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Arabic vs. French in former colonies

  Tags: Arabic | French
 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
15 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Surtalnar
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 Message 1 of 15
22 May 2015 at 2:31am | IP Logged 
This topic is in general about the language French's former colonies. In the colonies where most of the normal population speaks Arabic, French was often introduced as the language of government, education and the economy.

I'm interested how is it today, for example in Algeria, Morocco, Tunesia and other ex-French colonies. Which language wins the battle, is French gaining ahead of Arabic, or the other way around. Is Arabic able to save itself and get back his position in the elite, or not?

I am also interested in answers with people that have especially to do with those countries.
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tastyonions
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 Message 2 of 15
23 May 2015 at 5:29am | IP Logged 
In the Maghreb, Arabic is used in primary education and often mostly French in higher education. As far as daily life, everything is pretty much done in Arabic (or Berber for a minority), other than work for some people, which can involve lots of French usage if it is more international in nature or in certain fields (e.g. computer science). But the role of French as a language of administration has generally weakened since these countries became independent, and there are movements toward "Arabization" of education as well.

This is just what I have gleaned from conversations with residents of these countries.

Edited by tastyonions on 23 May 2015 at 5:30am

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Zireael
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 Message 3 of 15
23 May 2015 at 7:04pm | IP Logged 
My Tunisian friends, when posting on FB, often mix Arabic with French (it's rare to see a post which does not involve code-switching). They usually use Arabic chat alphabet instead of Arabic script, even though they can use the latter ;P
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daisydaisy
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 Message 4 of 15
27 May 2016 at 9:57pm | IP Logged 
'Arabic chat alphabet'

Please, Zireael, what is that?
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Doitsujin
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 Message 5 of 15
30 May 2016 at 9:06am | IP Logged 
daisydaisy wrote:
'Arabic chat alphabet'

Please, Zireael, what is that?

Arabic chat alphabet

BTW, this site is pretty much dead; the new site is here
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hp230
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 Message 6 of 15
18 June 2016 at 1:51pm | IP Logged 
Surtalnar wrote:

I'm interested how is it today, for example in Algeria, Morocco, Tunesia and other ex-French colonies. Which language wins the battle, is French gaining ahead of Arabic, or the other way around. Is Arabic able to save itself and get back his position in the elite, or not?


Here in Tunisia (I think it's similar in the other Maghreb countries) Arabic is the administrative language (by default), but I think that every law for example has an official french translation.
In universities, arabic is not a scientific language (unfortunately). However, in middle school (after primary school), maths, physics and natural science are taught in arabic (for 3 years), then in high school, these subjects are taught in french.

You used the word "battle" to describe the situation. I can say we are more likely in a period of amnesty. In our daily life, we have no problem mixing both languages and even making some french words sound arabic (weird but common: we use the core of a french verb for example and make the termination arabic-like).

There are attempts to "resurrect" the arabic language not only in the Maghreb countries, but in the whole arabic world. Everyone is convinced that our language is a precious inheritance that we should keep and promote. Lately, there was a great TV show called "Fassaha" (eloquence in English) that grouped a set of arabic eloquent people from all over the arabic world in a linguistic contest. I really liked the show, and it proved to many people the importance of arabic in our countries. The champion of the show was a syrian gyu, the second, a Quatari lady and the third was a Tunisian lovely young lady, which proves how rooted this language is in every inch of the arabic world.
This is a link for the show for anyone who is interested:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMCShRqSiBM

In other news,English is gaining more and more field in the arabic world. Apart from former English colonies, here in the Maghreb countries for example, many people prefer learning English over Frensh. This is obviously one of the globalisation's deeds, but also because of the retreat of the french language in the world. The French themselves are fully aware of that.

daisydaisy wrote:
'Arabic chat alphabet'

Please, Zireael, what is that?

Well, since we have french computer keybords, we usually use Roman alphabet in our chats on social media, so we just write the french sounds of the arabic words. (generally in dielects obviously, not in MSA)



Edited by hp230 on 18 June 2016 at 2:27pm

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daisydaisy
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 Message 7 of 15
18 June 2016 at 2:16pm | IP Logged 
Thank you for the explanation. Now I understand.
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Monox D. I-Fly
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 Message 8 of 15
18 June 2016 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
By "Maghreb", do you guys mean Morocco? Because everytime I saw that word in my Arabic learning sources the country Morocco tended to show up. And from its triletteral base, I would interpret "Journey to the West" as "Journey to Morocco", then.


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