December 18 – Arabic Language Day

Posted on December 18, 2014

Written Arabic is just lovely!

On this date in 1973, the Arabic language was adopted as one of the official working languages of the United Nations.

There are six “official working” languages adopted by the United Nations. At the bottom of this article, I will reveal the other five. Try to guess what they are ahead of time!

Arabic is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world. There are around 290 million native Arabic speakers, which puts Arabic as #6, behind Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi, and Bengali. If you include all the people who speak it as their second language, there are about 420 million Arabic speakers. Also, there are more than a billion Muslims for whom Arabic is the language of their holy book, the Koran (Quran).

A man named Sibawayh is considered one of the builders of the Arab culture; he wrote a grammar book in which he reported and organized the grammatical rules of the language. People celebrating Arabic Language Day could learn more about Sibawayh, or they could study up on the language he codified.

Since Arab scholars were so important to Europeans, back in the 8th through 13th Centuries, English has a lot of words that come from the Arabic. Also, English often adopts words for clothing items, foods, and animals from the languages of the places where those items are used or seen. 
Some of the words used in English that originated in Arabic include:
  • admiral
  • adobe
  • Arabic calligraphy is ESPEICALLY
    lovely. Check out the picture made
    from calligraphy:
  • alchemy and chemistry
  • alcohol
  • alfalfa

(Many, many words that start with the letters “A-L” come from Arabic, because al means “the” in Arabic).
  • apricot
  • artichoke
  • candy
  • check
  • decipher and cipher
  • elixir
  • gauze
  • ghoul
  • giraffe
  • harem
  • hummus
  • jar
  • jasmine
  • lacquer
  • lemon
  • lime
  • lute
  • macrame
  • magazine
  • monsoon
  • muslin
  • nadir
  • orange
  • ream
  • rook (in chess)
  • safflower
  • safari
  • sofa
  • sugar
  • sultan
  • syrup
  • talc
  • tangerine
  • tuna
  • typhoon
  • zenith
  • zero
The six official working languages of the United Nations are English, Spanish, Mandarin (Chinese), Russian, French...and of course Arabic.

Also on this date:

National Day in Qatar  

Particle Party! 

Anniversary of the first panda in the U.S.

Plan ahead:

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