Arabic has many core features that stand out. This is because it comes from a different language family than most popular languages today.
The concept of a language family sorts every tongue of the world by its origin. Languages in the same family have core similarities, while others are more different.
Studying any foreign language is a beautiful exploration of another culture and people…. but learning a language from a different family grows the mind even more. It challenges fundamental views about language and thought that we take for granted.
Arabic belongs to the 4th major language family of the world, Afro-Asiatic, and is the most popular language in it. So unless you speak a language also from this family, Arabic will be home to many surprises which we will explore together, by God’s mercy.
And of course, Arabic is the language of Islam and so deserves even more attention, time and effort. It is the language in which God sent the Quran to us—we must explore and reflect upon every part of it to find seas of meanings within.
We will explore aspects of this blessed language with fresh eyes, reflecting on things small and big to uncover wisdom in unexpected places. This is the blessing of the non-native!
Before learning a single word of Arabic, there are many features of Arabic that already stand out:
Having examined many features of Arabic at a surface level, we can engage closer with two of the systems that make up the core of this amazing language: