Am I correct in stating that "Arabic" is a language; An "Arab" is a person of "Arab" dissent; and "Arabian" is a culture & history; but more contemporary usage of "Arab" can be more collective, e.g. to describe culture and history in place of the word "Arabian?" I.e. Arab can be short for Arabian now; therefore, "Arabian" is becoming archaic? Moreover, is the term "Oriental" correctly descriptive, generally of Arabian, other Middle Eastern, some North African, some South Asian, and some Mediterranean Cultures? Please clarify for me! Thank you!

  • 'Oriental' is hugely dependent on the location of the speaker; see the comments here. It is also a bad idea generally to combine too many queries in one question, so I suggest you edit that part out (you could ask it as a separate question, but it would probably be closed as 'opinion-based'). – Tim Lymington Dec 6 '15 at 22:17
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    Arabian is still used of a breed of horses, and of the peninsula between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, comprising the territories of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. – Brian Donovan Dec 6 '15 at 22:59
  • "Arabian" for me means literally that it is related to Saudi Arabia. At least in the US (or at least the part where I live) "oriental" has become somewhat of a dysphemism (similar to what happened for "negro") and never refers to the middle east. It pertains to China, Japan, and countries nearby. – Matt Samuel Dec 7 '15 at 2:07

"Arabic" is the language. "Arab" refers to a group of people originating from the Arabian peninsula. "Arabian" is rarely used today. It is, on occasion, used to refer to people from Saudi Arabia, but they are more often referred to as "Saudi." Of course, this word is also used to refer to things like Arabian horses. "Oriental" just refers to anything characteristic of East Asia.

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    This answer is not useful without citations to back up the described usage patterns. Also, several of these words have changed in usage over time, and are probably also used differently in different parts of the world, so some discussion of that is called for to avoid confusing or misleading the original poster. (For example, an "oriental rug" probably does not come from East Asia.) – herisson Dec 7 '15 at 22:03
  • This is almost exactly what I have personally observed though, particularly in academic/educated environments. – Panzercrisis Dec 7 '15 at 22:09

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