ERIC Number: ED276276
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Communicating in Arabic: Problems and Prospects.
Ibrahim, Muhammad H.
The basic problem of communicating in Arabic today is the existence of two language varieties, one spoken and one written. These may even be considered two distinct languages. They have existed side by side for as long as one knows. Classical written Arabic became fossilized and developed as a closed system independent of common usage and linguistic change. Written Arabic is the only variety in which education can be acquired in any Arab country, and has become a sign of elitism. Even so, it is not considered a valid source of grammatical rules. Spoken and written Arabic now compete in every respect. The process of Arabicization has been undertaken in many Arab countries, particularly in higher education, but it usually refers to the widespread use of Arabic to the exclusion of some other language, such as English. A better solution would be Arabicization, a conscious effort at linguistic change (Arabicization) in the overall context of social change. It would be desirable for all Arab countries to adopt a comprehensive language policy addressing such issues as adaptation of written Arabic norms to contemporary usage, universal literacy in Arabic in the Arab region by the year 2000, standardization of written Arabic, and full Arabicization at all educational levels within 10 years. (MSE)
Descriptors: Arabic, Communication (Thought Transfer), Diachronic Linguistics, Diglossia, Grammar, Higher Education, Language Planning, Language Role, Language Usage, Language Variation, Languages for Special Purposes, Sociocultural Patterns, Standard Spoken Usage, Technological Advancement, Written Language
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Conference on Vernacular Languages for Modern Societies (Bad Homburg, West Germany, June 11-15, 1985).