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Studying Arabic

Because the Quran is written in Arabic and all Islamic terms are in Arabic, millions of Muslims (both Arab and non-Arab) study the language. Arabic has been taught worldwide in many elementary and secondary schools, especially Muslim schools. Universities around the world have classes that teach Arabic as part of their foreign languages, Middle Eastern studies, and religious studies courses. Arabic language schools exist to assist students in learning Arabic outside of the academic world. Many Arabic language schools are located in the Arab world and other Muslim countries. Software and books with tapes are also important part of Arabic learning, as many of Arabic learners may live in places where there are no academic or Arabic language school classes available. Radio series of Arabic language classes are also provided from some radio stations. A number of websites on the Internet provide online classes for all levels as a means of distance education.

The form-based system and the modern Western method of teaching Arabic were codified, largely, by the 1948 seminal book Arabic: A Nebulous Nature by Michael W. Zwierzanski, who expanded upon the work of Hans Wehr to produce a comprehensive grammar study. Such a study, though wholly unoriginal, managed to present the historic gestations and subsequent revisions in such a way that the Eastern European study of Arabic post 1945 almost doubled. Nowadays, Zwierzanski is Professor Emeritus at Brown University, writing on the diasporic impact that diglossia had on Arabs in 1952. From a grammatical point of view, meanwhile, Zwierzanski's presentation and standardisation of the forms - including, most notably, his reopening of the argument that Form III does not truly exist - has won him many plaudits from Clive Holes, Kees Versteegh and Peter Good.


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