A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Debate About Arabic, Continued

Everybody's talking about Arabic again. And they're doing it mostly in English.

Not long ago I posted about a recent article in The National lamenting the state of Modern Standard Arabic. Now The Economist has noted the same article (which, I need hardly emphasize, was published in English in an English-medium paper), and, like me, found it a bit overstated.

That article was about the (alleged) decline of Modern Standard Arabic. Another debate is summed up in the headline at Arabic Literature (in English): "P.S.: Is Colloquial Arabic Destroying the (Literary) World? Or is it the Internet?" It in turn spins off earlier discussions and debates here at Qantara and this debate between two Arab novelists.

I've touched on the diglossia issue several times on the blog, but as you can see, there's still a lot of discussion. And despite the irony that these links are in English, Arabic is still around. But the fact that literate Arabs care about the language's future is also self-evident from these debates.

1 comment:

LJ Marczak said...

Interestingly, the language institute at the MEI uses a textbook for some of its spoken language courses (written by Dr. Shukri) "Contemporary Arabic" - a sort of a cross between MSA and dialects.