Case study: Arabic

Arabic is one of the world's major languages and is the official language of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

In 1974 Arabic was made the 6th official language of the United Nations.

The present alphabet consists of 28 letters, mostly based on consonants, and is written from right to left. Spoken Arabic varies from country to country but classical Arabic – the language of the Koran – has remained largely unchanged since the 7th century, and this is used as a common language by Arabic speakers from different countries when they meet.

Many English words stem from Arabic, particularly those beginning with ‘al’, such as ‘algebra’, ‘albatross’, and ‘alcove’. Other words include ‘giraffe’ , ‘minaret’, ‘sofa’, ‘syrup’, ‘amber’, and ‘magazine’.

Companies who have taken Arabic for Business courses with CLT include global players Rolls Royce in Bedford and BAE Systems. A key account manager from BAE Systems chose to undertake his Arabic training in the form of a one week intensive business Arabic course which was held in the Peak District Derbyshire at the renowned Peacock Hotel at Rowsley.

Other clients turning to CLT for their business Arabic training include Nichols-Vimto, PXL Associates, Harrods and the famous auction house Sotheby’s in London.

Corporate clients learning business Arabic tend to concentrate on verbal communication skills – speaking and listening – as learning the Arabic script would be a more time-consuming course, and reading or writing Arabic is not usually a priority for business people whose main aim is to converse more fluently with clients and colleagues overseas.