It’s been a while since I wrote about the linguistic situation of Arabic language! I came across this post and I thought I’d share it with everyone- this is quite serious actually because as the writer points translations are wrong and even the spelling is wrong. I’m just thinking would that happen in England? I am sure that when we all travel to non-English speaking countries we always find the English signs amusing because of the wrong spelling or because of the semantic implications of the English (quite comical actually)! But that’s pardonable because English is not their native language that they would know how to correctly translate and respect the semantic parameters right? But if the officials are not worried about correctness in the use of Arabic language in the public sphere how do we then expect their people to respect the language? If the linguistic landscape is not in accordance with grammar I would say that is a reflection of the linguistic situation among the population. Therefore, all the language revival efforts/festivals can be put on, all the passionate speeches and articles can be written but for what? What’s the incentive? It’s all confusion, on the one hand to know your language is part of your identity but in practice you can’t even read a menu in Arabic! When will you be confident in using Arabic language? Once again I am not suggesting that this is true in all Arabic speaking countries, it is not, but it is the true in some as the post below will illustrate- enjoy!
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The Arabic language is in danger, as a member in the English Sabla forum pointed out. Everywhere we go in an Arab country, whether in Oman or outside Oman, we find some signs with incorrect Arabic spelling, incorrect Arabic grammar, mistranslation from English to Arabic and finally some signs with a bit of Arabicization of the English language.
For example, this member from English Sabla took a picture of the menu of The Crepé Café in Muscat City Center. The menu in Arabic looks seriously messed up. I don’t really get it. Isn’t there anyone from the municipality whom is supposed to check those signs, menus and whatever before publishing them? It’s obvious that those signs are done by people whose first language is not Arabic. Maybe they don’t even know a bit of Arabic, but they still get the work of translation and writing those signs in Arabic, and since they know nothing about the Arabic language, they end up messing the signs upside down. But what’s really pathetic is that there is nobody with Arabic origins who double-checks those signs before getting published.
The Arabic language is indeed in danger.
P.S: I know that I’ve had more than one similar post before about Arabic signs in Oman which make no sense, but my point here is till when are we going to see such signs with incorrect Arabic? I can’t believe that nobody from the municipality is taking actions over this… or even noticing it?
[Picture by lost from English Sabla]
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It seems everyone everywhere is worried about the linguistic situation of the Arabic language- and rightly so! Not sure if you see the menu clearly (you can go to the original source to see it closer) but I myself don’t know how they got away with such a huge mistake?! Finally, two questions that will not go away for me: Is there no one who checks these signs/menus? Do we take this as evidence of the extent to which Arabic language is neglected at least in this country? Still thinking……