23 March, 2006

Media NEWSFLASH

NEWSFLASH: Media Study Finds UAE Culturally Divided

I never would've guessed.

Aside from the title, it is a pretty interesting read;

In another dramatic finding, only a third of Native English speakers and Asians living here consider it extremely important to have a good command of Arabic in order to communicate in the UAE, with an average of 28 percent saying it was not at all important. Close to 98 percent of Arabs, on the other hand, consider it extremely important. Conversely, only 40 percent of Emiratis and 57 percent of expatriate Arabs consider it extremely important to have a good command of English.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's a real shocker, isn't it? UAE is no melting pot - it's more like keeping all the parts of a meal in separate corners of the plate, or better yet, on separate plates, so they can never mix.

Fahad Al Mahmood said...

This is the sad truth ... If we do not respect our own language, how can we expect others to do that? Look at most UAE parents, they are more focused on teaching their children English more than Arabic ... even more than teaching them the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran is the perfect Arabic book in all aspects and it is the best book to start with in teaching Arabic. In the old days, teaching Quran was essential for young children before they start studying other subjects, but nowadays the Holy Quran has been put on the shelves and only fraction of it is being tough.

On the other hand, the world around us and technology is forcing us to use English in communication. For instance .... we don't have Arabic names or equivalents to many technology and science terms ... so I have no choice but to talk English ...

secretdubai said...

we don't have Arabic names or equivalents to many technology and science terms

This is one area where it's a good thing that there is one more universal language, because it makes it easier to learn and share new science across cultures.

Incidentally most science/medical works are Greek and Latin in origin. Also quite a few tech ones. Medical students effectively kind of "learn" Latin a bit when they learn all the terms.

samuraisam said...

I think it is better that computer terminology is all in the same language, otherwise it would be a pretty confusing communication means.

Emirati said...

Mass Naturalization is out of the question, if the expat population wont even bother themselves to learn Arabic.

Keefieboy said...

Sunny Rasheed: you tart! Ithought it was just me you loved.

Emirati:who said anything about mass naturalization? You know very well that most expats are very happy to work their arses off here for years, save no money whatsoever and then leave when they can't stand it any more.

sunny rasheed lucman pacasum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samuraisam said...

sunny rasheed lucman pacasum, Please stop spamming.

Emirati said...

Keefieboy,

Whatever a person does with his money, is his concern. This article only aids my theories on the cultural incompatability and tension that would arise with a normal naturalization scheme.

Only in the Arab states do the immigrants not bother to learn Arabic. Even people who have been thrown in french ghettos, in france are more enthusiastic to learn french.

Doubleletter said...

Sure, a command of Arabic is an advantage for expatriates. But expatriates are insulated from the Arabic mass by more than just language.

Furthermore, it is not surprising that 98% of the Arabic speaking population consider Arabic important. A good percentage of them don't speak (good) English ;)

Keefieboy said...

Emirati: but if Naturalization was available, I would expect the authorities to insist that those applying could speak Arabic - that's just common sense, innit. And maybe if it was an option, then more people would be interested in learning the language.

Emirati said...

I think that youll probably find the arab people capable of a basic communication in english here higher than even some european countries.

Tainted Female said...

I just want to say that I kind of agree with Emirati. I'm a foreigner, and I've tried to learn proper Arabic since I got here. It's not easy, at all! But I can speak more than most of the people I know that have been here just as long, and I'm damn thankful for it because knowing the language also helps you understand the culture.

Also, my son (half Canadian half local) speaks more Arabic than he does English; because for us, Arabic is a large part of understanding our religion through the Qura'an and Hadith. I do want him to speak fluent English of course, and it does pain me that he doesn’t but Arabic is far more important on a religious viewpoint.

Tainted Female said...

lol! In writing all that, I missed the point about agreeing with Emirati...

Failing to understand the language goes hand in hand in many cases with failing to understand the culture & religion. And failure to understand that... well, wouldn't Nationalization just aide in taking away more the culture western influence is already pushing aside?

I think it’s backwards to say maybe if nationalization was allowed people would want to learn. People should attempt to understand a culture before they considered themselves worthy of becomming a member of that culture.

azucenamaryam said...

Arabic is such a beautiful language, those who don't know it, are really missing out. And the Language of the Quran is breath taking. If one just listened to Suratul Yusuf one will be astounded.

It's on the radio everyday. Also, there is a large variety of dialects in the street, be it shamsiyya-the Levent, Magrebi-North African, Misri-Egyptian, Emirati, Khaleeji-The Arabian Gulf, choose one and get ta learning.

Emirati Arabic is quickly replacing Egyptian as my favorite.

I think that there is no real excuse not to learn arabic, if you have to deal with anything from any municpality or police, you need arabic. It is not the easiest language, but it is learnable.
Ma salaama

samuraisam said...

azucenamaryam, I tried for about 5-6 years in school to learn Arabic, I just can't. I completely suck at languages.

I'd love to learn it, and if I move to Dubai permanently ever i'll probably try and learn it fluently

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