World Arabic Language Day
Today, December 18th, is designated as World Arabic Language Day by UNESCO. On December 18, 2010, UNESCO began to honor the role of the Arabic language around the world. It also coincides with the date that Arabic became one of the six official languages of the United Nations (December 18, 1973). This year, the theme is Arabic Language and Artificial Intelligence.
Currently, nearly 300 million people speak and use the Arabic language. These include those who use the formal variety as well as the various dialects. The language is a rich one known for its depth and its use in areas such as literature, poetry, songs, science, and philosophy. Arabic speakers in the past also translated many works from ancient Greece and Rome. Eventually, they spread these works throughout Europe via Spain. In addition, Arabic words have crossed over into other languages such as English and Spanish. Some loan words from Arabic include sugar (which comes from al-sukkar), alcohol (which comes from al-kuhl), and algebra (which comes from al-jabr).
To learn more, check out UNESCO’s page dedicated to this day. Are you a speaker of Arabic? Are you a learner of the Arabic language? If so, happy World Arabic Language Day to you.