Jordan

Jordan is an Arab Kingdom in Western Asia and a relatively small country with a population of about 10 million people, of which nearly 3 million people are non-citizens. 98% of the population is comprised of Arabs, while the rest is made up of Armenians, Circassians, and Chechens. Although there are several languages spoken inside the country, Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of Jordan, which is spoken by almost the entire population, including the minority communities. Arabic is used in media as well as in most written documents.

Given the country’s position as the junction between the Middle East and Arabia, Jordan is an intersection of many Arabic dialects. These dialects have been influenced by French, English, and Turkish languages, and have greatly impacted the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation of the Jordanian variant of Arabic, Jordanian Arabic. The three varieties of Arabic spoken in Jordan include: urban, rural, and Bedouin Jordanian. Urban Arabic is a mix of those aspects of Arabic spoken by immigrants from Palestine, Hauran, and Moab. Rural Arabic is spoken by people from rural areas, while the Bedouin language is spoken by Jordanians who live in the desert located in the eastern part of the country. The Bedouin Arabic is a member of the Bedawi Arabic group of languages, and is often reserved for the royal families.

English and French are important foreign languages of the country, with English being the more influential of the two. Given Jordan’s past as a British colony, English has been the main foreign language in the country since 1946. English is taught in schools alongside Arabic and has the status of a compulsory subject in secondary schools. Since the job market in Jordan requires an understanding of English, universities and institutions of higher learning alike have also made English a priority in their curriculums. English is widely understood by the upper and middle classes and is heavily used in business and commerce sectors. French is spoken by a small population in Jordan, and is mainly used by Jordanians who are interested in cultural and commercial features of France. French is offered as a foreign language to students in secondary schools and universities.

Furthermore, Jordan is home to a number of minority languages spoken across the country. Some of these include Armenian and Caucasian dialects like Circassian and Chechen. German is commonly spoken by those who are interested in German culture. Foreign workers from the Philippines speak Tagalog, while some older people who completed their studies in the USSR speak Russian. Egyptian Arabic is also spoken by foreign workers from Egypt.

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