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The official language in Oman is Arabic, a Semitic language. Another Semitic language, Aramaic, was the common language in the Middle and Near East before the beginning of our era. With the expansion of Islam, the Arabic language also became widespread throughout the Arabian peninsula. The Arabic language in Oman is most closely related to the classical Arabic language, the language of the Koran.

The Arabic script consists of 28 letters that are usually written together. Arabic words are written from right to left; numbers are written from left to right!

In South Oman, Jebeli or Shehri, which is related to Arabic, is still spoken. The Shihuh tribe on the Musandam peninsula speak a mixture of Arabic and Persian. Omanis in the east of Oman are originally from Zanzibar (Africa) and still speak Swahili.

The second official language is English. Signposts and street names are often in Arabic and English. Because of the many guest workers, Urdu and Farsi are also widely spoken.

Some pronunciation rules of Arabic:

There is no fixed spelling for Arabic words. The names are written as they are pronounced. So Aqaba can be spelled just as well as Aqaba.

The Arabic script is written from right to left and consists of 28 consonants. Vowels are not written, which results in different Latin spellings for one and the same word. Arabic numerals are written from left to right.

Words and questions:

Onewahed, female: wahda
Sundayyom el had
Woednesdayyom el ’arba’
Where is the hotel?fen el fondok?
What time is it?essa’a kam?
What is your name?‘esm-ak ‘ak? (man)
What is your name?‘esm-ek ‘eh? (woman)
Do you have change?‘andokom fakka?


Callan, L. / Oman & United Arab Emirates
Lonely Planet

Foster, L.M. / Oman
Children’s Press

Medani Elsayed, M. / Reishandboek Oman en de Verenigde Arabische Emiraten

Van Deuren, G. / Oman, Verenigde Arabische Emiraten

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info