Standard Arabic must be protected, popularized, according to a seminar
Sunday’s seminar was held in the Ibin Khaldoun Hall at QU and was titled “Do Local Dialects Complement Standard Arabic? The different dimensions of Arabic dialects and their connection with Standard Arabic were discussed.
The panelists were Dr. Mohamed Khaled al-Rahawi, Professor in the Department of Arabic Language, College of Arts and Sciences – QU; Dr. Elias Atallah, professor of Arabic linguistics and lexicography at the DI; Dr. Ezz al-Din al-Bouchikhi, executive director of the Doha Historical Dictionary, and Dr. Ahmed Hajji Safar, professor of Arabic at the College of Arts and Sciences, QU. Media scholar Hassan al-Saei moderated the session, which was attended by a number of cultural and academic elites and scholars, who enriched the seminar with discussions, especially regarding ways to preserve the language. Arab.
The seminar began with a presentation by Dr. al-Rahawi on bilingualism, which he described as the existence of a literary language and its multiple dialects. This happens in all languages through the ages.
“Contemporary local Arabic dialects are mostly ancient dialects inherited from ancestors. They possessed the strength that allowed them to survive from the pre-Islamic era. They rubbed shoulders with Standard Arabic during these centuries, and they did not represent not a threat, but rather coexisted.
“Dialects since ancient times have played a functional role that Classical Arabic does not. Each ancient dialect has its own characteristics, but they all share a set of linguistic phenomena that facilitate communication between those who speak the various dialects .
“Dialects are also a space in which they are used and fulfill a function, and one of the dialects or Standard Arabic does not do what the other does, because they complement each other. Each society has its customs, its norms and traditions, and the dialects and oral history they convey greatly help in studying these customs, social life and patterns of behavior, unlike Standard Arabic, which carries the official history of the nation and of its ruling system, and literature.”
Dr. al-Rahawi concluded that dialects pose no danger to Standard Arabic as long as they remain within their everyday domain. They should not interfere in the sanctuaries of Standard Arabic, for a number of reasons, including: the existence of the fixed standard represented by the Holy Quran, then the honorable hadiths, the poems of previous eras, including most are eloquent. If a non-Arab was able to speak a sound language by reciting the Holy Quran on his own, then it would be easier for an Arab if he wanted to, he said.
In turn, Dr. Atallah described the classical language as the language of the nation, and it poses no threat to the colloquial, just as dialects pose no threat to standard Arabic. He said that whoever believes in the sovereignty of nations believes in the sovereignty of tongues.
“Threats to the language come from its people. It is we who threaten it. I see no threat from Classical Arabic to the colloquial. On the contrary, the former is a protector and a supporter of the latter. between standard and colloquial, and foremost among these differences is syntax, for the dialect is devoid of signs of syntax, in addition to not being limited to acoustic structure.”
Dr. Atallah pointed out that his presentation does not reflect his position on Standard Arabic, as he likes it, as well as the colloquial language, but each of them has its own taste and function.
A number of audience participants pointed out that the use of local dialects instead of standard Arabic leads to a widening of the gap between the peoples of different Arab countries. They warned of the danger of local dialects over standard Arabic. In their comments after the presentations, they stressed the importance of paying attention to the teaching and that it should be in a sophisticated language and not in different dialects which distracts the mind of the student.
HE Dr. Mohamed al-Sada, former Minister of Energy, said that the vernacular in Arab countries did not come in a colonial way. But it is a natural outcome of our language and not an engineering that took place in the familiar arrangement. He wondered how to achieve integration between Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic
Critic HE Dr. Mohamed Abdel Rahim Kafoud, former Minister of Education, said that the 20th century must have witnessed a trend against the Arabic language. It has been targeted, so that local dialects are used, which leads to a widening of the gap between people in different Arab countries. The dialects included many terms and images that do not relate to Standard Arabic.
He pointed out that the Holy Quran adopted many dialects and did not adopt the Quraish dialect alone. The dialects of the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula, which included many poets, were not forgotten. He warned of the danger of local dialects, which have reached the field of education, as it has a negative impact.
He stressed at the same time that the dialects are part of the Arabic identity and language, but one must have reservations about the vocabulary that entered Arabic and is not related to it, but is considered a deviation relative to.
Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Malik, a media professor at the Community College of Qatar, spoke about the need for the media to pay attention to Arabic language content and for press releases to be devoid of any local dialect. He warned of the negative impact of using local dialects along with Standard Arabic, as it distracts the student’s attention.
In his presentation, Dr. Safar said that Standard Arabic is a cultural reservoir for each region separately. It is a social incubator in many school programs. Dr. Atallah pointed out that the task of teaching Standard Arabic is not only entrusted to the teacher, but rather a joint responsibility between the media, education and the family.
At the end of the seminar, Dr. Safar said, “Truly, the main and essential point that has been raised and spinning in the mind of every Arab person is the relationship of standard Arabic to colloquial languages. Is this relation an integration or collision relation? Is there a danger for the other or for others? Responses from teachers, as well as from the audience, indicate that there is an integration of Standard Arabic and colloquial dialects. The question forces us to be mindful of the need to use the standard Arabic language more than it currently is, so that it continues to be a living language, so that it does not gradually die like the have made many languages prevailing, such as Latin and others.
Overall, there was a majority of those who called for the consolidation of the Arabic language. They said that the family must play its role, and that the media also has an important role to play, along with education. In general, the Arabic language holds prestige in speeches, especially since it is the language of the Holy Quran and the language of prestigious Arabic literature.