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The Language Unjustly Treated in Media

Author : Dr. Hassan Abu_Arqoub

Date Added : 12-10-2022

The Language Unjustly Treated in Media


World Arabic Language Day is celebrated every year on 18 December. The date coincides with the day in 1973 that the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the Organization.

If we ponder upon the situation of the Arabic language in media, we will be extremely saddened by the amount of negligence and abuse it has experienced despite being an official language of United Nations. 

Instead of reinforcing this language, instilling it in the minds of the younger generations, and straightening their tongue with it, media is waging undeclared war against it.


First Model: As heard on some radios and satellite channels, colloquial Arabic is used. This deprived listeners from tasting the sweetness of this mother tongue and gave prevalence to the non-standard version.

Even more astounding is that some broadcasters working for Jordanian radios speak non-Jordanian dialects. You would hear, for example, Natrinkum, Khalikun Ma`na, La Tfillo, Haida, and Laik. We respect every dialect but this eliminates our Jordanian dialect and adds insult to injury. Therefore, it isn`t strange that some shop owners were affected by this colloquial Arabic to the extent of writing (Ahwah) instead of (Gahwah).


Second Model: Speaking a foreign language. Some Arab media persons try to give the impression that they are educated and civilized through speaking different languages. When he/she coughs, he/she says: "Sorry." When he/she interrupts someone, he/she says, "Excuse me" and so on. Even more gruesome is that names of foreign programs are transliterated. For example, (اراب ايدول), (سوبر ستار), (اكس فاكتور). As if we are unable to translate their meanings, with my own reservation on the content of such programs for this is another story.


Third Model: Linguistic and Grammatical Errors. This is like an open-ended sea. I remember correcting my language through listening to BBC broadcasters of the Arabic section. However, now I have to correct their mistakes so that my own children don`t learn them, because media is an effective tool in either educating or making people ignorant. One linguistic mistake is using the word (Nalfit) in the expression "Nalfit Enayat Assadah AlMoshahideen" to mean "Attract" while it means the opposite. An example on a grammatical mistake is the word (جميلةٍ) in the sentence "شهدت عمان مبارياتٍ جميلة. This word should be (جميلةً), not (جميلةٍ).

Since language expresses the identity of its speakers, it is imperative that we re-embrace our beloved language and learn it better, in addition to conducting proofreading on language used in media. This is because media makes generations, builds their intellect, and corrects their language. Actually, assassinating language is as bad as assassinating character. Rather, it is worse since it destroys the identity and civilization of a whole nation.

Non-Arabs have even given respectable testament to the Arabic language. The famous German literary figure Goethe said: "No other language has ever achieved this degree of harmony between the spirit, the word and the calligraphy as the Arabic language; a strange consistency in the same body."

I`m definitely a lover of this language, and call on everybody to be as such.







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