Modern Standard Arabic is the official language in 27 countries. It is taught in schools and universities and is used in formal situations. It is derived from the Classical Arabic used in the Quran (a Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. Arabic has a special writing system, written right to left. In many countries new ways of speaking Arabic have emerged, but Modern Standard Arabic acts as a lingua franca.
Arabic speakers in Australia represent different backgrounds, religions and histories, but are united by use of Modern Standard Arabic, which is taught at every level of education as well as in community-run language classes.
Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 287,175 (ABS Census Data, 2011)
Language Category: Middle Eastern Languages
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