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25/04/2013

Many people do not realize the importance of language in their lives, and do not realize the importance of preserving it, since it is the safety valve of the identity of any community. Most people also miss the truth that a language is saved and its continuity is ensured as far as its speakers save it and promote its existence.

The failure to recognize all these above-mentioned points concerning language was the cause of the extinction of many languages ​​in the world, so that we lost any information about the people of those extinct languages, in addition to losing anything related to their cultures and traditions.

Every Arabic speaker is responsible for saving Arabic language; and the complacency in using and spreading it effectively is a sign of its extinction and thus the fading of our identity and culture.

Furthermore, the importance of language lies not only in its being a means for communication, but also its being the identity of its speakers and the proof of their existence.

This point of the language’s importance is what UAE stresses, starting from the Constitution and through all circulars which emphasize the importance of using the standard Arabic as the official language that should not be replaced by any other language or dialect, even though this dialect is commonly used by people who live in UAE, for example. However, what is really happening now is that Arabic is no more disregarded by the young people of the new generation, though they are not to blame if they misuse Arabic, because of using English more in communication as they learnt it in the private schools.

On the other hand, Arabic nowadays has been being disregarded by some semi-official institutions and entities, while they are supposed to be careful with using the standard Arabic more than any other languages and dialects. These institutions should be the most entities to urge people to use the standard Arabic, such as the local newspapers and the visual media which use the local dialects excessively to the extent that Arabic has lost its prestige, because many have been so far from the standard Arabic, and without any effort to preserve its classical and standard forms.

We do not deny that TV satellite channels need sometimes to use the local dialect in commercials, but when it comes to the announcers, it is a must        that they stick to the standard Arabic and ignore the vernacular tongue as much as possible. This is because these announcers are addressing peoples all over the world who may not understand our colloquial dialects; moreover, the standard Arabic is clearer than the other dialect forms.

The point that we are still wondering about is this: Is it a need for some newspapers to publish commercials for banking or non-banking institutions in the local dialect, even if they are addressing UAE locals only? There is no need to use the local dialect, for the commercials in the Arab newspapers are for all Arabs, so that the standard Arabic should be used to be understood by all audience.

The Classical Arabic bears within its implications great identity and culture not worth to be neglected and given up, especially nowadays for we need to preserve our identity, culture and language which is almost dying before us and by us. This should be realized by the institutions and entities that are supposed to be the first to preserve this language.

Maysa Rashid Ghadeer, Al Bayan Newspaper
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