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Understanding Arabs, Fifth Edition: A Contemporary Guide to Arab Society by Margaret Nydell

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CHAPTER 10COMMUNICATING WITH ARABS

This chapter is about how speech is used in the Arab culture, and it contains basic information about the Arabic language. Though you may never learn Arabic, you will need to know something about the language and how it is used. Arabic is the native language of 360 million people and the official language of some twenty countries. In 1973 it was named the fourth official language of the United Nations,* and it is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world.

Arabic originated in the Arabian Peninsula as one of the northern Semitic languages. The only other Semitic languages still in wide use today are Hebrew (revived as a spoken language a century ago) and Amharic (Ethiopian), which is from the southern ...

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