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World Arabic Language Day – December 18

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The World Arabic Language Day is annually observed on the 18th of December. The day is observed to honor one of the widely spoken global languages, ‘Arabic’. Its been a decade since the language had been adopted as the sixth official language of the United Nations by the UN General Assembly on 18 December 1973. Hence, the date marks this adaptation as a cause of celebration and the day is being observed since 2012.

Why is the World Arabic Language Day Celebrated?

Arabic is the first language of over 400 million people in the world. Due to this global spread, United Nations decided to include the language in the list of its official language. In terms of doing the same UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the day as its sixth language to honor one of the earliest languages on the globe.

Hence, the day is celebrated to support the Arabic language and put it across as a connecting link between people for knowledge, peace, and enhancing harmony.

In 2021, the theme of the day was “Arabic Language, a bridge between civilizations.”

How is Arabic Language Day Celebrated?

The Arabic Language Day was celebrated for the first time on 18th December 2012 and since, then the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) holds a roundtable discussion on how the Arabic language can be preserved and the issues that have been threatening its extinction every year. The discussion is joined by the member nations. Above all that many nations also host cultural events on the day. The countries mainly include Islamic states where Arabic is a prominent language for all.

What is the Arabic language?

Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is the mother tongue of people residing in the peninsular region of the world. The reason for this wide dominance or adoption of Arabic is seen to be the spreading of Islam as a preferred religion in many parts of the world since human civilization started to develop socially.

Significance of the Arabic Language:

Arabic is a source language for study and research in the field of music, architecture, literature, and philosophy as the ancient works are mostly written in this language. The early text of science, philosophy, and astronomy all were in Arabic which gives obvious evidence of their importance.

If we go on believing in ancient history, Bagdad an Islamic region was a renowned center of knowledge in the field of science and astronomy in the early 8th century which made Arabic a language of knowledge. Anyone willing to acquire knowledge at that time had to be fluent in the language.

At present time, the language is the first language of a major fraction of the population, it is also important in terms of global cultural exchange and peaceful interaction between people.

Knowing the History of the Arabic Language:

The Arabic language came into existence early in the 8th century BCE. It is one of the Semitic languages which includes Aramaic and Hebrew. The language kept on developing with the spread of Islamism in the world. This also caused the language to spread in untouched regions by migrators who introduced people to Islam. 

This widespread of religion further helped in the development of the Arabic language. Due to diversity in regions and groups, many dialects of Arabic are present. The official language is still an official language for administration in the Islamic States of the world.

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Last Updated : 22 Sep, 2023
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