Whenever you walk at the campus of the American University of Sharjah, you will undoubtedly find the young Arab women put on stylish Western dresses as nicely as the Arab boys wear stylish Western clothes. And even college students with extra conservative attire seem extra Western than Eastern. No matter how younger Arab folks put on or appear to be nowadays, they even tend to be completely different within the language they use in typing and communicating. There is a widespread linguistic phenomenon that tremendously encroaches their lives and finally leads them to put in writing in an uncommon language.
This language is well-known these days among Arabs particularly the youth as “Arabizi”. Arabizi, a slang term derived from the words arabi or Arabic and englizi or English, is used to describe the melding between Arabic and English (Yaghan, 2008). It is a standard contemporary trend for typing that has largely spread amongst younger Arabs who use Arabic numerals and Latin characters to communicate, i.e. “5alas”. Given the linguistic, cultural and social significance that Arabizi has in contemporary society, certainly it is extremely interesting and in addition essential to deeply investigate this phenomenon so as to determine its dimensions, causes and potential consequences.
Questions, controversies and issues have been heavily raised over this issue. Questions like “Why do younger folks use Arabizi?”, “To what extent will it have an result on our language which is a critical element of our Arabic identity?” and so forth have been asked by many specialists and students and even strange individuals. Some customers might imagine it’s helpful and simple to communicate, but in addition others are concerned about how Arabizi can dramatically affect our Arabic language.
Linguistic students particularly are concerned in regards to the severe outcomes of the continuous use of Arabizi in our every day actions that will lead at the finish to the extinction of our language. Therefore, this paper will investigate the effects of Arabizi on the Arabic language as a major part of identification focusing on students from the American University of Sharjah.
II. Literature Review:
Technology and Language
Arabizi could additionally be thought-about as a new phenomenon in contemporary society; nevertheless, its origin goes back to the mid-1990s with the introduction of know-how (Warschauer, 2002). Technology that was alleged to convert the world into a world village eradicating all borders among individuals, in reality labored reversely in categorizing individuals as nicely as international locations into haves and have nots (Warschauer, 2002). That is that if a product is made within the United Kingdom or the United States, it’s up to the consumer whether to adapt to English or determine not to use the product at all. Dr. David Wilmsen, a professor of Arabic at the American University of Beirut that has written comprehensively on linguistics, considers cellphone because the critical Western product that created Arabizi within the Arab world (Salhani, 2013). According to Dr. Wilmsen, when mobile phones had been firstly introduced to the Arab world, they had been very costly and keyboards got here with Latin characters. Elites who might afford it, communicated through messages simply in English.
However as a result of growing demand, cellphones became inexpensive and owned by virtually everyone. Those individuals won’t know English but they wanted to make use of the simplicity of the English keyboard on their mobile phones and the result was Arabizi (Salhani, 2013). Although cell phones and other technological means are supplied nowadays with Arabic keyboards, Arabs still don’t use it and prefer to write in Latin characters. Bruna Kesserwani, the Middle East Regional Director of the World Youth Alliance, on a personal side finds it easier to write in Arabizi in spite of utilizing both Arabic and English in workplace and every day life. However, Kesserwani strongly believes that Arabizi might need severe cultural and linguistic consequences (Salhani, 2013). Education System and Language The impression of Arab’s over-reliance on English-based know-how has affected many different crucial aspects of Arab society. As Warschauer explained throughout his guide, university-level courses that are taught in English are expanding nowadays to further include different linguistic programs similar to Arabic.
Consequently, dad and mom are pressured to register their youngsters in English-based faculties so they can afford a good job sooner or later and maintain a high status in society (2002). However, this want for upward social mobility has led to “cultural-linguistic dualism” (Findlow, 2006). Therefore, Arab youth can converse, interact and even live with a linguistic combination of Arabic and English. However, this phenomenon can lead us to recognize these dramatic ideas “language death”, “language loss”, “language decay” and even “linguistic genocide”, which convey the growing concerns about the future of the Arabic language (Findlow, 2006). Education has a critical position to play within the discourse of how the Arabic language is quickly disappearing from new generations’ lives and closely displaced by English.
Schools these days within the Middle East adopt English as the major language of teaching and as a consequence they’re educating Arabic to Arab students as a foreign language: usually one hour a day (Dhabi, 2004). According to Dr. Saiyad Ahmad, assistant professor of Eastern Studies at the American University of Sharjah, “most Arab youth don’t know their language”. He highlighted the crucial responsibility of the training system in maintaining the Arabic culture and heritage. According to him, “nowadays, if someone doesn’t know English, they’re seen as uneducated … individuals have forgotten different methods and means of thinking”. “We have successfully lost our authenticity … our concepts aren’t our own, however are imported like other products,” he added (El Darawy, 2005).
