Egyptian parliament deliberates on draft law to protect the Arabic language

Arabic calligraphy – DOSSIER

CAIRO – 18 December 2021: Parliament deliberates on a bill to protect and develop Arabic in the face of growing interest in foreign languages ​​to the detriment of the official language.

MPs Soulaf Darwish and Mona Omar introduced a bill that suggests ways to develop Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic, including sanctions against companies that do not use Arabic in their official documents, obliging the state to produce drama and animated films for children in standard Arabic. .

He also suggests creating a translation center in all universities to translate Arabic books into foreign languages ​​and offered to universities outside Egypt and to oblige 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 on their products should also be in Arabic, according to the bill.

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

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

Omar and Darwish also mentioned ‘Franco-Arabic’, which appeared alongside chat programs and instant messaging, where some Arabic speakers write in Arabic using the Latin alphabet, replacing letters that do not exist. in Latin by numbers. They also said international schools do not force students to pass Arabic, producing a segment of a generation that prefers to speak a foreign language and is not fluent in standard Arabic.

The deterioration of Arabic has encouraged some people to focus on other languages ​​and ignore Arabic, creating a problem of “double loyalty” in a single country, according to the bill.

Arabic must be protected and its uses developed to preserve the written and oral language, said the deputies, adding that it must be protected from foreign influences and become a contemporary language that adapts to the progress of human civilization.