A zamindar, zomidar, or jomidar, in the Indian subcontinent was an aristocrat. The term means land owner in Persian. Hereditary, zamindars held enormous tracts of land and control over their peasants, from whom they reserved the right to collect tax on behalf of imperial courts or for military purposes, their families carried titular suffixes of lordship. In the 19th and 20th centuries, with the advent of British imperialism, many wealthy and influential zamindars were bestowed with princely and royal titles such as Maharaja and Nawab. During the Mughal Empire, zamindars belonged to the nobility and formed the ruling class. Emperor Akbar granted them mansabs and their ancestral domains were treated as jagirs. Under British colonial rule in India, the permanent settlement consolidated what became known as the zamindari system; the British rewarded supportive zamindars by recognizing them as princes. Many of the region's princely states were pre-colonial zamindar holdings elevated to a greater protocol.
However, the British reduced the land holdings of many pre-colonial aristocrats, demoting their status to a zamindar from higher ranks of nobility. The system was abolished during land reforms in East Bengal in 1950, India in 1951 and West Pakistan in 1959; the zamindars played an important role in the regional histories of the subcontinent. One of the most notable examples is the 16th century confederation formed by twelve zamindars in the Bhati region, according to the Jesuits and Ralph Fitch, earned a reputation for successively repelling Mughal invasions through naval battles; the confederation was led by a zamindar-king, Isa Khan, included both Muslims and Hindus, such as Pratapaditya. The zamindars were patrons of the arts; the Tagore family produced India's first Nobel laureate in literature in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore, based at his estate. The zamindars promoted neoclassical and Indo-Saracenic architecture. Before Mughal rule in India, the aristocracy collected and retained revenue from land and production.
The Mughals appointed people to act as tax officers, sending them around the country to oversee collection of revenue and remit it to the capital city of Delhi. These people were known as the zamindari and they collected revenue from the Ryots The zamindari system was more prevalent in the north of India because Mughal influence in the south was less apparent. Primary and secondary zamindars were a landowning class with superior rights in the land, but working as part of the Mughal administration for the collection of land revenue; the third category was of semiautonomous rulers. These hereditary rulers were known by various names such as Rais, Rajas and Rawals; the zamindari system ensured proper collection of taxes in a period when the power and influence of the Mughal emperors were in decline. With the Mughal conquest of Bengal, "zamindar" became a generic title embracing people with different kinds of landholdings and responsibilities ranging from the autonomous or semi-independent chieftains to the peasant-proprietors.
All categories of zamindars under the Mughals were required to perform certain police and military duties. Zamindars under the Mughals were, in fact, more the public functionaries than revenue collecting agents. Although zamindaris were allowed to be held hereditarily, the holders were not considered to be the proprietors of their estates; the territorial zamindars had judicial powers also. This conferred status with attendant power, which made them the lords of their domains, they held regular courts, called zamindari adalat. The courts gave them not only power and status but some income as well by way of fines and perquisites; the petty zamindars had some share in the dispensation of criminal justice. Many zamindars had authority to deal with the complaints of debts and petty quarrels and to impose paltry fines; the British colonists of India adopted the extant zamindari system of revenue collection in the north of the country. They recognised the zamindars as landowners and proprietors as opposed to Mughal government and in return required them to collect taxes.
Although some zamindars were present in the south, they were not so in large numbers and the British administrators used the ryotwari method of collection, which involved selecting certain farmers as being land owners and requiring them to remit their taxes directly. The Zamindars of Bengal were influential in the development of Bengal, they played pivotal part during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Unlike the autonomous or frontier chiefs, the hereditary status of the zamindar class was circumscribed by the Mughals, the heir depended to a certain extent on the pleasure of the sovereign. Heirs were set by descent or a times adoption by religious laws. Under the British Empire, the zamindars were to be subordinate to the crown and not act as hereditary lords, but at times family politics was at the heart of naming an heir. At times, a cousin could be named an heir with closer family relatives present; the zamindari system was abolished in independent India soon after its creation with the first amendment to the constitution of India which amended the right to property as shown in Articles 19 and 31.
