Egypt's parliament deliberates draft law on protecting the Arabic language



Sat, 18 Dec 2021 - 03:42 GMT


Sat, 18 Dec 2021 - 03:42 GMT

Arabic calligraphy - FILE

Arabic calligraphy - FILE

CAIRO – 18 December 2021: The parliament has been deliberating a draft law to protect and develop Arabic in the face of an increasing interest in foreign languages at the expense of the official language.

MPs Soulaf Darwish and Mona Omar presented a draft law that suggests means to develop Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic, including penalties on companies that do not use Arabic in their official records, obligating the state to produce drama and animated movies for children in standard Arabic.

It also suggests establishing a translation center in all universities to translate Arabic books into foreign languages and gifted to universities outside of Egypt and obligating transport companies to use Arabic on their vehicles. All public and private institutions and companies should use Arabic in their documents, records, contracts, prices, and information about their products should also be in Arabic, according to the draft law.

The second article of the Egyptian constitution stipulates that Arabic is the language of the state, but the language does not receive the adequate attention despite that, Darwish and Omar have said.

The examples they set as evidence to the decline of Arabic in Egypt include giving shops and restaurants foreign names, and that most of the speeches of politicians and officials are full of grammatical mistakes, in addition to the fact that they are mostly in slang.

Omar and Darwish also mentioned “Franco-Arab,” which appeared concurrently with chat programs and instant messaging, where some Arabic speakers write in Arabic using Latin alphabet, replacing letters that do not exist in Latin with numbers. They also said international schools do not obligate students to pass Arabic, producing a segment of a generation that prefer to speak a foreign language and do not speak standard Arabic fluently.

Arabic’s deterioration encouraged some people to focus on other languages and ignore Arabic, which creates a “dual-loyalty” issue in the one country, according to the draft law.

Arabic needs to be protected and its uses developed to preserve the language in writing and speech, the MPs said, adding that it needs to be protected from foreign influences and to developed into a contemporary language that copes with the advancement in human civilization.  




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