Saudi Arabia officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in an Arab independent nation in the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar to the east, Kuwait to the northeast, Iraq and Jordan to the north, Yemen to the south, and Oman to the southeast. The Gulf of Aqaba separates Saudi Arabia from Egypt and Israel. This is the only country that has both a Persian Gulf coast and a Red Sea coast.
There are a number of languages spoken in Saudi Arabia but the official language is Arabic, which is also the first language of the majority of the population. This language has three main dialects: Najdi Arabic, Gulf Arabic, and Hejazi Arabic. Najdi Arabic is spoken in the country’s central region and by close to a third of the country’s population. It has four main dialects: BadawiNajdi spoken by nomadic tribes in the Najd region; Southern Najdi spoken in the south-central area, especially in Kharj City and neighboring villages and towns; Central Najdi also referred to as Urban Najdi is spoken in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city, and other neighboring cities and farming communities; and Northern Najdiis spoken in the Zulfi, JabalShammar, and Qaseem areas. Hejazi Arabic is also referred to as Western Arabian Arabic and is spoken in the country’s western region. It has two dialects; the one spoken by the Bedouin or the rural population, and the one spoken by the nation’s urban dwellers, especially in Medina, Jeddah, Yanbu, and Mecca. Gulf Arabic also referred to as Shargi or Khaliji Arabic is spoken on Saudi Arabia’s coastline along the Persian Gulf.
The most spoken form of Arabic in Saudi Arabia is the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) compared to Classical Arabic. MSA is used by politicians and the media, for instance, television and radio. Newspapers and other forms of print media also use MSA which is also taught in learning institutions as a second foreign language.
There are a few other minority languages spoken in Saudi Arabia. Some of these are Tagalog, Rohingya spoken by emigrants from Myanmar who have come to live and work in Saudi Arabia, Urdu spoken by Pakistanis living and working in the country, and Egyptian Arabic spoken by Egyptians living in the country. Other minority languages include Bengali, French, Italian, Sudanese Arabic, Somali, Iranian Persian, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Swahili, Southern Balochi, Turkish, Uyghur, North Levantine Spoken Arabic, and English.All of these minority languages are spoken by foreign workers who have migrated from their countries is search of better jobs. To this group of people, their local tongue is their first language.
Another language is the Saudi Sign Language. This is the main language of the deaf community in the country who make up about 100,000 people.
All the languages spoken in Saudi Arabia are very important since they contribute to the country’s cultural diversity and promote relations between related and different groups of people.