World Languages

Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department

World Languages and Cultures


    Resources for Arabic
  • السلام عليكم   Assalamu alaykum!
    Arabic is a semitic language spoken as an official language in 25 countries and is a native language to more than 300 million people worldwide. Arabic is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.  Moreover, the U.S. Department of State has named Arabic one of thirteeen "critical need" languages.
    While there are numerous dialects and variations of Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is understood across the Arab world and is the form of Arabic one is most likely to encounter via Arabic-language mass communication media.  Modern Standard Arabic is the variation that is most frequently taught as a foreign language to non-Arabic speakers.  Arabic is written from right to left.
    For additional information about Arabic, please see BBC's webpage on Arabic or UCLA's Language Materials Project webpage on Arabic

Why Learn Arabic?

  • The study of Arabic language and Arab culture reaps many benefits.  Here are just a few of the reasons to learn Arabic.
    • Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken language in the world.

    • California ranks first among states with the Arab-Americans, with approximately 272,000 residents claiming ancestry from an Arab nation. 

    • Los Angeles County has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans among counties in the state, nearly 30%.

    • As the Arab region continues to grow, it provides unprecedented opportunities for export of goods and services.

    • Knowledge of Arabic provides better insight into all aspects of business with the Arab world, including cultural and academic exchanges, commerce, world politics and peace-building.

    • Knowledge of Arabic allows access to historical artifacts as well as contemporary cultural products and perspectives that may only be accessible in the Arabic language.

    • There are many employment and career opportunities for Arabic speakers, including but not limited to the fields of journalism, business, industry, education, finance, translation, consulting, finance, and foreign service.