10 March, 2008

Arabic declared as official language of the UAE

"Arabic has been confirmed as the official language of UAE federal authorities, the government announced on Sunday.

The move has been lauded by commentators who have campaigned to combat the growing use of English in government departments.

Ebtisam Al-Kitbi, professor of political science at UAE University told UAE daily Gulf News the decision would “enhance the presence of Arab speaking people in the labour market and restore the national identity”.

“To my knowledge, there is no nation that allows an invasion of foreign languages in government institutions the way we did in the UAE. The move will correct the imbalance,” she said.

“People [in other countries] use foreign languages, but you will never see them in the workplace other than their national languages. English is widely used in the government in the UAE and this is unacceptable,” she added."

more here


Proud Emirati said...

The title is not accurate because Arabic is already the official language of the country.

The new decisions is to confirm that Arabic is the language to be used in transactions in all federal governmental institutions and agencies. Which is pathetic if you ask me considering that we shouldn't have gone to this level in the first place. Arabic should be the language to be used without any argument !!

Either way, this decision doesn't worth the paper it has been printed in unless it is applied in the local governments too. I don't see the point of asking the federal government to apply such decision while letting the local governments speak whatever language they want.

So Sheikh Mohammad should order to apply the same decision the government of Dubai !!

ali900 said...

but everyone knows that English and Urdu are more 'widely' spoken... I THINK

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Good move by the federal government, and like PE said I wish they apply it to local governments as well…. It's going to be hard though, especially in a place like dewa where all the correspondences are written in English and the staffs are mostly Indians.

But what the heck? They are smart and they can learn...(given the incentive of course..)

Anonymous said...

Ok, I admit it make sense that Arabic would be the official language but then common sense would also require that you look at your population (customers) before choosing what kind of services you offer.

I don't think providing services in both Arabic and English would hurt anyone. Some protectionist sensibilities maybe.

Anyway, i'll bet that's just a PR stunt and that nothing will change as the result of that "decision".

Other problem, what to do with all those indian who can't speak arabic already occupying job in the government.

One more thing to thing about DEWA is not per say a government agency but a utility company, so from a semantic pov they would probably manage to avoid having to follow that rule. Same goes for Etisalat.


Kyle said...

The title is not accurate because Arabic is already the official language of the country.

My point exactly. So why does the Government serve this reminder through the media?

Or is this attributed to one more journalistic folly ;)

If so, them hits just keep on coming ;)

Anonymous said...

I never speak English with someone who understands Arabic, even if he insists on replying in English, I insist on speaking Arabic!! No need for rules, it should come from the people themselves!

i*maginate said...

*proud emirati, the post title "Arabic declared as official language of the UAE"

same as

"UAE makes Arabic official language"

Scenario: Tom, Domitrius & Hani atempt to converse in Arabic: is it likely, in practicality, that they are met with an Arabic response, or is it probable the insisted language is English? Thought for you to ponder on.

Proud Emirati said...

*maginate, this wasn't the title in the Arabic newspapers

Dark AngeL said...

its about time .... even though its a fact that ARABIC is the official language we see that English is taking over ... SImply this is how it is

Languages: Arabic
Mother Language: English

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I too find it lousy when two Arabs start speaking in English.

I think you’ve screwed up there; it is ‘attempt’ and not ‘atempt’.

ColOman said...

zLets start with some basics, why is there a place in the UAE called La Hoya Bay... what the F... ! Why is it called Montgomery Villas?

Why do we have a UAE Dubai based hotel called "The One and Only' in Arabic and not translated into Arabic?

We are Arabs... name it something Arabic. Do they think by naming it La Hoya Bay it will make it sell more? Calling a government company Infinity Dubai in Arabic ????? What value will it add?

Proud Emirati said...

^^ yea and Arabic named companies sound way more attractive like Tamweel, Amlak, Etisalat, Aman ... etc

i*maginate said...

dubai jazz...u're right ;-) so much for berfectionism! And it's dimitrius, not domitrius...what a cock-up!

p.e. i didn't know that

errrrrrrr yeah...have you heard the way certain company names are pronounced by non-Arab speakers? Like in radio ads? Like Mashreq and Etihad...it really vexes me...but it's not like someone from these companies doesn't approve these radio ads...or do they?

And the way Aboo Dabby is pronounced? Hmmmm!


Mahawi said...

I’m sorry to burst your bubble guys but the Arabic newspapers said: اقر مجلس الوزراء الإماراتي امس "اعتماد اللغة العربية كلغة رسمية في جميع المؤسسات والهيئات الاتحادية في كافة أنحاء الإمارات".

The quote is exactly what مجلس الوزراء stated. They should have re-worded it in Arabic.

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