This allowed the states to make their own "Zamindari Abolition Acts". In Bangladesh, the East Bengal State Acquisition and Tenancy Act of 1950 had a similar effect of ending the system. Indian feudalism Indian honorifics Maratha titles Jagirdar Mankari List of amendments of the Constitution of India Zamindars of Bengal Zamindars of Bihar
Urdu —or, more Modern Standard Urdu—is a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language. It is the official national lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the six states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi, it is a registered regional language of Nepal. Apart from specialized vocabulary, spoken Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi, another recognized register of Hindustani; the Urdu variant of Hindustani received recognition and patronage under British rule when the British replaced the local official languages with English and Hindustani written in Nastaʿlīq script, as the official language in North and Northwestern India. Religious and political factors pushed for a distinction between Urdu and Hindi in India, leading to the Hindi–Urdu controversy. According to Nationalencyklopedin's 2010 estimates, Urdu is the 21st most spoken first language in the world, with 66 million speakers.
According to Ethnologue's 2017 estimates, along with standard Hindi and the languages of the Hindi belt, is the 3rd most spoken language in the world, with 329.1 million native speakers, 697.4 million total speakers. Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of Hindustani, it evolved from the medieval Apabhraṃśa register of the preceding Shauraseni language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language, the ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages. Around 75% of Urdu words have their etymological roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit, 99% of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit; because Persian-speaking sultans ruled the Indian subcontinent for a number of years, Urdu was influenced by Persian and to a lesser extent, which have contributed to about 25% of Urdu's vocabulary. Although the word Urdu is derived from the Turkic word ordu or orda, from which English horde is derived, Turkic borrowings in Urdu are minimal and Urdu is not genetically related to the Turkic languages. Urdu words originating from Chagatai and Arabic were borrowed through Persian and hence are Persianized versions of the original words.
For instance, the Arabic ta' marbuta changes to te. Contrary to popular belief, Urdu did not borrow from the Turkish language, but from Chagatai, a Turkic language from Central Asia. Urdu and Turkish borrowed from Arabic and Persian, hence the similarity in pronunciation of many Urdu and Turkish words. Arabic influence in the region began with the late first-millennium Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent; the Persian language was introduced into the subcontinent a few centuries by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties including that of Mahmud of Ghazni. The Turko-Afghan Delhi Sultanate established Persian as its official language, a policy continued by the Mughal Empire, which extended over most of northern South Asia from the 16th to 18th centuries and cemented Persian influence on the developing Hindustani; the name Urdu was first used by the poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi around 1780. From the 13th century until the end of the 18th century Urdu was known as Hindi.
The language was known by various other names such as Hindavi and Dehlavi. Hindustani in Persian script was used by Muslims and Hindus, but was current chiefly in Muslim-influenced society; the communal nature of the language lasted until it replaced Persian as the official language in 1837 and was made co-official, along with English. Hindustani was promoted in British India by British policies to counter the previous emphasis on Persian; this triggered a Hindu backlash in northwestern India, which argued that the language should be written in the native Devanagari script. This literary standard called "Hindi" replaced Urdu as the official language of Bihar in 1881, establishing a sectarian divide of "Urdu" for Muslims and "Hindi" for Hindus, a divide, formalized with the division of India and Pakistan after independence. There have been attempts to "purify" Urdu and Hindi, by purging Urdu of Sanskrit words, Hindi of Persian loanwords, new vocabulary draws from Persian and Arabic for Urdu and from Sanskrit for Hindi.
English has exerted a heavy influence on both as a co-official language. There are over 100 million native speakers of Urdu in India and Pakistan together: there were 52 million and 80.5 million Urdu speakers in India as per the 2001 and 2011 censuses respectively. However, a knowledge of Urdu allows one to speak with far more people than that, because Hindustani, of which Urdu is one variety, is the third most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English; because of the difficulty in distinguishing between Urdu and Hindi speakers in India and Pakistan, as well as estimating the number of people for whom Urdu is a second language, the estimated number of speakers is uncertain and controversial. Owing to interaction with other languages, Urdu has become localized wherever it is spoken, including in Pakistan. Urdu in Pakistan has undergone changes and has incorporated and borrowed many words from region
Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. The term has been used as a geographical and religious identifier for people indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; the historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims; the historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars.
