Arabic Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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More and more Western people and travellers are learning Arabic as they travel to the Middle East for business or tourism. Arabic is spoken by almost 200 million people in more than twenty-two countries, from Morocco to Iraq, and as far south as Somalia and the Sudan. As the language of Quran, the Holy book of Islam, it is taught as a first language in Muslim states throughout the world. Arabic Language originated in Saudi Arabia in pre-Islamic times, and spread rapidly across the Middle East.

The languages of northern India, Turkey, Iran, Portugal, and Spain are full of words of Arabic origin. Modern Arabic varies a good deal from country to country, differing as much as say, Spanish and Portuguese. However, the classical written Arabic has changed little over the centuries. The Sandford Language Institute runs Arabic classes.

The Middle East is the region which gave birth to the arts and science, the alphabet and writing having been developed in Messopotamia or present-day Iraq. The region is also the birthplace of three great religions of the World – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Of the many peoples living in the Middle East, most of them practice Islam. However, not all Muslims are Arabs. Persians, and Turks are non-Arab Muslims. Malaysia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world and its not Arabic – it’s situated in South East Asia.

Neither does the word Arabic designate a member of a particular religion. It is applied to Muslim and Christians who speak Arabic language and identify themselves with the Arab way of life. Arab culture has had many influences, the wandering Bedouin people and Islam being two of the more obvious. Today’s Arab world, from Cairo to Amman, Gazza to Mecca, remains as exotic and fascinating as ever.

Arabic, like Russian, is one of those eternally useful languages and capability in the tongue will be a hefty addition to any CV. Worldwide commerce needs people with proficiency in a language spoken by so many – so you’ll get a job out of it.

Now, to get you started, here’s a compilation of useful phrases, expressions, and words that this writer has learned from back-packing travels in the Middle East. You might notice that most of the sounds of Arabic are similar to sounds found in many European languages.

What is your name
ma ismok

Nice to meet you



Good Morning
sabah al-hayri

How are you
kayfa haluk


Thank you

Frank Bolger

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