How different is Arabic in different regions of the world?
Arabic is the official language of the 22 countries which form the Arab League. It’s the native language of over 200m people residing in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia, also known as the Arab World. Arabic is also the language of the Koran, and used by over a billion Muslims around the world.
The formal Arabic language, known as Classical Arabic is the language in which the Korean is written. It remains widely used by religious scholars but is considered more of a written language than a spoken one today.
Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA, is the official modern language of the Arab world and is derived from the Koran. It is understood across the Arab world and widely taught in schools and universities throughout Arab speaking countries. It is also used in workplaces, government, and the media throughout the Arab World.
Despite this, there are many different dialects spoken. The mutual intelligibility of Arabic dialects loosely corresponds with geography, dialects that are physically close to each other are more mutually intelligible, dialects that are geographically distant from each other are less mutually intelligible. For example, Sudanese Arabic and Egyptian Arabic are so similar a language learner might not initially notice a difference, but Iraqi Arabic and Moroccan Arabic are completely unintelligible to each other.
|Dialect||Areas Spoken||Number of Speakers|
|Gulf||Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE||36,056,000|
|Hassaniya||Mauritania, Southern Morocco, South western Algeria, Western Sahara||3,000,000|
|Levantine||Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria||21,000,000|
|Maghrebi||Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia||70,000,000|
|Mesopotamian/Iraqi||Iraq, Eastern Syria||35,000,000|
|Sudanese||Sudan, Southern Egypt||40,000,000|
|Yemeni||Yemen, Somalia, Djibouti, Southern Saudi Arabia||15,000,000|