Top 7 similarities between English and Arabic
English is a West Germanic language that emerged as the Lingua Franca of the twenty-first century after being initially spoken in mediaeval England. It is named after the Angles, an ancient Germanic people that came to a territory of Great Britain that was eventually named after them, England. Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea, is the source of both names. While English is most closely linked to Frisian and Low Saxon (thanks to Anglo-Saxon invaders in the 5th and 7th centuries), its vocabulary has been impacted by other Germanic languages, particularly Old Norse (a North Germanic language used mostly by Vikings), Latin, and French.
Arabic, on the other hand, comes from a family of languages known as Semitic languages. It was created sometime between the first and fourth centuries. Old Arabic likely developed in what is today known as Saudi Arabia. With time, Arabic began to evolve. The Quran is written in classical Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic emerged as a result.
When it comes to classifying the similarities and differences between English and Arabic, the differences far outweigh the similarities. To be rightfully honest, this makes sense. These languages both originated in different parts of the world and, therefore, had few connections with their inception. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t any relationship between the two. After all, Arabic has contributed to the English language. In addition, both languages are a form of communication utilized by millions of people around the world.
Most historians agree that between the 5th and 7th centuries, Anglo-Saxon settlers brought over one of their Anglo-Frisian dialects. This dialect would become known as old-English. The language takes influence from some of the Northern Germanic languages, predominantly spoken by the Vikings. The most recognizable words and phrases that current English speakers use comes from Modern English which came to be around the Shakespeare era. Moreover, it borrowed many phrases from other romance languages. This is why it is much easier for those knowledgeable in romance languages to learn English at a quicker pace.
Arabic, on the other hand, originates from a group of languages called the Semitic languages. It actually first formed sometime between the 1st and 4th centuries. Old Arabic, most likely came to fruition in what is now known as Saudi Arabia. Arabic began to develop as time went on. Classical Arabic is what the Quran contains. Eventually, Modern Standard Arabic developed.
Arabic, according to the Foreign Service Institute, is a level V language. Level V languages are the hardest out of all the language difficulty groups for an English speaker to learn. English speakers have a larger mountain to climb when it comes to the forms. Firstly, Arabic has three forms. These are Classical, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and Dialectal. A silver lining is that Classical Arabic is no longer spoken. It is mainly used for religious purposes as it is the language of the Quran. Modern Standard Arabic is where Dialectal Arabic originates from. Many students who learn Arabic practice MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) in order to familiarize themselves.
English, compared to Arabic is easier to learn in regard to the forms. Similar to most parts fo the world, every English-speaking region has its own jargon or dialect. The standard form of English or King’s English is where the dialects originate from. The sentence structure is almost always the same. Reading, writing, and speaking are all done the same with no variation in form.
Arabic has a total of 28 letters. Unlike English, the letters are always pronounced the same; this slightly decreases the difficulty. The script is written from right to left. Arabic tends not to use short vowels; there are only three. In addition, capitalization is not a factor. Probably the most difficult aspect of the Arabic alphabet is the susceptibly to change. In Arabic, letters alter their looks depending on their location in a word. Some of the changes are drastic too which is why constant practice is very key to grasping the language.
English utilizes 26 letters. Six of those letters are vowels; the letter “Y” tends to be less common. English is written from left to right. Unfortunately for English learners, the English alphabet is very dynamic in the way it is pronounced. For example, the words “through” and “though” both have the exact same endings, but they are spoken differently. Worst of all, there is no way to predict this sound mutation. Memorization is the only way to truly learn.
Arabic is similar to many other languages as it assigns words to a gender. A word for a friend can have a completely different pronunciation depending on whether that person is a male or a female. Arabic verbs also always begin as infinitives and then change depending on the context. The language has a lot more personal pronouns that alter the infinitive compared to English. Arabic employs a dual case meant to describe only two people. The most important aspect to remember is that Arabic does not use a present “to be”.
English does not assign gender to words. You can certainly add the word male or female before the word friend, but friend still stays the same. English words have infinitives, however, the verb stays the same except for the singular third-person case. You add an “s” to the end of the verb in that case. English does use the verb “to be”.
Arabic and English share a surprisingly large number of cognates, atleast over 230!
Balloon بالون balun
Dynamite ديناميت dinamit
Email ايميل aymil
Fahrenheit فهرنهايت fahrnihayt
Jeans جينز Jinz
Various verb tenses, as well as irregularities in English, are not present in Arabic. The language does not have a present tense conjugation of the verb to be. Likewise, Arabic does not have a present perfect tense conjugation.
In Arabic, word stress occurs regularly. Changes happen frequently in English, as word stress can change the lexical category and meaning of the word. For example, ob’ject is a noun while the object is a verb. A change in stress does not change the word’s meaning in Arabic however. The difference can only be noticed through the pronunciation of the word using a different short vowel. However, it is not very obvious to English speakers, because the word is written in the same way.
Elision means dropping a sound between words or in the middle of the word when saying a sentence. Sound elision is very common in English, so you often hear dunno (I don’t know), wanna (I want to), kamra (camera) or cap’n (captain). Elision does not occur in Arabic because the spelling of the words are very closely related to the sound the letters create, therefore, as a rule, any letter sound is not omitted.
Even though both Arabic and English, languages have originated in different parts of the world, both languages have made significant contributions to each other. In addition, both languages are a form of communication utilized by millions of people around the world.
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