The Arabic Language: More Than Just Squiggles!

An English friend of mine often refers to Arabic writing as “squiggles”. She asks me how to pronounce a word and then demands “Show me how it looks in squiggles!”

She finds Arabic writing fascinating because it is so different from the Latin Alphabet that English uses. For a start, we write right to left. Each letter has 4 shape. The shape depends on where in the word the letter is placed, so the letter will look different if it as the start, the middle or the end of a word, or if the letter is used on its own.  There are 28 letters in all – and many sound very different to the sounds found in English.

Arabic is over 1000 years old and spoken by around 422 million speakers. It is the official language of 22 countries across North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. It is the language used in the Islamic holy book, the Qu’ran. Unlike English, which is a hybrid language made up from Old Germanic languages (such as Anglo Saxon and Old Norse), Latin, Greek and French; Arabic has barely changed over the centuries. An Arabic speaker from 1000 years ago would be able to understand a modern speaker. English was very different a thousand years ago (Click here to listen to poem written in Old English and see how many words you recognise!)

The Middle East is seen as an up and coming region for business. It is beneficial to be able to use Arabic in these areas. Of course, learning any foreign language is a long process and it is quicker and easier to use a reliable translator.  Even if you are fluent in Arabic, as a non native speaker, you may like the benefit of somebody proofreading any texts that you have written. The is where Mr Arabic can help.

Please feel free to contact us with any queries you have about  professional translation or proofreading of your documents.