The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          



The Arabic Language

Arabic (Al Arabiya), a Semitic idiom, is the main language spoken in Syria. The Arabic language was adopted and spread over a large area of land in the Seventh Century. This language has very old roots going back to the Assyrians in the Ninth Century BC. Other languages related to Arabic are Babylonian, Hittite (or Hourrite), Hebrew and Aramean.

Arabic was probably first written in the Second and Third Centuries, the Lakhmides tribe in Southern Mesopotamia. The Arabic alphabet has a few extra letters that do not exist in the normal Latin and Germanic languages. Arabic is also written from Right to Left.

'KH' should be pronounced like the German 'ch' in 'NACHT'.
'GH' should be pronounced like the way Parisian and Germans pronounce the letter 'R'. There are separate letters to signify 'SH', and there three versions of 'TH', one like in 'THE', another harder one like in 'THOUGHT', and a third much heavier version.
There are two types of 'T', 'K', 'D', 'S', and 'H' one is pronounced lightly and the other much heavier, the heavier 'H' is a pharyngeal sound. Arabic does not have a letter for 'V'.

As for Arabic numbers that are, funnily enough called 'Hindi Numerals', they are written from Left to Right. Units are on the far right and then towards the left the tens, hundreds, etc. Western numbers as we know them are called Arabic numerals, Indian mathematicians were the first to discover the Zero.

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