206,000,000 L1 speakers of all Arabic varieties (Wiesenfeld 1999).
Widespread. Also in Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen.
1 (National). Statutory national language (1992, Basic Law, Article 1).
Classical Arabic (Koranic Arabic, Quranic Arabic), Modern Standard Arabic (Modern Literary Arabic). Preserves the ancient grammar.
Not an L1. 246,000,000 L2 speakers of all Arabic varieties (Wiesenfeld 1999). In most Arab countries only the well-educated have adequate proficiency in Standard Arabic, while over 100,500,000 do not. Education, official purposes, written materials, and formal speeches. Classical Arabic, with archaic vocabulary, is used for religion and ceremonial purposes.
Modern Standard Arabic is modernized Classical Arabic.