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Is there any difference between Arabic and Arabian? It's sound same though for me. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The area is referred to as Arabia. (As in Saudi Arabia)

A person from that area is an Arab. (As in the Monty Python's song Never be rude to an Arab)

The people there speak Arabic. (As in "the word "algebra" comes from Arabic)

Any other stuff coming from Arabia is Arabian. (As in the book Arabian Nights)

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That brings up an interesting thought. For most places, our name for the language is the same as our adjective for things from that place. People from France speak "French" and produce "French things". People from Germany speak "German" and produce "German things". People from Japan speak "Japanese" and produce "Japanese things". Etc. But for Arabia we have two different words. I wonder why. (Other exceptions are when they don't have a local language, like people in Argentina have "Argentine things" while the language they speak is Spanish, but that's a boring case.) – Jay Apr 8 '14 at 19:02
Have a look at Scotland :) The people are Scots, they speak Scottish and everything they make is Scottish, except some products like Scotch (which is whisky) and Scotch eggs, Scotch tape, etc. – oerkelens Apr 8 '14 at 19:35
And of course, people, things and language from the Netherlands are all Dutch :) – oerkelens Apr 8 '14 at 19:37

Arabic refers to the language of Arab, whereas Arabian refers to the people of Arab.

The root word is "Arab", and to form "Arabic" and "Arabian" two suffixes are used - "-ic" and "-ian" respectively.

-ic : (suffix) One relating to or characterized by. Example - Academic

-ian : (suffix) One relating to, belonging to, or resembling. Example - Washingtonian

N.B The etymology of the word "Arabic" is not derived form just by adding a suffix with the word "Arab"

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The area is called Arabia, not Arab :) An Arab is a person from Arabia, something from Arabia is Arabian and the language from Arabia is Arabic. – oerkelens Apr 8 '14 at 6:52
@oerkelens your comment is worth an answer! – Nico Apr 8 '14 at 18:44
@Nico, if you say so :) – oerkelens Apr 8 '14 at 18:52
@oerkelens:Nice examples. – user5583 Apr 8 '14 at 18:56

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