 million people, and the second or third language of hundreds of millions of Muslims all over the globe. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
The importance of Arabic is also evident in that it is the key to the Islamic and Arab culture, as it allows its learner to see how civilized and intellectual a nation has been on the throne of the world for several centuries and left a huge civilizational legacy in various arts and sciences over a period of 400 years.
The Arabic language is used as an official language in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, thus, it is considered a widely spread language. Many people all over the world are now striving to learn the Arabic language, not caring about the difficulty of learning it because they realize the importance of this language.
Arabic and Islam
The Arabic language prevailed in the Arabian peninsula hundreds of years before Islam. The Arabic heritage before Islam was quite rich and full of vivid multiplicity. The Arabic language is indeed the heritage of Muslims, both, Arabs and non-Arabs, it is a language rich and sophisticated in its vocabulary, expressions, and implied connotations.
Arabic is the language of Islam and the language in which the Noble Qur’an was revealed. The inimitability of Arabic is that it could contain the elevated meaning and purposes of the Noble Qur’an, as it is one of the most vivid and flowery languages in the world which make it fixable and valid across times and civilizations.
Many people became curious to understand the Islamic religion. There is no better way to understand and assimilate it than by learning the Arabic language until they clearly understand its teachings and rules. Therefore, if someone wants to understand Islam and Muslims properly, he/she must learn the language of their Holy Book.
Official Language of Science
During the Middle Ages or medieval period in the Western World, the Arabic and Islamic civilization was at its peak. Arts, literature, and sciences were prosperous and new inventions and great discoveries were very common. Various Muslim scholars have sought research and knowledge. Their research in the Arabic language has become a reference to which all languages sought to translate and copy.
During these ages, all Greek and Latin sciences were translated into Arabic and it became the official language of science after the decay of the Ancient Greek language. Later on, all Arabic texts were translated into Western languages in order to transmit old sciences, inventions, and discoveries to the West.
Surviving Over the Ages
Moreover, whoever desires to study and learn the culture of Muslims, he/she is in dire need of knowledge of the Arabic language, and he/she needs to delve into it until he/she reaches a level that allows them to absorb that vast and deep culture. Learning Arabic helps to understand the culture of the Arabs, their great literature, rich history, innovative sciences, vivid arts, and all other aspects of life.
The assimilation of the Arabic language into other languages and civilizations led to its fame. If we look at the level that the Arabic language has reached now, we find that it has been approved to be one of the six official languages of the United Nations, because of the Arabic language and its cultural and intellectual balance.
Arabic is a very flexible and adaptable language. It could cope with the rapid changes in the modern world, with all the new concepts and high-tech expressions coming up to the front. The Arabic language is characterized by eloquence and rhetoric richness. It could provide amazing equivalents, due to its richness in utilizations and derivations.
The Importance of the Arabic Language
The number of Arabic words is estimated at 12.3 million, compared to 600,000 words in the English language, about 135,000 in German, and fewer than 100,000 in French. The Arabic language contains 40 million original words without repetition and it has 28 letters, in addition to an unlimited number of derivations, inflections, feminine, dual, and scientific and technical vocabulary that would far outnumber the mentioned numbers.
Proficiency in the Arabic language is considered a necessary need for Arabs. When the Arabic language is mentioned, this does not mean dialects, but Standard Arabic, the primary language of the Arabs in general. It is preferable for a person to learn one or two foreign languages besides their own in order to enable them to communicate with the outside world and help them to understand other cultures and draw from them.
The Arabic language occupies great importance to Muslims. It is the language of the sources of Islamic legislation; the Qur’an and Prophet Mohammed’s Traditions. It is also worth mentioning that it is not permissible to pray in Islam without mastering it, as prayers are only executed in Arabic. Hence, in non-Arabic Islamic nations, such as Turkish, Persian, and Urdu, the Arabic language has gained importance.
The Arabic language is characterized by eloquence and rhetoric richness, which is the reason why the Holy Qur’an was revealed with it. For example, the word sword in the Persian language is limited to one meaning, while in the Arabic language there are several meanings indicating it. The habit of speaking the Arabic language affects the mind, morals, and religion. The Arabic language is a source of pride for the nation, and it is a fundamental component of the Islamic nation.
The Importance of the Arabic Language for Non-native Speakers
The Arabic language occupies fourth place as the most widespread language in the world, as it is spoken by nearly 280 million people. Learning Arabic for non-native speakers will be a feature of distinction and intelligence, as there are few who master it in Western countries.
Arabic is of paramount importance due to the strategic importance of the Arab region, which opens the person’s prospects for work and obtaining a job. Reading the original texts of Arabic literature as a book of tales of a thousand nights and days. Visiting Middle Eastern countries will be easier when one learns Arabic. Learning the Arabic language makes it easier to learn other languages such as Persian and Turkish which share their linguistic roots with Arabic.
