Arabic is a name for what are traditionally considered the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century. This includes both the literary language and varieties of Arabic spoken in a wide arc of territory, stretching across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family.
Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Urdu, Persian, Kurdish, Turkish, Somali, Swahili, Bosnian, Kazakh, Bengali, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Tigrinya, Pashto, Punjabi, Tagalog, Sindhi and Hausa. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. Many words of Arabic origin are also found in ancient languages like Latin and Greek. Arabic influence, mainly in vocabulary, is seen in Romance languages, particularly Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Sicilian, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus.
Arabic has also borrowed words from many languages, including Hebrew, Greek, Persian and Syriac in early centuries, Turkish in medieval times and contemporary European languages in modern times, mostly from English and French.