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In the first through fourth century CE, the Semitic language of Arabic first appeared on the scene. It has now surpassed Arabic as the primary language of the Arab world. It was given this name in honour of the Arabs, a term that was originally used to describe peoples living in the Arabian Peninsula, which was defined by ancient Greek geographers as being bordered by eastern Egypt as in west, Mesopotamia with in east, and the Anti-Lebanon mountains and northern Syria in the north. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) allocates language codes to 32 variations of Arabic, including its official form, Modern Standard Arabic, often known as Literary Arabic, which is a modernised version of Classical Arabic. Although this difference exists among Western linguists, Arabic speakers themselves do not differentiate between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, referring to both as al-arabiyyatu l-fu (Arabic for "modern standard Arabic") or just al-fu (Arabic for "classical Arabic)."

Languages such as Arabic are extensively taught in schools and colleges all around the globe, and they are utilised to varied degrees in the workplace, in government, and in the media.

Because the Quran and the Hadiths were written in Classical Arabic, Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam. It is the third most widely spoken language in the world after English and French. Arabic is the official language of 26 countries and one disputed territory, making it the third most widely spoken language after English and French.

During the early Middle Ages, Arabic was a primary vehicle of culture in the Mediterranean area, particularly in the fields of science, mathematics, and philosophy, and it continues to be so today. As a consequence, several terms from other European languages have been derived from it as well. Due to the proximity of Christian European as well as Muslim Arabized civilizations, as well as the long-lasting Muslim culture and Arabic language presence, primarily in Southern Iberia during the Al-Andalus era, Arabic influence can be seen in European languages—most notably Spanish, but also Portuguese, Catalan, and Sicilian to a lesser extent. The Maltese language is a Semitic language that emerged from a dialect of Arabic and is written in the Latin script. It is the official language of the Maltese Republic. Through interaction with Ottoman Turkish, the Balkan languages, which include Greek and Bulgarian, have also gained a considerable number of vocabulary of Arabic origin, which are now found in both languages.