Advantages and Characteristics of Arabic
The Arabic language is an immortal language, and it will never go extinct with the passage of time, according to a study by the University of Birmingham conducted to research the survival of languages or not in the future. These characteristics are as follows:
Eloquence: it is that speech is free from dissonance in words, weakness of composition, and verbal complexity.
Synonymy: it is the number of words indicating the same intended meaning.
Sounds and their significance for meanings: which means that the meaning of the word is understood in general or precisely through the sound only, and this is one of the most important features of the Arabic language that distinguishes it from all other languages.
Vocabulary abundance: the Arabic language abounds with a very large number of vocabulary, and no other language contains a number more or equal to the number contained in Arabic.
The science of arithmetic: it is the science that organizes the rhythms of poetry and its poetic meters, and sets the main rules for writing poetry, which made Arabic poetry the most eloquent and rhetoric as a result of following specific rhythms and main rules.
Free stability: one of the biggest challenges faced by Arabic is its stability and victory over time and evolution, while other languages such as English have evolved and differed greatly over time.
Attenuation: It is that most of the vocabulary in the Arabic language has a triple origin, then comes the quaternary origin, then the pentagram, respectively, due to its large spread in the origins of Arabic vocabulary.
Arabic is the Language of Innovation and Renovation
The Arabic language is characterized by its ability to adapt and its creativity in various sciences, such as engineering, algebra, medicine, arts, and scientific experiments, in addition to the creativity it has reached in the fields of literature and authorship, where various scholars were able to write several books in different arts.
The Arabic language is the language of a great culture, science, and an essential means of communication in the modern era. There are Syrian universities that adopt the Arabic language in all their faculties, including the Faculties of Medicine.
The Importance of Studying Arabic Literature
Arabic literature is one of the branches of the Arabic language, and it is noted that the study of Arabic literature is the study of language, grammar, morphology, rhetoric, and discourse. The science that organizes the rhythms of poetry and its poetic meters, and sets the main rules for writing poetry, which made Arabic poetry the most eloquent and rhetoric as a result of following specific rhythms and main rules. In addition to its rich heritage in prose and ancient storytelling.
The Heritage of the Arabic Language
The importance of the Arabic language is that it is the oldest language that is still characterized by the characteristics of its structures, morphology, grammar, literature, and imagination. In addition to the ability of the Arabic language to express the various aspects of science, it is the mother of the group of Arabic languages that originated in the Arabian Peninsula, such as Himyarite, Babylonian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Abyssinian. It is one of the Semitic languages, which go back to the sons of Noah.
Main Arab Identity
The Arabic language is one of the most important components of Arab identity, as it has worked for a long time to transmit the history and culture of Arab civilizations through time. It is considered one of the most important factors that preserved the unification of the Arab nation from the ocean to the Gulf.
It also contributed in preserving the history of the Arabs since the pre-Islamic era, including their complete history, heroism, and poetry, in addition to the final miracle of the revelation of the Noble Qur’an, which gave it sanctity and divine providence. It has transformed from a language specific to the tribes of the desert to the language of an Islamic nation that led civilization for successive centuries.
The Difficulty of the Arabic Language
The Arabic language contains a huge set of syntax, synonyms, and antonyms. It is one of the richest languages in the world, but this does not make it difficult or impossible to learn, but to fully master it, those who want to learn it must make more effort and time to train and master it.
Learning it will not happen in a month or a year, it will take you a much longer time and it would be great if the learner visited an Arab country, befriended people who spoke the Arabic language, and practised speaking it most of the time. This is one of the best ways to learn the Arabic language.
The Basics of Learning Arabic
- Paying attention to the sound system of the Arabic language, and focusing on displaying letters during education and on the different letter forms according to their presence in the sentence. The Arabic language has many sounds that are not found in other languages. Non-Arabic speakers will find it difficult to pronounce them correctly.
- Choosing the most common and widespread words and presenting new words in examples to indicate the situations in which they are used, in order to make it easier for the learner to memorize and understand the meanings of the words and benefit from them.
- Linking new words and vocabulary to the experiences and daily life of the learner, in order to speed up and facilitate the process of learning the Arabic language.
- Introducing punctuation marks and their uses, and despite the similarity of some punctuation marks and their use in different languages, it is necessary to explain them and explain their meanings in the Arabic language because of their importance in giving the correct meaning of the text.
- The process of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers must be rich in multiple and different topics, such as historical, cultural, literary, political, and economic topics.
- Using audio-visual aids such as videos, audio clips, and pictures to bring the word and meaning closer to the learner’s understanding.
- Relying on the principle of gradualism in teaching the Arabic language and dividing the educational process into levels commensurate with the learner and his goal.
- Taking into account the gradation in education from the easiest to the most difficult, and also starting with oral education before writing, this enhances the learner’s self-confidence and motivates him to continue learning.