A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is the institution that manages the currency, money supply, interest rates of a state or formal monetary union, oversees their commercial banking system. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, generally controls the printing/coining of the national currency, which serves as the state's legal tender. A central bank acts as a lender of last resort to the banking sector during times of financial crisis. Most central banks have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the solvency of member institutions, to prevent bank runs, to discourage reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks. Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally independent from political interference. Still, limited control by the executive and legislative bodies exists. Functions of a central bank may include: implementing monetary policies. Setting the official interest rate – used to manage both inflation and the country's exchange rate – and ensuring that this rate takes effect via a variety of policy mechanisms controlling the nation's entire money supply the Government's banker and the bankers' bank managing the country's foreign exchange and gold reserves and the Government bonds regulating and supervising the banking industry Central banks implement a country's chosen monetary policy.
At the most basic level, monetary policy involves establishing what form of currency the country may have, whether a fiat currency, gold-backed currency, currency board or a currency union. When a country has its own national currency, this involves the issue of some form of standardized currency, a form of promissory note: a promise to exchange the note for "money" under certain circumstances; this was a promise to exchange the money for precious metals in some fixed amount. Now, when many currencies are fiat money, the "promise to pay" consists of the promise to accept that currency to pay for taxes. A central bank may use another country's currency either directly in a currency union, or indirectly on a currency board. In the latter case, exemplified by the Bulgarian National Bank, Hong Kong and Latvia, the local currency is backed at a fixed rate by the central bank's holdings of a foreign currency. Similar to commercial banks, central banks incur liabilities. Central banks create money by issuing interest-free currency notes and selling them to the public in exchange for interest-bearing assets such as government bonds.
When a central bank wishes to purchase more bonds than their respective national governments make available, they may purchase private bonds or assets denominated in foreign currencies. The European Central Bank remits its interest income to the central banks of the member countries of the European Union; the US Federal Reserve remits all its profits to the U. S. Treasury; this income, derived from the power to issue currency, is referred to as seigniorage, belongs to the national government. The state-sanctioned power to create currency is called the Right of Issuance. Throughout history there have been disagreements over this power, since whoever controls the creation of currency controls the seigniorage income; the expression "monetary policy" may refer more narrowly to the interest-rate targets and other active measures undertaken by the monetary authority. Frictional unemployment is the time period between jobs when a worker is searching for, or transitioning from one job to another. Unemployment beyond frictional unemployment is classified as unintended unemployment.
For example, structural unemployment is a form of unemployment resulting from a mismatch between demand in the labour market and the skills and locations of the workers seeking employment. Macroeconomic policy aims to reduce unintended unemployment. Keynes labeled any jobs that would be created by a rise in wage-goods as involuntary unemployment: Men are involuntarily unemployed if, in the event of a small rise in the price of wage-goods to the money-wage, both the aggregate supply of labour willing to work for the current money-wage and the aggregate demand for it at that wage would be greater than the existing volume of employment.—John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment and Money p11 Inflation is defined either as the devaluation of a currency or equivalently the rise of prices relative to a currency. Since inflation lowers real wages, Keynesians view inflation as the solution to involuntary unemployment. However, "unanticipated" inflation leads to lender losses as the real interest rate will be lower than expected.
Thus, Keynesian monetary policy aims for a steady rate of inflation. A publication from the Austrian School, The Case Against the Fed, argues that the efforts of the central banks to control inflation have been counterproductive. Economic growth can be enhanced by investment such as more or better machinery. A low interest rate implies that firms can borrow money to invest in their capital stock and pay less interest for it. Lowering the interest is therefore considered to encourage economic growth and is used to alleviate times of low economic growth. On the other hand, raising the interest rate is used in times of high economic growth as a contra-cyclical device to keep the economy from overheating and avoid market bubbles. Further goals of monetary policy are stability of interest rates, of the financial market, of the foreign exchange market. Goals cannot be separated fr
Cowry or cowrie, plural cowries, is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries. The term porcelain derives from the old Italian term for the cowrie shell due to their similar appearance. Shells of certain species have been used as currency in several parts of the world, as well as being used, in the past and present extensively in jewelry, for other decorative and ceremonial purposes; the cowry was the shell most used worldwide as shell money. It is most abundant in the Indian Ocean, was collected in the Maldive Islands, in Sri Lanka, along the Malabar coast, in Borneo and on other East Indian islands, in various parts of the African coast from Ras Hafun to Mozambique. Cowry shell money was important in the trade networks of Africa, South Asia, East Asia; some species in the family Ovulidae are often referred to as cowries. In the British Isles the local Trivia species are sometimes called cowries; the Ovulidae and the Triviidae are somewhat related to Cypraeidae.
