Arabizi: Is Code-Switching a Threat to the Arabic Language


Classic Arabic is widely spoken all over the world and is the official language in 23 Arab countries. Moreover, Arabic is the language of Quran, which is practiced in Turkey, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia. The word Arabizi is a mixture of Arabic and English, in which Arabic words are written using English letters. Many young Arab use Arabizi in texting and conversations on their smart phones and social media because they find typing in English easier than in Arabic. For this reason there is a pronounced fear that Arabizi will weaken the Arabic language, or even replace it, and threatens Arab identity. This paper uses interviews and focus groups to explore how college students in an Arab university use and perceive Arabizi. The paper concludes that respondents have mixed feelings about the use of Arabizi, but the majority of them think the widespread use of Arabizi is a threat to Arab language.

Author Information
Mustafa Taha, American University of Sharjah, UAE

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2015
Stream: Humanities - Language

This paper is part of the ACAH2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon