World Arabic Language Day - December 18th
(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)


Every year on December 18th, World Arabic Language Day celebrates the Arabic language. The day also promotes multilingualism and cultural diversity.

More than 290 million people speak the Arabic language. This makes Arabic one of the most widely spoken languages around the world. It should come to no surprise that Arabic is one of the most requested languages for translation services. Arabic is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.

Some other interesting facts about the Arabic language include:

  • Arabic is the sixth most-spoken language in the world.
  • Arabic is the official language for 22 countries in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia
  • There are no capital letters in the Arabic language.
  • In Arabic, verbs come before the subject.
  • Many English words were influenced by the Arabic language.
  • There are many different dialects of the Arabic language and some are not understood by other Arabic speakers.
  • The Arabic language is written entirely in script or cursive writing where all the letters connect.
  • Arabic is derived from the Central Semitic language family, which includes Hebrew, Aramaic, and Phoenician.
  • Because of the beautiful way it is written, the Arabic language is often used in poetry, philosophy, and song.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldArabicLanguageDay

Each year, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris hold roundtable discussions to talk about issues related to the Arabic language. Many countries host cultural events on this day. These events highlight the history and culture of the Arabic language. Seminars, conferences, lectures, and workshops showcase current developments in Arabic literature. To practice using the Arabic language, schools hold short story and poetry contests.

To participate:

  • Take an online Arabic language test
  • Find someone who speaks Arabic and have them read something to you in their language
  • Commit to learning the Arabic language
  • Learn about the Arab culture (the word Arab means nomad)
  • Read books to understand the Arab world including The Arabs, Zaat, and The Arabian Nights.

Share this day on social media with #WorldArabicLanguageDay


In 2012, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed December 18th as World Arabic Language Day. The date coincides with the date in 1973 when the UN adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the organization. Past themes have included:

2019: Arabic Language and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
2018: Arabic Language and Youth
2017: Looking to the Digital World
2016: Media Role in Strengthening or Undermining Arabic


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