Since time immemorial, language has been an indispensable tool facilitating the exchange of ideas and enabling their execution, implementation, and successful accomplishment. With the dawn of civilization, human beings formulated languages specific to geographical areas. However, over time, these languages evolved, and, in the process, some spread while others became extinct. In the present day, such a diversity of languages exists that according to an estimate, there are about 7,117 known languages in the world. In such a vast ocean, there are some languages hard to learn, while others are relatively easy. One of the most intriguing languages that trace its origin to as far back as the 1st century CE is the Arabic language. Here’s exploring more of this fascinating language – one of the most widely-spoken languages on the planet.
Arabic: Some facts about this rich language which is equally tough to learn
If someone were to prepare a list of the world’s hardest languages to learn and rate those languages by difficulty, Arabic would probably feature amongst the top ones, second only to Mandarin. The vastness of Arabic reflects not only in its vocabulary, but also in the number of speakers worldwide. With an estimated 300 million speakers across the globe, Arabic rules the geographical areas of the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, and North Africa. Here are some interesting facts about Arabic you probably didn’t know:
- Arabic is the 6th official language of the United Nations.
- It is also the official language of 26 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, etc.
- It features 28 script letters and follows an uncommon writing style – from right to left.
- Arabic is known for its tough pronunciations and lack of vowels.
- For the word ‘camel’, there are more than 200 synonyms in the Arabic language.
Why is Arabic one of the toughest languages to learn?
If you are still wondering what makes Arabic feature in the list of hard languages to learn, here are some of the key reasons:
- The language family tree – The way languages are related to each other is often depicted by the family they belong to. For example, English and Spanish belong to the Indo-European family of languages and are therefore related (an English speaker can easily pick up Spanish and reach a conversational level within a few months).
Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic primary family, but already knowing an Afro-Asiatic language doesn’t help much since Arabic is the only member of its little subfamily. Briefly put, Arabic is quite isolated; not even close to some of its closest relatives.
- The cursive script – Arabic is read and written only in a cursive script. This makes it confusing for learners who don’t use similar cursives in their daily lives (which most of us don’t) as the shapes of many Arabic letters change depending on their position in each word.
- Phonetics – Arabic has many sounds that don’t exist in many other languages, which often makes the pronunciations of words tough to handle.
Keeping the language alive
The queen of poetic languages, Arabic can help you delve into some of the best literary works and historical writings. Although hard to learn because of its huge vocabulary, numerous dialects, right-to-left writing style, and tough pronunciations, Arabic has inspired many Western languages of the day. This makes it obligatory for language enthusiasts and knowers of this rich language to keep it alive and flowing.