Let's speak pure Arabic to expats


Al-Madina newspaper

IN my last article, I explained the close relationship between local dialects and classical Arabic in order to strengthen our confidence in the dialects. I like to emphasize that the various dialects that we speak in the Kingdom's north, south, east and west are Arabic language with slight differences in pronunciation.

I wrote this introduction to discuss the strange language we use while talking to expatriates who live and work all over the Kingdom. They have come from different countries having diverse cultures with the majority belonging to the continents of Asia and Africa. These expats work in almost all places including homes, markets, airports, streets and places of entertainment.

However, the language we use while talking to these foreign workers is pathetic, as it is broken and meaningless. We ask them .for example, "Fein anta rooh", "kalam katheer mafi", "sadeek anta fein."

These are some of the weird expressions we make while talking to expats. I don't know why we do not use our normal dialects while talking to them and why we have to imitate the distorted Arabic of expats?

Perhaps some of us may justify this behavior saying the difficulty to communicate with these workers. Therefore, we tend to use their words, but this is an irrational justification.

The worker follows the rules of his native tongue while speaking Arabic, which is alien to him. But you are not supposed to imitate their language.

I like to emphasize here that if we insist to speak Arabic while dealing with foreign workers it will force them to learn Arabic and communicate with us in our language. This is better than we stooping down to speak this strange language of expats, which will not serve any communicative purpose and would not contribute to developing a lingua franca in the future.

It is regrettable, rather shameful, that millions of foreigners live and work in our midst for years, and then return to their respective countries without even knowing how to speak a basic Arabic sentence because they don't feel it necessary to master the language to communicate with the natives.

I like to urge everyone not to speak with foreign workers except in our day-to-day language, which we use while talking to our parents, families and friends. We should make it a principle for us and our children to follow. I also call upon those who recruit foreign workers to insist that they should be proficient in Arabic language.

Recruitment and manpower exporting companies should provide their workers with intensive Arabic language courses before they travel to the Kingdom. We can also organize programs to teach Arabic at houses, mosques and community centers in the neighborhood.

This will enable foreigners to speak Arabic fluently and they will always remember it as a nice experience. It will enable them to say in pure Arabic that "Niamal Qaum Al-Saudiyoon” (How nice are the Saudis) instead of saying in broken Arabic: "Hada Nafar Saudi Kullu Kuwais."