Following the Islamic conquests that start in the 7th century, Arabic expanded greatly and wide across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Western Asia and even to parts of China.
The adaptation of native residents to the Arabs’ culture, religion and language improved plant the seed for Arabic to sprout over the centuries to come, and today the language is the lingua franca of the Arab world.
Arabic is technically considered a macrolanguage that comprises 30 different varieties. These varieties of Arabic in one given part of the Arab world are not significantly mutually intelligible with varieties from other geographic areas; the spoken Arabic of North Africa is notably different from that of the Persian Gulf, for example. Arabic speakers all have their own native common variety, but most learn Modern Standard Arabic, which is the universal pluricentric change preferred in the media, the workplace, and the law and is the only variant taught at all levels of education.
The majority of Arabic talkers are concentrated in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East, known as the Arab world. There are 25 countries that demand Arabic as an official or co-official language: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. And then there are 6 sovereign states in which Arabic is a national language or recognized minority language: Iran, Turkey, Niger, Senegal, Mali, and Cyprus.
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