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Sunday, 14 August 2011


Classical Arabic originated in the sixth century, but earlier versions of the language existed. These include the Safaitic dialect, an old Arabic dialect used by the pre-Islamic nomadic inhabitants of the Syro-Arabian desert, which dates back to the first century.

     Al-Ê¿Arabiyyah in written Arabic (Naskh script)

Venetian printers Paganino and Alessandro Paganini produced the first printed edition of the Quran in Arabic on August 9, 1537.  It contained many errors and few copies survive.

The Paganinis' Quran was probably intended for export to the Ottoman Empire, but many Muslims were resistant to printed versions given the importance of calligraphy to the manuscript.

December 18th was designated by the United Nations in 2010 as Arabic Language Day, as that was the day in 1973 when the General Assembly approved Arabic as an official U.N. Language.

Around 250 million people use Arabic for their first language. It is the fifth most spoken language in the world behind Mandarin, Spanish, English and Hindi respectively.

The word 'mascara' originally comes from the Arabic 'maskharat', meaning 'buffoon' or 'anything ridiculous'.

Some other English words that can be traced to Arabic are: assassin, sugar, cotton, magazine, algebra and alcohol.

 "Shiek" means "old man" in Arabic.

The arabic name for a hamster directly translates as "Mr Saddlebags."

When The Simpsons is broadcast in Arabic due to Islamic customs, Homer drinks soda instead of beer.

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