Why is Arabic written from right to left?

Why is Arabic written from right to left

When learning Arabic, the challenge begins as soon as you realize you have to flick the pages of your student book backwards. Unless you would like to proceed to reading the book from the end all the way to the beginning, you will have to incorporate this fact into your Arabic-learning rituals.

Conflicting script directions can specially be intimidating for Latin-based languages speakers, whose brain physiology is set to make their eyes wander from left to right while reading.

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Psychologically speaking, the right hemisphere of your brain does not like Arabic. When we learn a new language [or a new activity], our right hemisphere goes into full swing. The bad news is that Arabic demands attention from the left hemisphere. This is because some Arabic characters are visually similar, with subtle details setting them apart, such as a line or a dot. Since the right hemisphere uses broader information to identify characters, attempting to fully comprehend the intricacies of Arabic can be a very difficult task for it. Conversely, the left hemisphere, which is responsible for logic and analysis, excels at fulfilling this task. The problem is that the right hemisphere’s hyperactivity at the first stages of learning does not give the left hemisphere the chance to interfere.

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

Israeli scientists at the University of Haifa conducted a research that involved flashing cards to a group of students who were fluent in Arabic, English and Hebrew. They found that when they flashed the cards in English and Hebrew, the students used both their left and right hemispheres to decipher the characters. However, in Arabic, they only used their left hemisphere to recognize the word. When they used their right hemisphere for simple words, they answered randomly, because they could not tell them apart at all.

The hemispherical function is, nonetheless, irrelevant to the hypothesis related to why Arabic favors right-to-left writing as opposed to left-to-right and top-to-bottom.

It is evident that our five senses have produced all languages. The manifestation of spoken language in written form was imperative to express concepts concerning daily life. The Sumerians invented written language due to long-distance trade which was needed for resources that were unavailable in the region.

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

Transition

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Transition

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Transition

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Transition

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

Therefore, as a result, so, consequently. That is to say, in other words, to clarify. But, however, on the other hand. For example, for instance. Above all, most importantly, certainly. Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition. Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that. Likewise, similarly, in the same vein. In conclusion, to sum up, in short.

LEVELS 1

Levels

1. Language levels

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

The institute will adopt the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in its courses, which divides students into three categories and six levels:

Category (A):-
(Basic)

consisting of two levels:

Level A1
(Beginner)

When an applicant achieves a score less than 25% in the placement test and is competent in the use of familiar everyday expressions, including introducing him/herself and giving limited personal details.

Level A2
(Elementary)

When an applicant achieves a score above 25% and less than 40% and has some knowledge of Arabic, i.e. a basic ability to interact, express his/her needs and understand the most frequently used sentences and everyday expressions.

Category (B):-
(Independent User)

consisting of two levels:

Level B1
(Intermediate)

When an applicant achieves a score of more than 40% and less than 55% in the placement test and has a clear understanding and ability to deal with matters regularly encountered in the work place, at school or while travelling. In addition, the applicant will be able to write short texts on familiar situations.

Level B2
(Upper intermediate)

When an applicant achieves a score of more than 55% and less than 70% in the placement test and has an understanding of the main ideas of a complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. The applicant should also be able to interact fluently and spontaneously with native speakers and produce accurate detailed texts and viewpoints on topical issues.

1. Language levels

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

Category (C):-
(Proficient user)

consisting of two levels:

Level C1
(Advanced)

Level C1 (Advanced). When an applicant achieves a score of more than 70% and less than 85% in the placement test and has a wide range of understanding and recognition of implicit meaning in demanding longer texts. In addition, the candidate can express ideas fluently and spontaneously, use language flexibly and effectively in social, academic and professional situations, and produce clear well-structured texts on complex subjects showing a controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

Level C2
(Proficient)

When an applicant achieves a score of more than 85% in the placement test and can express him/herself fluently, spontaneously and precisely even in the most complex situations, with a clear ability to differentiate the finer points of meaning. In addition, the applicant will be able to summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.

2. Foundation Levels

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

levelA1

Level A1

The student will learn some basic rules including personal, demonstrative and relative pronouns; gender, negative and affirmative forms; and verb tenses and their different uses.

levelA2

Level A2

Students will be exposed to a large number of words, both concrete and abstract with focus on only one meaning at the beginning, but later extending into polysemic meanings in speaking and writing. Shared worksheets will feature short texts highlighting facts from daily life. Most frequently used structures in Arabic sentences will focus primarily on simple short sentences, i.e. verb, subject and complement. Sentence building will be progressively introduced so that students can move to complex sentences and learn about affirmative and negative forms, connectors and relative pronouns.
levelB1

Level B1

More advanced grammar will be introduced at this level.
levelB2

Level B2

More advanced rules in grammar will be introduced, including types of plurals (regular and irregular), verb conjugation with different pronouns, passive and active voices.

2. Foundation Levels

Why is Arabic written from right to left?

levelC1

Level C1

More complex grammar rules will be taught to assist students with their writing, including conditional statements, transitive verbs, some spelling rules and punctuation.
levelC2

Level C2

Some rhetorical rules will be introduced, as well as more detailed grammar.

alwasil language inistitute

Institute 14
Al Wasil Language Institute aims to become a distinguished national and a regional centre for the instruction of Arabic. The institute will also contribute to the teaching of Arabic to academic, diplomatic, military, medical and media specialists, among others, who reside in the Sultanate or in other countries.

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