Wednesday, December 18, 2013

World Arabic Language Day--December 18, 2013

Today is the UNESCO World Arabic Language Day, commemorated on the 18th of December as the anniversary of the day in 1973 that the United Nations declared that Arabic would be one of its official languages. Today it is one of 6: Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish.

Other posts of interest on World Arabic Language Day include: Starting Today, Party Like It’s World Arabic Language(s) Day on the status of the different "dialects" of Arabic in relation to Modern Standard Arabic; La giornata mondiale della lingua araba è oggi! on the Italian blog editoriarabia, with readers' expressions of why they started studying Arabic and why they love it.

News articles include those from Dubai, Celebrate World Arabic Language Day by learning the language'Dubai Centre for Arabic Language’ opens in Dubai; from Egypt, Egypt's SCC to celebrate World Arabic Language Day 18 Dec; from Kuwait, UNESCO marks 2nd World Arabic language Day; from Algeria, Journée internationale de la langue arabe : « L’évolution d’une langue dépend des initiatives individuelles », from Morocco, A propos de la Darija dans l’enseignement : Un débat pour un recul plus grand on the teaching of the North African dialect of Arabic in schools; from Saudi Arabia, Book fair in Riyadh to mark World Arabic Language Day.

Two learners from the UNESCO celebrations site:

As for me:
أدرسُ اللغة العربية، أكتب و أقرأ بشكل سيئ و أتكلم بشكل أسوأ، مع الممارسة والاستمرار سوف أتحسن

What about you?
Do you think it is a good idea to have a day celebrating Arabic or "the Arabics"?
Have you tried to learn Arabic? What have been your experiences?
Do you want to learn Arabic? Why? How will you go about it?
If you are a native speaker of Arabic, what do you feel are its special qualities? What reasons would you give for learning Arabic? How would you recommend going about it?
Any other comments, thoughts, impressions?


Haitham Jafar said...

Firstly I demand a Chechen Day -too- :P
Okay, I don`t :D

I had hard time learning Arabic. We speak Chechen at home (mostly); a mixture of Arabic & English is also evident but as a kid u r speaking Chechen mostly. Until u go to school u r basically clueless regarding the Arabic language. The first year at school was a nightmare by all means but ,seriously, I couldn`t be more delighted for learning Arabic language :), I`m happy to say it`s the best language I learned EVER :), a hard lang for that matter but worth it just the same :)

Susanne said...

I wanted to learn at one time, and even made flashcards and learned how to write and identify the alphabet. But then I saw online how they were all scribbled together, many times in such a small way...and gave up. I realized I was too old and not gifted enough in languages to even try.

I would like to learn mostly because it's the language of my dear friend Samer, but since he knows English so well and doesn't seem to mind speaking it, I figured why waste my time trying to learn his. :)

Thanks for letting us know about Arabic day. Had no idea there was one! :)

jaraad said...

I am a native Arabic speaker. I am very proud of my language because of its beauty and articulation.
There are two main differences between English and Arabic:
1. Learning to write words in Arabic is easier than in English. Words in Arabic are written in the same way they are spoken. For example, there are no silent letters
2. You don't have to pronounce the Arabic word accurately to be understood. In the U.S., I found that Americans have difficulty understanding people who speak English as a second language if they don't use the correct syllables.

When I tried to learn Chinese I was overwhelmed by the number of sounds the language has. I couldn't differentiate between these sounds. I couldn't continue of course. The Arabic language doesn't have sounds. This is why it is easier for an Arab speaker to understand Arabic from an Arabic learner.

To learn a language one has to have a goal. Without this goal anyone will fail to learn even the easiest language.

It seems speaking Arabic is easier than writing it. I have met many non-Arabs who speak fluent Arabic but can't write it. Usually, these people live in the Middle East. So, I guess they depend on hearing the words for learning Arabic.

mohali said...

I add my modest contribution.

Party of 5 said...

I am still learning...I know less than I did year ago :(
I am more interested in speaking to pass on to the kids...hubby can help with the writing if needed.

Happy New Year Chiara!

Wendy said...

I have been trying to learn for several years now and realize the only way I will become anywhere near conversational is to find a class where I must attend on a regular basis. I had a teacher 2 years ago and I learned the alphabet and how to write. Sadly she moved away. It's not easy to learn when one gets to a 'certain age' but I intend to keep trying. Every visit to an Arabic speaking country give me a bit more speaking ability but to really be good at Arabic one has to learn to read and write as well as speak.


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