Modern Standard Arabic

  • modern standard arabic
    العربية الفصحى, عربي فصيح
    al-ʻarabīyah al-fuṣḥá, ʻarabī faṣīḥ[note 1]
    arabic albayancalligraphy.svg
    al-ʻarabīyah written in arabic (naskh script)
    pronunciation/al ʕaraˈbijja lˈfusˤħaː/, see variations[note 2]
    regionprimarily in the arab league, in the middle east and north africa; and in the horn of africa;
    liturgical language of islam
    native speakers
    none[1]
    (second language only)[note 3]
    language family
    afro-asiatic
    • semitic
      • central semitic
        • arabic
          • modern standard arabic
    early forms
    old arabic
    • classical arabic
    writing system
    arabic alphabet
    official status
    official language in
    27 states[2]
    regulated by
    language codes
    iso 639-3arb
    arb-mod
    stan1318[3]
    arabic speaking world.svg
    distribution of modern standard arabic as an official language in the arab world.
    the only official language (green); one of the official languages (blue).
    this article contains ipa phonetic symbols. without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of unicode characters. for an introductory guide on ipa symbols, see help:ipa.

    modern standard arabic (msa), or modern written arabic (shortened to mwa),[4] is a term used mostly by western linguists[5] to refer to the variety of standardized, literary arabic that developed in the arab world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. while it is the language used in books, newspapers, and academic settings, modern standard arabic is generally not spoken as a mother tongue, like classical latin or soutenu french.[5] msa is a pluricentric standard language taught throughout the arab world in formal education. it differs significantly from many vernacular varieties of arabic that are commonly spoken as mother tongues in the area; these are only partially mutually intelligible with both msa and with each other depending on their proximity in the arabic dialect continuum.

    msa differs from what western linguists call classical arabic (ca; اللغة العربية الفصحى التراثية al-lughah al-ʻarabīyah al-fuṣḥá al-turāthīyah)—the variety of standard arabic in the quran and early islamic (7th to 9th centuries) literature—most markedly in that it either synthesizes words from arabic roots (such as سيارة car or باخرة steamship) or adapts words from european languages (such as ورشة workshop or إنترنت internet) to describe industrial and post-industrial life.

    native speakers of arabic generally do not distinguish between "modern standard arabic" and "classical arabic" as separate languages; they refer to both as al-ʻarabīyah al-fuṣḥá (العربية الفصحى)[6] meaning "the pure arabic". they consider the two forms to be two registers of one language. when the distinction is made, they are referred to as فصحى العصر fuṣḥá al-ʻaṣr (msa) and فصحى التراث fuṣḥá al-turāth (ca) respectively.[6]

  • classical arabic
  • phonology
  • differences between modern standard arabic and classical arabic
  • regional variants
  • speakers
  • grammar
  • common phrases
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • external links

Modern Standard Arabic
العربية الفصحى, عربي فصيح
al-ʻArabīyah al-Fuṣḥá, ʻArabī Faṣīḥ[note 1]
Arabic albayancalligraphy.svg
al-ʻArabīyah written in Arabic (Naskh script)
Pronunciation/al ʕaraˈbijja lˈfusˤħaː/, see variations[note 2]
RegionPrimarily in the Arab League, in the Middle East and North Africa; and in the Horn of Africa;
liturgical language of Islam
Native speakers
None[1]
(second language only)[note 3]
Early forms
Arabic alphabet
Official status
Official language in
27 states[2]
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-3arb
stan1318[3]
Arabic speaking world.svg
Distribution of Modern Standard Arabic as an official language in the Arab World.
The only official language (green); one of the official languages (blue).
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), or Modern Written Arabic (shortened to MWA),[4] is a term used mostly by Western linguists[5] to refer to the variety of standardized, literary Arabic that developed in the Arab world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While it is the language used in books, newspapers, and academic settings, Modern Standard Arabic is generally not spoken as a mother tongue, like Classical Latin or Soutenu French.[5] MSA is a pluricentric standard language taught throughout the Arab world in formal education. It differs significantly from many vernacular varieties of Arabic that are commonly spoken as mother tongues in the area; these are only partially mutually intelligible with both MSA and with each other depending on their proximity in the Arabic dialect continuum.

MSA differs from what Western linguists call Classical Arabic (CA; اللغة العربية الفصحى التراثية al-Lughah al-ʻArabīyah al-Fuṣḥá al-Turāthīyah)—the variety of standard Arabic in the Quran and early Islamic (7th to 9th centuries) literature—most markedly in that it either synthesizes words from Arabic roots (such as سيارة car or باخرة steamship) or adapts words from European languages (such as ورشة workshop or إنترنت Internet) to describe industrial and post-industrial life.

Native speakers of Arabic generally do not distinguish between "Modern Standard Arabic" and "Classical Arabic" as separate languages; they refer to both as al-ʻArabīyah al-Fuṣḥá (العربية الفصحى)[6] meaning "the pure Arabic". They consider the two forms to be two registers of one language. When the distinction is made, they are referred to as فصحى العصر Fuṣḥá al-ʻAṣr (MSA) and فصحى التراث Fuṣḥá al-Turāth (CA) respectively.[6]