Why learn Arabic?
Are you considering learning Arabic? But you are not sure why it might be beneficial? Here are few true and solid reasons why Arabic might be an excellent choice for you.
1. Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world.
Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries and there are well over 200 million native speakers of the language. It is alsoone of the six official languages of the United Nations.
2. There is a high demand and low supply of Arabic-speakers in Asia and the world.
With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, tourism, foreign service and intelligence, and many others.
3. Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam.
Many more millions know Arabic as a foreign language, since as the language of the Qu'ran, it is understood by Muslims throughout the world.
4. Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade.
The Arab region with its rapidly growing population provides a huge export market for goods and services. With a GDP of over 600 billion dollars annually, the region also has much to offer the world market. In order to do business effectively, one must understand the language and culture of the people with whom one hopes to negotiate and conduct trade.
5. Arabic-speaking peoples have made significant contributions to world civilization.
Arabs contributed a great deal to the advancement of science, medicine, and philosophy. Much learning from the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine cultures was preserved for the world through the Arab libraries. Arabs have also made significant contributions in such areas as literature, mathematics, navigation, astrology, and architecture. A knowledge of Arabic enables the exploration of this vast body of knowledge in their original language.
6. The Arabic-speaking world has a rich cultural heritage.
The Arab world has its own unique art, music, literature, cuisine, and way of life. Many people know about belly dance, perhaps have read 1001 Nights, and may have tried some popular Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus or falafel, but such exposure to the Arab way of life is generally limited. In exploring the Arabic world, you will learn to appreciate its distinct cultural products and practices and you will come to understand some of the values important to the Arabic people, such as honor, dignity, and hospitality.
7. Knowing Arabic can promote intercultural understanding.
In addition to having limited exposure to real Arabic culture, We are presented with one-dimensional negative stereotypes of Arabic-speaking peoples through the news media, Hollywood films, and other sources. At the same time, events in the Middle East affect our daily lives. Reliance on such false and superficial images can lead to mistrust and miscommunication. Those who learn Arabic gain deeper insights into the cultural, political, and religious values that motivate people in those cultures.
8. Arabic influence is evident in many other languages.
The export of concepts, products, and cultural practices from Arabic-speaking peoples is evident in the vocabulary that Arabic has lent other languages. Algebra was invented by Arab mathematicians in medieval times. Such staple products as coffee and cotton came from the Arab world, as well as jasmine, lemon, sorbet and safari.
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