There are millions of people around the world distributed in more than sixty countries that speak Arabic as their first language. Naturally, Arab traders that traveled to various parts of the globe dispensing their sought-after wares helped to make the language so widespread. Today, the Arabic language has considerable sway over how other languages are spoken, as well as how individuals practice their cultures across the Mediterranean.

Case in point, many languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Malta, Catalan, and more are influenced heavily by the Arabic language. Because it is so widespread, the Arabic language has many varieties, some of which are harder to understand than others. However, classical Arabic applies to all Arab speakers as it is the foundation of all other worldly dialects. Here are some more unique things about the Arabic language:

Almost 300 million people speak it

Arabic is spoken officially in all the 22 countries that are part of the Arab League. Arabic is one of the six most popularly spoken languages in the world and aside from English and French, Arabic is the only other language that is considered for use in most official international meetings. It is also an official language of the United Nations, which is a testament to its status.

Most words begin with a consonant letter

Almost all the words in Arabic begin with a consonant letter, which is then typically followed by a vowel. The entire Arabic alphabet is made up of 28 letters and only three of them are vowels. The three vowels are divided into 5 variations, which helps to explain why most of the words are made up of consonant letters.

It is written from right to left

Unlike almost all other languages, the Arabic script is written from right to left, which is why Arabic is one of the most unique languages of the world. This unique cursive format is usually so well and beautifully done that it is considered an art form. To add to the uniqueness factor, the numerals, unlike the alphabet, are written from left to write.

At least 11 words for love

Arabic has at least 11 different translations for the word love depending on the context and the situation being described. The 11 words for love typically signify different stages in the process of falling in love. For example, ‘hawa’ describes an initial attraction; ‘Alaaqa’ describes the process of getting attached, while huyum is usually the final stage when individuals lose all sense of reason as a result of the deep affection they feel towards another person.