A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma and contrasted it with Turaka dharma; the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Muslims.
The vast majority of Hindus 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom and Myanmar; these together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010. The word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means "a large body of water", covering "river, ocean", it was used as the name of the Indus river and referred to its tributaries. The actual term'hindu' first occurs, states Gavin Flood, as "a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhu in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, referring to northwestern India; the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama.
The term'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang. Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious" according to Arvind Sharma. While Xuanzang suggested that the term refers to the country named after the moon, another Buddhist scholar I-tsing contradicted the conclusion saying that In-tu was not a common name for the country. Al-Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, the texts of the Delhi Sultanate period use the term'Hindu', where it includes all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists, retains the ambiguity of being "a region or a religion". The'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to Romila Thapar.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially:'Indian','indigenous, local', virtually'native'. The Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves and their "traditional ways" from those of the invaders; the text Prithviraj Raso, by Chanda Baradai, about the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori, is full of references to "Hindus" and "Turks", at one stage, says "both the religions have drawn their curved swords. In Islamic literature,'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350, uses the word'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word'hindu' to mean'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion"; the poet Vidyapati's poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes "The Hindus and the Turks live close together. One of the earliest uses of word'Hindu' in religious context in a European language, was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.
Other prominent mentions of'Hindu' include the epigraphical inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim dynasties in the 14th century, where the word'Hindu' implies a religious identity in contrast to'Turks' or Islam
Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication; some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic; some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled with the management of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor. Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume 9th edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes as the tenth edition, published in 1902.
Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but in the efforts made to make it more popular. American marketing methods assisted sales; some 14% of the contributors were from North America, a New York office was established to coordinate their work. The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of selected articles or at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China, a key is given in each volume to these initials; some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley, James Hopwood Jeans and William Michael Rossetti. Among the lesser-known contributors were some who would become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell.
Many articles were carried over from some with minimal updating. Some of the book-length articles were divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others much abridged; the best-known authors contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by British Museum scholars and other scholars; the 1911 edition was the first edition of the encyclopædia to include more than just a handful of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition. The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes of the format of the Britannica, it was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The print type was subject to continual updating until publication, it was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in, added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first not to include long treatise-length articles. Though the overall length of the work was about the same as that of its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000.
It was the first edition of Britannica to include biographies of living people. Sixteen maps of the famous 9th edition of Stielers Handatlas were translated to English, converted to Imperial units, printed in Gotha, Germany by Justus Perthes and became part this edition. Editions only included Perthes' great maps as low quality reproductions. According to Coleman and Simmons, the content of the encyclopedia was distributed as follows: Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a American publication. In 1922, an additional three volumes, were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including World War I. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, consisting of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content.
However, it became apparent that a more thorough update of the work was required. The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was revised, with much text eliminated or abridged to make room for new topics; the eleventh edition was the basis of every version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation. The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its maximum, imperialism was unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, the tragedy of the modern world wars was still in the future, they are an invaluable resource for topics omitted from modern encyclopedias for biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia has value as an example of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern reference texts.
In 1917, using the pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+
The Free Dictionary is an American online dictionary and encyclopedia that gathers information from a variety of sources. The site cross-references the contents of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Columbia Encyclopedia, the Computer Desktop Encyclopedia, the Hutchinson Encyclopedia and Wikipedia, as well as the Acronym Finder database, several financial dictionaries, legal dictionaries and other content, it has a feature that allows a user to preview an article while positioning the mouse cursor over a link. One can double click on any word and look it up in the dictionary; the site is run by Inc. located in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. Farlex maintains a companion title, TheFreeLibrary.com, an online library of out-of-copyright classic books and a collection of periodicals of over two million articles dating back to 1984, definition-of.com, a community dictionary of slang and other terms. Wikipedia content is hosted at the sub-domain encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com, excluded from search-engine indexing in its entirety by Farlex with the use of meta tags.
