how the Arabic language got here to West Africa

The Arabic language unfold throughout West Africa primarily by means of religion, commerce and schooling, in keeping with a number of the continent’s main linguists.

Showing in a session on Friday as a part of the Sharjah International Book Fair, lecturers from Mali and Nigeria to Senegal spoke in regards to the numerous methods the Arabic language penetrated their respective societies and the challenges dealing with its viability right this moment.

In accordance with linguist Abdulqader Idris Mega, Arabic initially flourished in Mali on account of commerce.

“So we’re speaking a few time earlier than the ninth century when Islam got here to Mali,” he defined.

“Writing and historic sources state that the language got here primarily from teams from the Arabian Peninsula who initially mobilised from North Africa and went additional west.”

Nonetheless, it was by means of the unfold of Islam, Mega notes, that the Arabic language grew to become a prevalent function of on a regular basis life in Mali.

“And this isn’t actually stunning as a result of when Islam got here, the Arabic language mechanically got here with it,” he stated.

“Individuals started paying consideration as a result of it was linked with religion. And thru that notion the language unfold by means of non secular teachings and common schooling within the sciences.”

With Mali divided into tribes, every with their very own dialects, Arabic served as a unifying language in the nation’s inside and exterior affairs.

“Diplomatic correspondence with kings and empires in North Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania have been carried out in Arabic,” Mega stated. “Whereas within the nation it was additionally a language of official directions and steerage.”

He’s happy with the state of the Arabic language right this moment in Mali.

“The language continues to be being taught in excessive colleges,” Mega stated. “What can also be encouraging is that it’s the main language college students select after French.”

Nigerian researcher and creator Omar Adam Mohammed says it was by means of religion and schooling that Arabic got here to his homeland.

“Islam is the principle issue, as a result of the language is encapsulated inside the religion,” he stated.

“It was initially by means of conventional Islamic establishments the place the language was primarily taught to grasp the religion.

Such colleges at the moment are non-existent as modern-day necessities require colleges to additionally train English, arithmetic, geography and the sciences.”

Senegalese linguist Mohammed Niang additionally famous that Arabic language additionally unfold to West Africa from the travels of non-Arabs.

“It’s recognized that Africans got here to Yemen throughout historic instances after which left to Egypt, Ethiopia and past,” he stated.

“So the connection between Arabic and Africa is previous and wealthy and it’s not a shock that it additionally appeared within the west in locations like Senegal.”

That stated, Niang warns in opposition to taking the language’s prevalence without any consideration.

Extra must be carried out to make sure it performs a powerful position in right this moment’s society to serve a number of the trendy wants of the continent.

“We have now circumstances in Senegal the place folks research Arabic overseas and after they return residence they’ll’t discover the kind of work alternatives they’re in search of,” he says.

“So we do want extra Arabic schooling establishments to come back to Senegal and work inside the current academic methods with a view to create extra viable alternatives for college students after they graduate.”

Mohammed agrees and factors to comparable experiences of Nigerian college students.

“We have to try and make the instructing of Arabic language related to right this moment’s wants,” Mohammede stated.

“As a result of should you research and graduate from college and don’t have any job the place you should utilize your Arabic expertise, then it can discourage others.

“There isn’t a level in graduating with an Arabic tongue, however [get] no job.”

The Sharjah Worldwide Ebook Truthful continues on the Expo Centre Sharjah till November 13. Extra data is on the market at

Up to date: November 05, 2022, 1:46 PM

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