The word cowrie comes from Hindi कौडि, कवडी or Kannada ಕವಡೆ and from Sanskrit कपर्द กปรฺท. The shells of cowries are smooth and shiny and more or less egg-shaped, with a flat under surface which shows a long, slit-like opening, toothed at the edges; the narrower end of the egg-shaped cowry shell is the anterior end. The spire of the shell is not visible in the adult shell of most species, but is visible in juveniles, which have a different shape from the adults. Nearly all cowries have a porcelain-like shine, with some exceptions such as Hawaii's granulated cowry, Nucleolaria granulata. Many have colorful patterns. Lengths range from 5 mm for some species up to 19 cm for the Atlantic deer cowry, Macrocypraea cervus. Cowry shells Monetaria moneta, were used for centuries as currency in some parts of Africa. After the 1500s, however, it became more common. Western nations, chiefly through the slave trade, introduced huge numbers of Maldivian cowries in Africa; the Ghanaian unit of currency known as the Ghanaian cedi was named after cowry shells.
Starting over three thousand years ago, cowry shells, or copies of the shells, were used as Chinese currency. They were used as means of exchange in India; the Classical Chinese character for money originated as a stylized drawing of a Maldivian cowrie shell. Words and characters concerning money, property or wealth have this as a radical. Before the Spring and Autumn period the cowrie was used as a type of trade token awarding access to a feudal lord's resources to a worthy vassal; the Ojibway aboriginal people in North America use cowry shells which are called sacred Miigis Shells or whiteshells in Midewiwin ceremonies, the Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba, Canada is named after this type of shell. There is some debate about how the Ojibway traded for or found these shells, so far inland and so far north distant from the natural habitat. Oral stories and birch bark scrolls seem to indicate that the shells were found in the ground, or washed up on the shores of lakes or rivers. Finding the cowry shells so far inland could indicate the previous use of them by an earlier tribe or group in the area, who may have obtained them through an extensive trade network in the ancient past.
Cowry shells are worn as jewelry or otherwise used as ornaments or charms. They are viewed as symbols of womanhood, fertility and wealth, its underside is supposed, by one modern ethnographic author, to represent an eye. Cowry shells are sometimes used in a way similar to dice, e.g. in board games like Pachisi, Ashta Chamma or in divination. A number of shells are thrown, with those landing aperture upwards indicating the actual number rolled. In Nepal cowries are used for a gambling game, where 16 pieces of cowries are tossed by four different bettors; this game is played at homes and in public during the Hindu festival of Tihar or Deepawali. In the same festival these shells are worshiped as a symbol of Goddess Lakshmi and wealth. Cowry shells were among the devices used for divination by the Kaniyar Panicker astrologers of Kerala, India. On the Fiji Islands, a shell of the golden cowry or bulikula, Cypraea aurantium, was drilled at the ends and worn on a string around the neck by chieftains as a badge of rank.
The women of Tuvalu use other shells in traditional handicrafts. Large cowry shells such as that of a Cypraea tigris have been used in Europe in the recent past as a darning egg over which sock heels were stretched; the cowry's smooth surface allows the needle to be positioned under the cloth more easily. In Brazil, as a result of the Atlantic slave trade from Africa, cowry shells are played as used to consult the Orixás divinities and hear their replies. In certain parts of Africa, cowries were prized charms, they were said to be associated with fecundity, sexual pleasure and good luck. Money cowry Shell money Whiteshell Felix Lorenz and Alex Hubert, A Guide to Worldwide Cowries. Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921. "Cowry". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920
West Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, its capital was the city of Bonn. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Eastern blocs. Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin; the Federal Republic of Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Empire. It took the line. Though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not fair. From the West German perspective, the GDR was therefore illegitimate.
Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state. While not part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the Allied Control Council, West Berlin politically-aligned itself with West Germany and was represented in its federal institutions; the foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full alignment with NATO rather than neutrality, he not only secured a membership in NATO but was a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union. When the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification. East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990, its five post-war states were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land. They formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany; the reunion did not result in a brand-new country. The expanded Federal Republic retained West Germany's political culture and continued its existing memberships in international organisations, as well as its Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like UN, NATO, OECD and the European Union; the official name of West Germany, adopted in 1949 and unchanged since is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In East Germany, the terms Westdeutschland or westdeutsche Bundesrepublik were preferred during the 1950s and 1960s.
This changed once under its 1968 constitution, when the idea of a single German nation was abandoned by East Germany, as a result West Germans and West Berliners were considered foreigners. In the early 1970s, starting in the East German Neues Deutschland, the initialism "BRD" for the "Federal Republic of Germany" began to prevail in East German usage. In 1973, official East German sources adopted it as a standard expression and other Eastern Bloc nations soon followed suit. In reaction to this move, in 1965 the West German Federal Minister of All-German Affairs Erich Mende issued the Directives for the appellation of Germany, recommending avoiding the initialism. On 31 May 1974, the heads of West German federal and state governments recommended always using the full name in official publications. From on West German sources avoided the abbreviated form, with the exception of left-leaning organizations which embraced it. In November 1979 the federal government informed the Bundestag that the West German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF had agreed to refuse to use the initialism.
The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code of West Germany was "DE", which has remained the country code of Germany after reunification. ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are the most used country codes, the "DE" code is notably used as country identifier extending the postal code and as the Internet's country code top-level domain.de. Accordingly the less used ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country code of West Germany was "DEU", which has remained the country code of reunified Germany; the now deleted codes for East Germany, on the other hand, was "DD" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and "DDR" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-3. The colloquial term "West Germany" or its equivalent was used in many languages. "Westdeutschland" was a widespread colloquial form used in German-speaking countries without political overtones. On 4–11 February 1945 leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union held the Yalta Conference where future arrangements as regards post-war Europe and strategy against Japan in the Pacific were negotiated.
The conference agreed that post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones: a French Zone in the far west.
The whale shark is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 18.8 m The whale shark holds many records for size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the only extant member of the family Rhincodontidae, which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. Before 1984 it was classified as Rhiniodon into Rhinodontidae; the whale shark is found in open waters of the tropical oceans and is found in the water below 21 °C. Modeling suggests a lifespan of about 70 years, while measurements have proven difficult, estimates from field data suggest they may live as long as 130 years Whale sharks have large mouths and are filter feeders, a feeding mode that occurs in only two other sharks, the megamouth shark and the basking shark, they feed exclusively on plankton and small fishes, pose no threat to humans.
The species was distinguished in April 1828 after the harpooning of a 4.6 m specimen in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town, described it the following year; the name "whale shark" refers to the fish's size, being as large as some species of whales, to its being a filter feeder like baleen whales. Whale sharks have a mouth that can be 1.5 m wide, containing 300 to 350 rows of tiny teeth and 20 filter pads which it uses to filter feed. Unlike many other sharks, whale sharks' mouths are located at the front of the head rather than on the underside of the head. Whale sharks have five large pairs of gills; the head is flat with two small eyes at the front. Whale sharks are grey with a white belly, their skin is marked with pale yellow stripes which are unique to each individual. The whale shark has three prominent ridges along its sides, its skin can be up to 15 cm thick. The shark has a pair of pectoral fins. Juveniles' tails have a larger upper fin than the lower fin, while the adult tail becomes semilunate.
