|modern standard arabic|
|العربية الفصحى, عربي فصيح |
al-ʻarabīyah al-fuṣḥá, ʻarabī faṣīḥ[note 1]
written in arabic (naskh
|pronunciation||/al ʕaraˈbijja lˈfusˤħaː/, see variations[note 2]|
|region||primarily in the arab league, in the middle east and north africa; and in the horn of africa;|
liturgical language of islam
(second language only)[note 3]
official language in
distribution of modern standard arabic as an official language in the arab world.
the only official language (green); one of the official languages (blue).
modern standard arabic (msa), or modern written arabic (shortened to mwa), is a term used mostly by western linguists 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. 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) 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.