Arabic is the official language here in Saudi Arabia. English is the unofficial second language. It is written from right to left and books are read starting from back to front.
Most foreigners here speak English and Arabic along with their own language. I am feeling less smart now and with that in the US, other languages were taught to children at an early age. Most US public schools begin teaching foreign languages (usually Spanish or French) in middle or high school. This makes me glad that my children are here and will be learning Arabic at an early age. The school where they will be going, offers Arabic and French. All the other courses are taught in English. Currently, the kids are learning Urdu from our in-laws, which is the major language from Pakistan. Wow-so maybe our children will be tri-lingual!
I have been inspired to learn arabic, from a fellow American, who is also living in Saudi Arabia. On her blog, she posted this humorous video of her Saudi husband using a children's book to teach her Arabic. So, if you want to hear and see what Arabic is all about...check out this video.
Her blog is: http://thesamerainbowsend.com/