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What is Modern Standard Arabic? – 2023 Best Guide

What is Modern Standard Arabic

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If you are thinking of learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), then you are definitely in the right place! Here is all you need to know about Modern Standard Arabic.

In this article, we will shed light on learning Arabic as a foreign language, as regards the different types of Arabic, the definition of MSA, how long it takes to learn it, how challenging it is, and the best MSA learning practices and techniques.

How many types of the Arabic language are there?

The Arabic language is mainly divided into three main types: 

What is the definition of Modern Standard Arabic?

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the modern descendant of Classical Arabic, with the unchanged syntax but very much changed, and still changing vocabulary and phraseology. This unified, pan-Arab variety of Arabic is used for writing in the Arab world, and nowadays, it is also used for all news broadcasts, political speeches, official announcements, and most crucially education in every Arab country.

Modern Standard Arabic vs classical Arabic

The original form of Arabic, known as Classical Arabic, and Modern Standard Arabic are remarkably similar. 

Classical Standard Arabic is the term used to refer to the Arabic language based on the Qur’anic language, which was used since the early days of Islam.

The term Modern Standard Arabic, it is applied to the Arabic language used in the media today, which began with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the revival of the Arabic language with the spread of modern printing presses at the beginning of the twentieth century, and its distinctive characteristics emerged in the second half of that century, with the spread of the modern Arabic literature.

What is the difference between Modern Standard Arabic and dialects?

Diglossia, or the usage of several dialects of the same language within the same society, or the standard and colloquial forms of the same language for different purposes and circumstances is one of the unique characteristics of the Arabic language.

Arabic dialects spoken nowadays may exceed 25 dialects. Arabic dialects are primarily utilized for daily conversations and vary from one country to another, you may even notice different Arabic dialects spoken within the same country, as do the words, phrases, and expressions used in daily conversation.

On the other hand, the standard form of the Arabic language is typically employed in formal speech and written literature.

Is Modern Standard Arabic useful?

Modern Standard Arabic is considered the formal form of the Arabic language utilized in literature, academia, print and mass media, law, and legislation. It is a standard language that is taught in formal education across the Arab world as well as being one of the six official UN languages.

Though it sounds formal, MSA  plays a major role in bridging the gap between various dialects spoken across the wide Arab world. 

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What countries speak Modern Standard Arabic?

25 countries in North Africa and the Middle East use Arabic as an official or co-official language. It is a language that has at least 400 million native speakers in the Arab world and serves as a global Muslim lingua franca. It is considered the fifth most spoken language in the World.

However, MSA is typically not spoken as a first language in any of these countries, hence you can generally say that there are no native speakers of MSA.

Therefore, it is advisable to be familiar with the local dialect of the region where you would be involved in more informal contexts alongside learning MSA.

Should I learn Modern Standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic?

Although Egyptian Arabic is easily understood by most  Arabic speakers, due to its widespread use in the media, it is preferable to start with MSA since it provides you with a very firm foundation in the logic and grammar that underlie all varieties of Arabic. 

Why learn modern standard Arabic?

Quran, the holy book of Islam is written in the language Allah chose: Arabic. Therefore, to be able to comprehend Allah’s word every Muslim should learn to read and speak Arabic, the language of Prophet Muhammed peace and blessings be upon him.

Learning Modern Standard Arabic is considered the basis for understanding various forms of the Arabic language, which is essential for you, as a Muslim, to comprehend Allah’s messages conveyed through the Quran as well as the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). It is also helpful if you intend to travel to one of the Arab countries for business or education.

Is Modern Standard Arabic easy to learn?

Honestly speaking, the Arabic language is one of the most challenging languages. It takes time, practice, and patience to learn, especially for English natives as it has a completely different structure, and alphabet, and even some Arabic letters have no English equivalent. 

However, you can easily acquire the Arabic language if you have enough motivation and dedication to practice Arabic daily.

How long does it take to learn Modern Standard Arabic?

If you are wondering, is Modern Standard Arabic easy to learn? and how long does it take to learn it? You should always remember that each person learns uniquely, and many variables might affect how quickly you pick things up, including your natural ability, motivation, commitment, prior linguistic experience, and time spent in the classroom.

It is also reported by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) a detailed list showing the expected time you may spend learning a specific language for English-speaking people. According to the FSI, the Arabic language is considered one of the exceptionally difficult languages for native English speakers to learn (category 4) which requires around 88 weeks (2200 class hours) of practice to achieve proficiency.

How to learn Modern Standard Arabic?

Muslims who want to comprehend the Quran make up the largest global population of Arabic learners. But as more people learn Arabic for academic, professional, or personal reasons, a thriving market for training materials emphasizing communicative language has emerged.

You can simply learn Arabic by reading Arabic books or newspapers, listening to the news broadcast, or even chatting with an Arab friend.

However, enrolling in an Arabic class is the best approach to learning the language because it will save you a lot of time and work. Therefore, Quranhouse offers one-on-one online  Arabic lessons for students who prefer to learn Arabic at home. We provide a vast range of Arabic classes that are designed to suit all levels of learners.

Learn Fusha and Modern Standard Arabic Online!

Are you eager to start learning Arabic? For a thorough and effective learning program, enroll today in Quran house Arabic courses and get ready for an enjoyable and rewarding journey.

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