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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Minor in Arabic

bulk materials for sale at a market in Erfoud, Morocco

The Arabic Language

Arabic belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is spoken in North Africa, the Arabian peninsula, the Middle East and other countries. Arabic is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and the native tongue for approximately 250,000,000 speakers. It is the official language of twenty-two countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Chad, Eretria and Comoros. Because Arabic is the language of the Qur’an, it is learned and used by many speakers in other Middle Eastern and Islamic countries.

Importance of Learning Arabic

For many, Arabic is their parents’ and grandparents’ language. Learning Arabic is an important way to maintain their heritage and connection to their language, culture and background.

For others, Arabic plays a major role in defining and shaping their future. The political and economic situation of the world urges many to learn about the Arab world, its language, literature and culture. Being conversant in a language is the key to understanding its culture. Students graduating with knowledge of Arabic have found desirable positions in many different sectors. Arabic is one of the critical languages that is favored by many government agencies, the military, and companies conducting business in the Arab world.

Arabic Placement Exam

If you have studied Arabic either formally or informally, lived in an Arabic-speaking country or grown up in an Arabic-speaking household, you must take a placement exam before being allowed to register for any ARB course. For more information, contact Dr. Rania Habib prior to the beginning of the semester. You must present your student ID to take all language placement tests.

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