"Modern Standard Arabic" (MSA) is the literary standard across the Middle East and North Africa, and one of the official six languages of the United Nations. Most printed matter in the Arab world—including most books, newspapers, magazines, official documents, and reading primers for small children—is written in MSA. After Latin script, Arabic script is the second most widely used in the world.

"Formal Spoken Arabic" is a new Western term used to describe Arabic spoken by educated native speakers in a formal situation or when communicating with Arabs from other Arab countries. It represents a grammatically simplified version of Modern Standard Arabic with some elements of colloquial dialects. Other similar terms are: Educated Spoken Arabic, Inter-Arabic, Middle Arabic and Spoken MSA. In Arabic this term can be described as عامية المثقفين .

The Arabic Alphabet:

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