In spite of freshwater springs offshore, Bahrain is essentially a desert surrounded by water. In recorded history there has never been any rain during the months of June through September.
In 1992, the Bahraini population was estimated at about 518,000 people.
The official language of Bahrain is Arabic. English is also spoken by many Bahrainis. Farsi (Persian) is spoken by the Iranians in Bahrain. The Indian population speaks Hindi, and the Pakistanis speak Urdu.
Throughout the world, Arabic dialects differ from one country to another. Even within Bahrain, city dwellers find the dialect of the rural population "uncultured."
Arabic is written from right to left in a unique alphabet that has no distinction between capital and lower-case letters. It is not necessary for the letters to be written on a straight line, as English letters must be. Punctuation is also quite different from that of English.
"Hello" in Arabic is marhaba or ahlan , to which one replies, marhabtayn or ahlayn.
Other common greetings are as-salam alaykum (Peace be with you), with the reply of walaykum as-salam (and to you peace).
Ma'assalama means "goodbye." "Thank you" is shukran, and "you're welcome" is afwan ; "yes" is na'am, and "no" is la'a.
The numbers one to ten in Arabic are: wahad , itnin , talata , arba'a , khamsa , sitta , saba'a , tamania , tisa'a , and ashara.
Arabs have very long names, consisting of their first (given) name, their father's name, their paternal grandfather's name, and finally their family name (surname).