Course Code ARAB
Contact Lubna Safaa
Levels Offered 1st, 2nd year Full course list *
Minor Available No
Placement Test Required prior to registration in ALL levels of ARAB courses (including ARAB 1110).
Placement testing is required for all students whether or not they have previous knowledge in the language.
More details
* Not all courses are offered every term. Please check Carleton Central and/or the Public Class Schedule for course availability.

Important: Placement is required prior to registration in ALL levels of ARAB (see placement test).

Why you should study Arabic

The Khan el Khalili souk is located in the heart of Cairo’s Islamic district. Filled with merchants and artisans, the souk (which means “marketplace or bazaar” in Arabic) has been around for almost 2000 years and on any given day the cobbled streets are filled with the cries of vendors, fragrant smoke of barbequing meat, and a general hubbub of people buying, selling and haggling as they have done for centuries. And the language you’ll hear in these streets is Arabic.  Are you ready to join the conversation?

At Carleton, Arabic classes place special emphasis on both spoken and written language as well as cultural aspects of countries where Arabic is the dominant language. Classes are diverse and each student has his or her own reason for studying it:

  • pursuing religious study
  • developing proficiency for diplomatic/international postings
  • travel and discover different Arabic cultures and regions
  • reading early literature and poetry in the original Arabic

Important: Please note, our 1st & 2nd year courses are NOT intended for those who already speak Arabic or have a significant background in the language.

About the Language

According to UNESCO (2012), there are approximately 300 million native speakers of Arabic worldwide of whom almost 400,000 live in Canada. (Statistics Canada, 2011) Different dialects of Arabic are spoken across the Middle East: North African, Egyptian, Sudanese, Levantine, Gulf, and Iraqi Arabic. All are variations based on Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), which comes from classical Arabic found in the Qur’an, holy book of Islam.

In addition to its religious importance, Arabic is an important language for international diplomacy and international business, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Proficiency in Arabic may also prove an asset for careers in finance, human services, and medicine here in Canada where Arabic speakers form an integral part of our multicultural fabric.

Some interesting facts about Arabic include:

  • Arabic is written from right to left using cursive (joined up) writing except for numbers, which are written left to right.
  • Arabic has 28 consonants, 3 long vowels and 3 short vowels known as diacritics that are written above or below letters.
e.g. Arabic text for write  [ kataba ] – he wrote

arabic write  [ kutiba ] – it was written

arabic write  [ kutub ] – books

  • In the 7th century, Arabic-speaking invaders entered Spain. Today evidence of their language remains, mixed in with Spanish: “barrio”, Spanish for “neighbourhood” comes from Arabic “barri” meaning “city limits”; “almohada”, or “pillow” from “al-mikadda”; and “Azúcar” or “sugar comes from “as-sukkar” in Arabic.  (Source)

Info Sheet

Registration Information

Space in language courses is limited.  Register as early as possible.  If the course is full when you attempt to register, please submit a Course Registration Override Request or, if applicable, add your name to a waitlist on Carleton Central.  Click here to learn more about how waitlisting works.