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Arabic script

Writing system for Arabic and several other languages / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Arabic script is the writing system used for Arabic and several other languages of Asia and Africa. It is the second-most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world (after the Latin alphabet),[1] the second-most widely used writing system in the world by number of countries using it or a script directly derived from it,[1][failed verification] and the third-most by number of users (after the Latin and Chinese scripts).[1][failed verification]

Quick facts: Arabic script , Script type, Time period, Dir...
Arabic script
Script type
Abjad primarily

Alphabet in some adaptations
Time period
400[citation needed]–present
Directionright-to-left script Edit this on Wikidata
Official script

Co-official script in:

10 sovereign states
LanguagesSee below
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Hanifi script
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Arab (160), Arabic
Unicode alias
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The script was first used to write texts in Arabic, most notably the Quran, the holy book of Islam. With the religion's spread, it came to be used as the primary script for many language families, leading to the addition of new letters and other symbols. Such languages still using it are: Persian (Farsi/Dari), Malay (Jawi), Uyghur, Kurdish, Punjabi (Shahmukhi), Sindhi, Balti, Balochi, Pashto, Lurish, Urdu, Kashmiri, Rohingya, Somali and Mandinka, Mooré among others.[2] Until the 16th century, it was also used for some Spanish texts, and—prior to the language reform in 1928—it was the writing system of Turkish.[3]

The script is written from right to left in a cursive style, in which most of the letters are written in slightly different forms according to whether they stand alone or are joined to a following or preceding letter. However, the basic letter form remains unchanged. The script does not have capital letters.[4] In most cases, the letters transcribe consonants, or consonants and a few vowels, so most Arabic alphabets are abjads, with the versions used for some languages, such as Sorani, Uyghur, Mandarin, and Serbo-Croatian, being alphabets. It is also the basis for the tradition of Arabic calligraphy.

Worldwide use of the Arabic and Perso-Arabic script
Arabic alphabet world distribution
Arabic alphabet world distribution
Countries where the Arabic script is:
  the sole official script
  official alongside other scripts
  official at a provincial level (China, India, Tanzania) or a recognized second script of the official language (Malaysia, Tajikistan)