Arabic language factsheet

Written on 1 January, 2021


There are around 422 million Arabic speakers, making it one of the five most spoken languages in the world.

Arabic is a Semitic language that first came about in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is named after the Arabs, a term usually used to describe people who live in the Arabian Peninsula.

Five interesting facts about Arabic:

1. Arabic is an official language in 26 countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, to name but a few.

2. Arabic has influenced a lot of languages. Even English has many Arabic loanwords such as alcohol, algebra, cotton, giraffe, magazine and sugar.

3. Arabic has no capital letters, they instead use quotation marks for emphasis instead of capital letters.

4. Arabic has sounds that don’t exist in other languages making it difficult for some non-native speakers to pronounce words in Arabic.

5. Arabic words are written from right to left but Arabic numbers are written from left to right.

If you would like to work with a professional translation agency for the translation of your documents from Arabic to English or English to Arabic, please do get in touch with the award-winning team at Surrey Translation Bureau.

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