Arabic

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Arabic is a Central Semitic language, thus related to and classified alongside other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Aramaic. In terms of speakers, Arabic is the largest member of the Semitic language family. It is spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language and by 250 million more as a second language. Most native speakers live in the Middle East and North Africa. Different spoken varieties of Arabic exist and differ according to region. Not all of the varieties are mutually intelligible and speakers may use a sort of medial language with features common to most Arabic varieties to communicate with speakers of mutually unintelligible varieties. Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools, universities, and used in the office and the media.

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