Sharjah Ruler objects to adding foreign words to Arabic language; to debate issue

This came as Sheikh Dr Sultan addressed the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority’s 'Direct Line' programme


Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 13 Sep 2023, 7:37 AM

Last updated: Wed 13 Sep 2023, 11:09 PM

The Sharjah Ruler has expressed his disapproval over registering and adding foreign words to the Arabic language, saying the practice is becoming prevalent.

His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said he intends to attend an Arabic Language Academy conference in Cairo on October 2 to discuss all foreign words registered in the last four years. This includes the word 'trend'.

He said no one will dare to change the Arabic language.

This came as Sheikh Dr Sultan addressed the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority’s 'Direct Line' programme.

"The use of foreign words has become excessive," he said. "Certain terms were generated four years ago, and some individuals began using them, believing them part of the language. They have added the word 'trend,' but they haven't standardised it; they've simply introduced it. This is an incorrect Arabic term that people have acquired.

"As members of the Arabic Language Academy in Cairo, we now demand that the foreign words that have been registered be reconsidered. We do not wish to introduce new foreign terms into Arabic because of the violations that have happened.”

The Sharjah Ruler said the issue is about reversing what has been done.

"I advocated replacing the word 'trend' with 'mutadawal' or 'qimat at-tadawul'."

Sheikh Dr Sultan said he is in touch with Dr Abdulwahab Abdulhafiz, "the respected academic and head" of Cairo's Arabic Language Academy.

"I've had two conversations with him about this. It's worth noting that the Arabic Language Academy in Cairo is exclusively accessible to Egyptian nationals, although I'm an exception.

"They consider me one of them because a presidential decree exempted me ...

"We will not allow these concepts to penetrate our language.

"We say to the people that it's not easy, and no one dares to change the language."

The Sharjah Ruler has long been hailed for protecting the Arabic language and preserving its integrity.

Last year, he launched 19 new volumes of the Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language, bringing the total to 36.

Documentation and archives officials across the Arab world have often expressed their gratitude for his contributions to preserving rare Arabic documents and manuscripts.

Earlier this year, the Sharjah Ruler urged the UAE’s Ministry of Education to reconsider the decision to merge the Arabic language subject with Islamic and social studies, saying the move will affect students as the Arabic language is something that will be “inherited by generations to come”.


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