The whale shark's spiracles are just behind its eyes. The whale shark is the largest non-cetacean animal in the world; the average size of adult whale sharks is estimated at 9.8 m and 9 t. Several specimens over 18 m in length have been reported; the largest verified specimen was caught on 11 November 1949, near Baba Island, in Karachi, Pakistan. It was 12.65 m long, weighed about 21.5 t, had a girth of 7 m. Stories exist of vastly larger specimens – quoted lengths of 18 m and 45.5 t are common in the popular literature, but no scientific records support their existence. In 1868, the Irish natural scientist Edward Perceval Wright obtained several small whale shark specimens in the Seychelles, but claimed to have observed specimens in excess of 15 m, tells of shark specimens surpassing 21 m. In a 1925 publication, Hugh M. Smith described a huge animal caught in a bamboo fish trap in Thailand in 1919; the shark was too heavy to pull ashore, but Smith estimated the shark was at least 17 m long, weighed around 37 t.
These measurements have been exaggerated to a more precise 17.98 m in recent years. A shark caught in 1994 off Tainan County, southern Taiwan weighed 35.8 t. There have been unverified claims of whale sharks of up to 23 metres and 100 tonnes. In 1934, a ship named the Maurguani came across a whale shark in the southern Pacific Ocean, rammed it, the shark became stuck on the prow of the ship with 4.6 m on one side and 12.2 m on the other. No reliable documentation exists for these claims and they remain "fish stories"; the complete and annotated genome of the whale shark was published in 2017. The whale shark inhabits all warm-temperate seas; the fish is pelagic, living in the open sea but not in the greater depths of the ocean, although it is known to dive to depths of as much as 1,800 metres. Seasonal feeding aggregations occur at several coastal sites such as the southern and eastern parts of South Africa. Although seen offshore, it has been found closer to land, entering lagoons or coral atolls, near the mouths of estuaries and rivers.
Its range is restricted to about 30° latitude. It is capable of diving to depths of at least 1,286 m, is migratory. On 7 February 2012, a large whale shark was found floating 150 kilometres off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan; the length of the specimen was said to be between 12 m, with a weight of around 15,000 kg. In 2011, more than 400 whale sharks gathered off the Yucatan Coast, it was one of the largest gatherings of whale sharks recorded. Aggregation
Currency of Maldives
Cowry shells, or boli, were the first known medium of exchange used in the Maldives. Various writers and travellers have in the past recorded the country’s trade in these money shells, which were used as a medium of exchange in parts of Asia and Africa. In the past, cowry were cultivated in the Maldives; when Moroccan traveler and historian Ibn Battuta visited therefadsahijsjsac0, feojedfe Dutch in Ceylon, continued until the late 19th century, when it was used as ballast for sailing vessels. According to history, the first dhigu laari was struck in the Maldives, during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim III ibn Ghazi Muhammed, son of the hero Sultan Ghazi Muhammed Thakurufa'anu Akbar al-'Azam. Dhigu laari or larin, which owes its name to Lar, in the Persian Gulf, where it was struck, was one of the standard currencies of the Indian Ocean in the late 16th century; the dhigu laari is a long piece of silver, about three inches in length, doubled over and stamped with the name of the sultan, in Arabic.
Loa laari or laari fothi was first struck by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar I. The first coins were of silver and coarse. Coins of copper and lead were put into circulation. Gold coins were struck by Sultan Hassan Nooraddin. Said to be the finest struck at the Maldive mint, the two denominations of gold coins issued by Sultan Hassan Nooraddin, known as the mohori and bai mohori, were never put into circulation; the Maldivian unit of currency is the rufiyaa, introduced in 1947. The rufiyaa is divided into 100 laari. On 1 February 2009, the exchange rate with the US dollar was USD1.00 = MVR12.80. On 10 April 2011, the Government announced a limited float of the currency within a band of 20% from the previous exchange rate of 12.80. Due to short supply of US Dollars, the official rate quoted by all banks as on 10 May stands as follows: Buy Rate USD 1.00 = MVR 14.42. Browder, Tim J.: Maldive Islands Money, Santa Monica, 1969 The Maldive Islands: Brief History Currency in Circulation, Maldives Monetary Authority Exchange rate from Yahoo!
