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languages semitic

Arabic, one of the Semitic languages. The Arabic alphabet comprises 28 consonants, vowels being expressed either by positioned points or, in some cases, by insertion of the letters alif, waw, and ya where they would not otherwise occur, thereby representing the long a, u, and i respectively. Arabic is written from right to left. Classical Arabic, the language of the Koran, is used occasionally in writing, rarely in speech; a standardized modern Arabic is used in newspapers. Arabic played a large part in the dissemination of knowledge through medieval Europe because many ancient Greek and Roman texts were available solely in Arabic translation.

See also: Semitic languages.

Arabic numerals [next] [back] Arabian Sea

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