Language of the Month: Arabic

Friday 22 November, 2013

Arabic is a language that is rich in history and culture, but also one that is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. As the Middle East opens its doors to foreign investors and traders, so we are learning more about this vast language and its place in the world.

Arabic’s history

Arabic is believed to be one of the oldest languages still in existence, with its roots dating back to the sixth century. It has a long documented history, with thousands of Arabic texts having been found from centuries past. Through these texts, we can track the evolution of the language from its predecessor Musnad, to the modern Arabic that’s spoken today.

The language has also played a huge role in preserving and documenting important historic events, cultures and scientific breakthroughs.

Much of the knowledge passed down from the Greeks and Romans was stored in documents and books housed in Arab libraries, and this information made important contributions towards our understanding of literature, astrology, navigation and mathematics.

Written and spoken Arabic

Arabic is spoken by over 260 million people all over the world, but is mainly used in the Middle East. It’s the official language of 26 countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. There are hundreds of dialects of Arabic, but the official language is known as ‘Modern Standard Arabic’ which is used in most written documents and business meetings.

Arabic is written in an abjad script which goes from right to left. Even if you know basic Arabic, this can make translating writings tricky, which is why it is always important to use an Arabic documents translation service when translating official documents.

Arabic’s place in world-language 

While it’s completely unlike any European language, Arabic has still influenced many of them, including English. During the middle ages, Arabic was used to communicate ideas about science and philosophy throughout Europe, which led to many languages adopting words from its vocabulary. This can particularly be seen in Romance languages like Spanish and Portuguese.

English also has a lot of Arabic loanwords, including words like ‘alcohol’, ‘sofa’ and ‘magazine’. Some Muslims even believe that Arabic is the mother of all languages, being the first language taught to Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Arabic in the modern world. 

As Middle Eastern countries have opened up to international trade, so it is becoming an increasingly important language for businesses who are trying to break into foreign markets. They have become leaders in a number of industries including oil, finance and travel.

Most business dealings in the Middle East are conducted in Arabic, so it’s crucial to have a translation services agency who are fluent in the language with you for meetings or interviews. Relationships are very important in the Arab culture and all too many business deals have gone South because of lack of proper understanding.

If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you need business or legal translation services in Arabic, Romo Translations provides superior translation and interpretation by mother-tongue translators who are trained in a range of professional areas. Contact us to learn more about our services and what we can offer you.

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