The term "Arabic" may refer with equal accuracy to either literary Arabic or the many localized varieties of Arabic commonly called "colloquial Arabic". Arabs consider literary Arabic as the standard language and tend to view everything else as mere dialects.
Literary Arabic refers both to the language of present-day media across North Africa and the Middle East and to the language of the Qur'an. (
"Colloquial" or "dialectal" Arabic refers to the many national or regional varieties derived from Classical Arabic, spoken daily across North Africa and the Middle East, which constitute the everyday spoken language. These sometimes differ enough to be mutually incomprehensible. These dialects are not typically written, although a certain amount of literature (particularly plays and poetry) exists in many of them. They are often used to varying degrees in informal spoken media, such as soap operas and talk shows. Literary Arabic or classical Arabic is the official language of all Arab countries and is the only form of Arabic taught in schools at all stages.