Finance. Banknotes of the Maldives
The Maldives the Republic of Maldives, are an Asian country, located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea. The country lies southwest of Sri India, about 1,000 kilometres from the Asian continent; the chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu City in the south. Comprising a territory spanning 298 square kilometres, the Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed sovereign states as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and population, with around 427,756 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and a populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location; the Maldives archipelago is located on the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean, which forms a terrestrial ecoregion, together with the Chagos Archipelago and Lakshadweep. With an average ground-level elevation of 1.5 metres above sea level, it is the world's lowest country, with its highest natural point being the lowest in the world, at 5.1 metres.
Due to the consequent risks posed by rising sea levels, the government pledged in 2009 to make the Maldives a carbon-neutral country by 2019. Islam was introduced to the Maldivian archipelago in the 12th century, consolidated as a sultanate, developing strong commercial and cultural ties with Asia and Africa. From the mid-16th-century, the region came under the increasing influence of European colonial powers, with the Maldives becoming a British protectorate in 1887. Independence from the United Kingdom was achieved in 1965 and a presidential republic was established in 1968 with an elected People's Majlis; the ensuing decades have been characterised by political instability, efforts at democratic reform, environmental challenges posed by climate change. The Maldives is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non Aligned Movement. The World Bank classifies the Maldives as having an upper middle income economy.
Fishing has been the dominant economic activity, remains the largest sector by far, followed by the growing tourism industry. Maldives is rated "high" on the Human Development Index, with its per capita income higher than other SAARC nations; the Maldives was a Commonwealth republic from July 1982 until its withdrawal from the Commonwealth in October 2016 in protest of international criticism of its records in relation to corruption and human rights. The name "Maldives" may derive from මාල දිවයින in Sinhala; the Maldivian people are called Dhivehin. The word theevu means "island", Dhives means "islanders"; the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle Mahawamsa refers to an island called Mahiladiva in Pali, a mistranslation of the same Sanskrit word meaning "garland". Jan S Hogendorn, Grossman Professor of Economics, theorises that the name Maldives derives from the Sanskrit mālādvīpa, meaning "garland of islands". In Tamil, "Garland of Islands" can be translated as Malai Theevu. In Malayalam, "Garland of Islands" can be translated as Maladweepu.
In Kannada, "Garland of Islands" can be translated as Maaledweepa. None of these names is mentioned in any literature, but classical Sanskrit texts dating back to the Vedic period mention the "Hundred Thousand Islands", a generic name which would include not only the Maldives, but the Laccadives, Aminidivi Islands and the Chagos island groups; some medieval travellers such as Ibn Battuta called the islands Mahal Dibiyat from the Arabic word mahal, which must be how the Berber traveller interpreted the local name, having been through Muslim North India, where Perso-Arabic words were introduced to the local vocabulary. This is the name inscribed on the scroll in the Maldive state emblem; the classical Persian/Arabic name for Maldives is Dibajat. The Dutch referred to the islands as the Maldivische Eilanden, while the British anglicised the local name for the islands first to the "Maldive Islands" and to "Maldives". Garcia da Orta writes in his conversational book first published in 1563 as follows: "I must tell you that I have heard it said that the natives do not call it Maldiva but Nalediva.
In the Malabar language nale means diva island. So that in that language the word signifies "four islands," while we, corrupting the name, call it Maldiva." The first Maldivians did not leave any archaeological artifacts. Their buildings were built of wood, palm fronds and other perishable materials, which would have decayed in the salt and wind of the tropical climate. Moreover, chiefs or headmen did not reside in elaborate stone palaces, nor did their religion require the construction of large temples or compounds. Comparative studies of Maldivian oral and cultural traditions and customs confirm that the first settlers were people from the southern shores of the neighboring Indian subcontinent, including the Giraavaru people mentioned in ancient legends and local folklore about the establishment of the capital and kingly rule in Malé. A strong underlying layer of Dravidian population and culture survives in Maldivian society, with a clear Tamil-Malayalam substratum in the language, which appears in place names, kinship terms, poetry and religious beliefs.
Malabari seafaring culture led to
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.