This is done to avoid duplicate content in the search-engine results and prevent user traffic that would otherwise go to Wikipedia. The Free Library is a free reference website that offers full-text versions of classic literary works by hundreds of authors, it is a news aggregator, offering articles from a large collection of periodicals containing over four million articles dating back to 1984. Newly published articles are added to the site daily; the site comprises a selection of articles from open-access journals that can in many cases be found on a journal's own website. It is a sister site to The Free Dictionary and usage examples in the form of "references in classic literature" taken from the site's collection are used on The Free Dictionary's definition pages. In addition, double-clicking on a word in the site's collection of reference materials brings up the word's definition on The Free Dictionary. List of online dictionaries List of online encyclopedias TheFreeDictionary.com TheFreeLibrary.com
The Mahalwari system was introduced by Holt Mackenzie, son of Henry Mackenzie. The other two systems were the Permanent Settlement of Bengal in 1793 and the Ryotwari system in 1820, it covered parts of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. During the 1800s, the British tried to establish their control over the administrative machinery of India; the System of Land Revenue acted as a chief source of income of the British. Land was one of the most important source of income for the British. Thus, they used land to control the entire Revenue system, strengthening their economic condition in India; the word Mahalwari is derived from the Hindi word Mahal, which means house, neighbourhood or quarter. This system consisted of landlords or Lambardars claiming to represent entire villages or groups of villages. Along with the village communities, the landlords were jointly responsible for the payment of the revenues. But, individual responsibility was always there; the land included under this system consisted of all land of the villages the forestland, pastures etc.
This system was prevalent in the parts of Uttar Pradesh, the North Western province, parts of Central India and Punjabthe Mahalwari system was introduced in the parts of central india and punjab due to the fertility of these two areas. The system was supposed to be revised after every 30 years, but this time period was not appropriate for the soldiers had to wait for such a long period of time for the system to be revised. Moreover, the system did not take natural calamities in consideration and hence, led to debt and poverty while crop failures, droughts and other hazards when the land revenue was expected to be exempted; the north-western states and Awadh were two important territories acquired by the British in India. In 1801, the Nawab of Awadh surrendered the districts of Allahabad to the East India Company; the Jamuna and the Ganges came to the British after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Lord Hastings conquered more territories of North India after the Third Anglo-Maratha War in the year 1820.
The village headman or Lambardar was responsible for all the recommendations, the survey of lands, preparation of the records of rights in lands, settlement of the land revenues, demand in the Mahals, the collection of the land revenue. The Regulation VII of 1822 accredited the legal sanction to these recommendations. In cases where estates were not held by the landlords, but by the cultivators in common tenancy, the state demand was allowed to be fixed at 95% of the rental. However, quite this system broke down as the state demand was excessively large and its working was quite rigid; the amount, payable by the cultivators was quite more than. The government of William Bentinck made a thorough revision of the act of 1823, thus the Mahalwari System was introduced, they realized. After a prolonged consultation, the Government passed a new regulation in 1833; the mahalwari system of land revenue was introduced by Robert Merttins Bird. It played a large part in making the system more flexible; the process of preparing estimates of produce and rents was simplified too.
It introduced the fixation of the average rents for different classes of soil. This scheme functioned under Mettins Bird; the processes of measuring land, examining soil quality was improved further. The State demand was fixed at 66% of the rental value and the Settlement was made for 30 years; the Mahalwari system of land revenue worked under the scheme of 1833 was completed under the administration of James Thompson. The 66% rental demanded proved harsh, too. In the Saharanpur Rules of 1855, it was revised to 50% by Lord Dalhousie. However, the British officers hardly cared of these rules; this created widespread discontent among the Indians. Ryotwari Permanent Settlement The History of India, vol.2, T. G. Percival Spear, Penguin ISBN 0-14-013836-6 India: A History, John Keay, Grove/Atlantic ISBN 0-8021-3797-0 A rule of property for Bengal: an essay on the idea of permanent settlement, Ranajit Guha, Duke U Press ISBN 0-8223-1771-0
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.