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Re: VMs: Arabic

During the last 25 years I have lived and worked in the Middle East, using
Arabic. However, I do not claim to be an Arabist. My wife is much better
than I am. My interest is more in old languages. Once you get a grasp of
Arabic, then fitting in the missing vowels is quite easy, especially if you
understand the grammar. However, it is not uncommon for an Arab to read a
sentence, then back up and read it again, this time getting the vowels in
the right place. It's not too hard when you realize how the language is put
together. However, this is not the place for Arabic lessons. Especially
since this manuscript may not have Arabic at it's roots, but the older
languages that modern Arabic stems from. Remember that in 600 AD Mohammed's
small tribe in Arabia forced their local dialect on the whole Arabian
peninsula and effectively wiped out all pre-existing languages in the
region. Only groups with a large cultural presence managed to maintain their
language, such as the Chaldeans and Sabeans of Iraq. Their scripts are very
non-Arab in form, looking much more like European scripts, but the root of
their language is the same as modern Arabic.

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