Jordan is an Arab Kingdom in Western Asia situated on the bank of Jordan River, and at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe. It borders other Arab countries including Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Israel. Present day Jordan has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period with three powerful kingdoms emerging in the process: Moab, Edom, and Ammon. Jordan is a relatively small country characterized by semi-arid conditions. It has a population of about 10 million people, of which 2.9 million people are non-citizens. 98% of Jordan's population are Arabs, while the rest is attributed to Armenians, Circassians, and Chechens. The most common languages spoken in Jordan are listed below.
Arabic is the official language in Jordan. Almost the entire population, including minority communities, speak Arabic. It is used in most written documents and media. As a junction between Arabia and the Middle East, many Arabic dialects intersect in Jordan. Such dialects have been influenced by French, English, and Turkish languages, and have had a great impact on the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation of Jordanian Arabic. There are three varieties of Arabic spoken in the country: urban, rural, and Bedouin Jordanian. Urban Arabic merges aspects of Arabic spoken by people who migrated from Hauran, Moab, and Palestine. Rural Arabic is spoken by people born in rural areas. The Bedouin language is spoken by Jordanians who live in the desert, which is located in the eastern region of the country. It is a member of the Bedawi Arabic language and is often reserved for the royal families. The meaning of words spoken in the Bedouin language is interpreted by the tone or stress of a vowel.
As a British colony, English has been the primary foreign language in the country since 1946. It is taught alongside Arabic, which gives it a unique position in the country. In fact, it is a compulsory subject in secondary schools. Universities and institutions of higher learning have also made English a priority since the job market in Jordan requires an understanding of the language. English now competes with Arabic in several areas including media, business, and scientific studies.
There is a small French speaking population in Jordan. French is mainly spoken by Jordanians interested in cultural and commercial features of France. Students in secondary schools and university also have the option of learning French as a foreign language.
There are a number of minority languages spoken in Jordan today. These languages include Armenian and Caucasian dialects like Chechen and Circassian. Tagalog language is also spoken by foreign workers from the Philippines. Some older people speak Russian since the majority completed studies in the USSR. German is also commonly spoken by those with an interest in German culture.