Why study Arabic
Students who study Arabic (Modern Standard) can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others. There is a high demand for Arabic speakers in the western world but, unfortunately, there is a shortage of people with knowledge of Arabic language and culture.
Arabic is the official language of more than 20 countries and worldwide there are well over 300 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. Modern Standard Arabic is also an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union. Arabic is also one of the most beautiful written languages in the world.
The Arabic language
Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family. This language evolved over many thousands of years, originating in the Mediterranean basin, primarily the Tigris-Euphrates river basin region and coastal area of the Levant, also known as the Eastern Mediterranean. Arabic was adopted as a scriptural medium for Islam and was utilised as the sole language for governmental business by the Umayyad caliphs in 697 CE. During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy, resulting in many European languages borrowing numerous words from it. Arabic influence is seen in Mediterranean languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Sicilian and Maltese.
Areas of study:
* Introductions, greetings, leave-taking etc
* Giving personal details such as address, phone/fax number, occupation
* Small talk, weather, health etc
* Basic telephone skills, ordering food and drinks
* Catching a taxi and using public transport
* Asking for and understanding directions
* Prices, quantification, booking a hotel
* Inviting guests home, dates, months etc
* General knowledge of common practices and customs
* The etiquette of social and formal functions
* Cross-cultural awareness skills