Is The Lack of Support for the Arabic Language Due to Its Difficult Structure?

Arabic Language

by Shamsul
Arabic Language
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Is The Lack of Support for the Arabic Language Due to Its Difficult Structure?


The Arabic language has been sidelined and deemed as ‘non-useful’ in the past few decades. The paper explores the impact of globalization on the Arabic language and indicates its importance in various domains like values and culture. The paper also discusses the Arabic language aspect in the education sector where English is emerging as a primary language of communication even in Arab countries.  There is a need to understand the requirements of both teachers and students in learning the language and the difficulties experienced in the process. The structure of the Arabic language is quite complex which is the primary reason why teachers and learners lack basic vocabulary mastery.  


Language is both dynamic and complex. It tends to change with time and space, from one generation to another [1]. Many new words are introduced and several old words will go out of use; many words will attain new meanings and change the old ones; and those grammatical norms that were present previously may become obsolete in the future. The use of language is partly documented in the form of text that preserves the changes including any variations within spellings, suffixes or prefixes that tends to appear or disappear across eras and change within word meanings [2].

The strength of any language is present in some collection of elements that are rendered to form its structure. The features within the structure have a direct impact on the education process and progress. The strongest language in terms of its anatomical structure is the one that is strongest in its potency of grammar style, literature and idioms. With respect to the Arabic language, Jorjani’s hypothesis, a renowned scientist excelling in Arabic language structure, is studied. According to Jorjani, the theoretical structure of an Arabic sentence can be characterized within two levels – the level of grammatical structure and the stage of transforming information similar root and source of the form [3]

Arabic is a Semitic language that is written in an abjad or consonantal writing system [4] [5]. Fundamentally, an Arabic script is cursive and is written from left to right [5]. Here it is very important to note that Semitic languages like Arabic languages have a dense morphological structure as most of the content words (all the verbs along with most nouns and adjectives) comprise two independent unpronounceable bound morphemes: a root and a word pattern [5]. The root is a consonantal skeleton that provides the word’s core meaning, and the pattern of the word is a fixed prosodic template that specifies the word’s categorical meaning along with the surface form’s phonological characteristics [6].


Globalization and Arabic Language

Because of several economic, political, and social factors, most countries have adopted a globalized education system to provide better education and consequently, a more successful career [7]. Kramsch states new technologies, the economy, consumerism and immigration are some considerable factors that guide the education process today [8]. This step towards globalized education has transformed it into a reflection of changes that is witnessed in today’s world [9]. Resultantly, increasing technological advancements, unlimited access to online knowledge, and globalized information have emerged as a necessity for most countries [8].

In the aspect of the Arabic language, the issue of globalization is not solely associated with free economy, trade and technological advancements. There exists a more profound dimension towards globalization in Muslim-Arab countries. Countries like Turkey have replaced their alphabet system which was previously a derivative of Arabic alphabets with that of Latin alphabets [9]. A similar yet failed attempt to replace Arabic alphabets with Latin alphabets incurred in Iran during the rule of the Shah of Iran who attempted to remove the Persian language from Arabic loan words [10].

The colonists eventually promoted the use of regional and vernacular dialects to assure that the Arabic speakers did not use the classical Arabic language proficiently. An example of this is that in a lecture delivered by William Wilcox in Cairo, Egypt in the early 1900s attributed towards the lack of innovation of Egyptians to the fact that the classical version of the Arabic language was weak and needed to be replaced by a strong and expressive colloquial Arabic which offers its speakers a vast range of expressions [11].

According to Wilcox, classical Arabic is quite rigid and immune to creativity. This eventually hinders the scientific innovation process because of the language’s inability to con in newer expressions.  In addition, the flexibility of colloquial Egyptian allows for adapting foreign expressions and words [12].

In the 1900s, children were taught Arabic and Islamic studies in mosques by Imams [12], which bought a strong foundation in classical Arabic. However, after two centuries, declining of the Arabic language was highly evident because of the domination of several Arabic dialects which varied from one country in the Arab world o that of another country. It is also believed that classical Arabic has replaced that colloquial Arabic in quite an alarming way; a majority of Arabic programs are being presented in colloquial Arabic language with the exception of news bulletin. Paradoxically, most program presenters and news broadcasters have proficiency in the standard Arabic language. The reason is highly associated with grammatical mistakes while reading out news [13]. This eventually signifies the decline of the use of the Arabic language due to its complex structure.


Arabic Language in Educational Context

Arabic is rendered to be one of the international languages of the world. Learning the language like any other aims to master four basic skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening [14]. Generally, Arabic learning is divided into three sections – morphology, phonology and syntax [15] where phonology is the basis for mastering speaking and listening skills [16]. From a linguistic point of view, Arabic has a rich vocabulary. A privilege of the language is that anyone can express emotions using two or a hundred words [17]. Hence, the understanding of the words forms pronouns, article functions, and numbers to meaning any difference that resulted because of the difference in structure as the basic knowledge required for learning the language [17]. 

In terms of implementation, the subject matter of the language needs to be adapted according to student requirements [15] along with paying close attention to the local cultural aspect [18]. This aspect emphasizes that the characteristics of the language will be different in different countries. Alongside, the fact of learning the language, the use of the Arabic language is also influenced by the role of the teacher [19] as well as the teaching methods incorporated [19] along with the quality of the textbooks used in the curriculum [18]. Hence, in order to increase the successful learning of the Arabic language, many variables need to be closely addressed.



Globalization tends to demand some degree of structural change within the various dimensions of society which, according to Shorish [20], is expected to have an impact on the normative and values system of developing nations in a dramatic manner. For the Arab nations, such a kind of change can be seemingly rendered to be the loss of the Arabic language which also poses a threat of loss of ethnic identity and the culture accompanying it. As stated by [18], English is serving to be the primary medium of instruction in most public ad private schools in Arab countries and this context needs to be considered rather closely particularly in the aspects of heightened sentiments of instability and nationalism within which, according to [19],

The Arabic language lacks the space to be mobilized as a political tool of resistance discourse. However, any change incurred within political or socio-economic circumstances can threaten this balance and bring up a rather different set of emotions and feelings related to the prevalence of English as the primary language.


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