The Semitic languages are a family of languages spoken by more than 300 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. They constitute the northeastern subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic languages, and the only branch of this group spoken in Asia.
All Semitic languages exhibit a unique pattern of stems consisting of "triliteral" or consonantal roots (normally consisting of three consonants), from which nouns, adjectives, and verbs are formed by inserting vowels with, potentially, prefixes, suffixes, or infixes.
For instance, the root k-t-b, "write", yields in Arabic:
kataba كتب means "he wrote"
and in Hebrew (where it appears as k-t-ḇ):
kataḇ כתב means "he wrote" or "reporter" (m)