Modern Standard Arabic
Experience: 3 years
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), also called Al-’Arabiyya, Al-Fusha, and Literary Arabic, is the modern standard language based on Classical Arabic, the language of the Qur’an and early Islamic literature. MSA is quite uniform throughout the Arab world and serves as a lingua franca for speakers of various spoken dialects some of which are not mutually comprehensible. The exact number of people who speak MSA is extremely difficult to estimate for a number of reasons. First, it is learned not as a first language, but as a second language in school and through exposure to radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and religion. Second, the skill levels in MSA vary widely. Educated people tend to be highly proficient in speaking and writing in MSA, in addition to speaking their local Arabic varieties. Among the rest of the population, the level of proficiency in MSA varies considerably.