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Why Study Arabic?. Arabic is... One of the six official languages of the UN. Spoken by some 250 million people. The principal language in 22 countries

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  • Why Study Arabic?

  • Arabic is... One of the six official languages of the UN.Spoken by some 250 million people.The principal language in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East...

  • the Language of the League of Arab States

  • Arabic is ranked #4 among the most widely spoken languages in the world.Chinese Mandarin885 millionSpanish332English322Arabic235

  • By 2050, Arabic speakers could outnumber those in English worldwide!

  • the Language of IslamArabic is the language of Scripture and prayer for 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide.That includes approximately six million Muslims in the US!

  • a Language for ChristiansArabic is also the language of Scripture and prayer for some 30 million Christians in Africa and the Middle East.

  • for Arab-Americans Arabic is the mother tongue of some three million people of Arab origin living in the US.

  • the fastest-growing spoken language of study at U.S. colleges and universities.

  • A survey of the Modern Language Association indicated that the number of students studying Arabic at U.S. colleges climbed 92.3% - to 10,584 between 1998 and 2002. The number of undergraduate campuses teaching Arabic jumped 48%, to 233.

  • Arabic LiteratureThere is a vast body of Arabic literature, both secular and sacred.

  • In 1988, Egypts Naguib Mahfouz became the first Arab-language author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

  • Business Interests & International Trade According to the International Trade Commission, in 2007 US exports to the Middle East & North Africa World reached $55.6 billion!And US imports reached $102 billion!

  • International AffairsDiplomatic relations with the Arab world are an important aspect of US foreign policy.

  • From Arabic to SpanishArabic words have made their way into many European languages.Some 4,000 words in Spanish, mostly nouns, were borrowed from ArabicAceite, Alfombra, Algodon, Arroz, etc.

  • From Arabic to Spanish to EnglishFrom Spanish, many Arabic words passed into other languages, including English:admiral, alcohol, algebra, algorithm, almanaccandy, chemistry, coffee, cotton, crimsonmagazine, mascara, mattress, mochasafari, sequin, sherbet, sofa, syrupzenith and zero

  • Arabic Script A number of other languages use or have used a version of the Arabic script. These include:Persian or Farsi (Iran)Pashto (Afghanistan, Iran, India)Urdu (India & Pakistan)Formerly Turkish

  • The Classification & History of Arabic

  • The Classification of ArabicArabic is a Semitic languageIt is related to languages such as: Akkadian (ancient Mesopotamian language) Hebrew & Aramaic Ethiopic

  • Semitic Languages

  • Map of SemiticLanguages

  • The History of Arabic Evidence for written Arabic before the advent of Islam is quite limited.The first inscription in a language recognized as Arabic dates from 328 CE.Arabic script is probably derived from a cursive form of Nabataean, which is itself derived from Aramaic.

  • The Origins of Arabic Script

  • Some Basic Features of ArabicAn alphabet of 28 lettersWritten from right to leftThree long & three short vowels (a, i, u) Short vowels are not normally written except in:The Quran, Bible, childrens books, dictionaries, etc.

  • Root and pattern system Most verbs and nouns are derived from a 3-letter root For example from the root D R S come: Darasato studyDarrasato teachDarslesson, classMadrasaschoolMudarristeacher

  • Varieties of ArabicClassical, Modern Standard & Colloquial

  • Classical ArabicThe Quran represents the greatest example of Classical Arabic and set the standard for the language for centuries.

  • DiglossiaModern Arabic is characterized by what is called diglossia. This means that modern Arabic virtually comprises two languages: Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic.

  • Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)Modern Standard Arabic (fus-Ha) is derived from Classical Arabic and was developed in the late 19th-early 20th centuries:To guard the integrity of the Arabic language and preserve it from foreign influencesTo adapt the Arabic language to the needs of modern times, especially to express modern political ideas and technological termsTo unite the Arab world under a common language

  • Modern Standard Arabic MSA is used for:Print & electronic mediaFormal speechesTV and radio news

  • Colloquial Arabic (CA) CA is the first language of Arabic-speakers.Its the everyday dialect.CA is the ONLY language for many people.

  • Colloquial Arabic is the mother tongue of the Arab & remains throughout his life the primary medium of interpersonal relationships.Mary Catherine Bateson, Arabic Language Handbook (2003)

  • Colloquial ArabicThere are over 30 varieties of CA in 5 groups:North African (Morocco-Libya)Egyptian (Egypt & the Sudan)Levantine (Palestine, Leb., Syr. & Jordan)Arabian (Saudi Arabia & the Gulf States)Iraqi

  • They vary tremendously in grammar, vocabulary & pronunciation, even within a single country!

  • How are you?In Syria, someone may ask: shlonak?In Egypt, you will hear:izzayak? In Morocco:kee deir?

  • Differences may be so great, speakers from two different Arab countries may have to resort to MSA or another language (usually English or French) in order to communicate.

  • There can be no doubt that those who want to have a real command of the Arabic language in all situations need to master both varieties.Woidich, Kulla Tamam! (2004)

  • The Goals of the Arabic Program at St. Bonaventure University

  • To introduce students to MSA for:Reading signs, books, newspapers, etc.Writingcorrespondence, completing forms, etc.Speaking & ListeningFormal addresses, news broadcasts, etc.

  • Introduce students to Colloquial Arabic for:everyday communication & conversation

  • But which colloquial?

    Primarily Egyptian ColloquialWhy? Its the most widely understood Colloquial Arabic due to Egyptian TV and movies broadcast throughout the Arab world.

  • However, through the Institute of International Education (IIE), teaching assistants from the Arab world introduce students to other varieties of Colloquial Arab such as Lebanese and Moroccan Arabic.

  • Its time to begin your journey to the Arabic-speaking world!

  • Or as we say in Arabic...Ahlan wa sahlanWELCOME!