Personal Justifications for Using Arabizi
To assess the function of Arabizi in up to date society, there may be an inherent have to deeply reply the query “why young people nowadays use Arabizi?” In a study carried out by Dr. Mohammad Yaghan, a gaggle of high school students have been asked about their causes and justifications for using Arabizi of their every day lives. One of the reasons was that teenagers these days find Arabizi a trend in which they wish to belong to and by that way they’ll blend simply with comparable group members. Other students believed that classical Arabic letters should be used for academic functions but not for slang. Also, college students defined how Arabizi is beneficial in expressing points that cannot be expressed otherwise in classical Arabic letters. Economics is another major purpose of utilizing Arabizi, since the variety of characters allowed in a message written in English is much larger than that in Arabic. Last however not least, participants expressed their desire of Arabizi over pure Arabic or English as it’s a flexible system, not taught and free of errors (Yaghan, 2008).
In addition, many Arabs feel that Arabic could be very sophisticated and therefore they needed to combine their mom tongue with English to create Arabizi which is somehow easier in communication (Salhani, 2013). In an interview carried out with faculty students on the American University in Cairo asking about their logic for using Arabizi as a means of communication with their pals, students emphasized two main points. Firstly, they explained how Arabic restricts them from discussing everyday subjects and however how melding Arabic and English allow them to speak freely about their daily issues. Secondly, they illustrated how snug they really feel after they use Arabizi to talk about taboos and different points that can’t be expressed in Arabic corresponding to sex (Yaghan, 2008).
Not solely young Arab people have justifications and causes for using Arabizi, but in addition elder people do have their own defense for using it. Those young individuals who use Arabizi will quickly graduate and get jobs, but they may even transfer with them their own means of typing and communicating. Ali Nasser, a 24 12 months old worker, sees no problems in utilizing Arabizi. He considers Arabizi as a sound technique of communication in emailing different co-workers and speaking inside the group. Furthermore, he believes that Arabic is troublesome for typing and expressing the self and other on a regular basis subjects. Personally, he doesn’t see any indication that Arabizi weakens his Arabic, however somewhat people are over romanticized about this matter (Ghanem, 2011).
The Internet and Arabizi
The web and on-line usage of language reveal how sophisticated the problem is. A examine on younger internet customers in Egypt was carried out by Mark Warschauer, a professor on the University of California, Ph.D. in Education program and founding director of UCI’s Digital Learning Lab, to discover out which language they use on the internet. The study discovered that Arabic was rarely used on the internet, but somewhat a combination of Arabic and English was commonly used by the participants. This “Romanized Arabic” as Warschauer known as it, was heavily utilized in casual emails and on-line chatting. According to Warschauer, this phenomenon gave its users a new universe during which they can freely talk about different non secular and political topics, due to the absence of an specific authoritarian censorship in a context the place informality was the premise (Attwa, 2012).
In one other research performed in Egypt, Singapore and Hawai’i, online language use was analyzed to look at webs of interrelationships. The study concluded that in a world where English is the dominant language, there is a main contradiction between international networks and local identities (Warschauer, 2002). This major online presence in younger Arab people’s lives can have major consequences on their perception system and language which is a critical element of their identity. A research on know-how and youth at the University of Melbourne confirmed that communication applied sciences strongly empower younger folks to create and preserve a sense of identification, energy and unity (Carroll, Howard, Vetere, Peck & Murphy, 2001). Since this created id is the finish result of complex digital interactions, then the required language for communication is what forms the user’s id (Markham, 2008). Therefore, when Arab youth choose to construct their Arabic language with Latin letters, they create their very own linguistic identification in the greatest way they need to symbolize themselves to the whole world (Markham, 2008).
In a study intended to analyze the impression of the web within the Arab world, Arabs’ perceptions and opinions in regards to the affect of the internet on their belief system, language and id have been deeply investigated. It confirmed that nearly all of well-educated Arabs are involved that their inherited social norms are harmed by the web and other new applied sciences. They also indicated their annoyance about Arabizi as a risk to their language as nicely as their identification (Loch, Straub, & Kamel, 2003). However, all people in addition to nations kowtow to modern expertise in all its varieties which shapes their beliefs, behaviors and actions (Brette, 2003).
Not solely know-how customers have opinions and thoughts about this matter, but additionally people who discover themselves in position to have an result on how the Arabic language can be utilized on the internet have their very own factors of view. According to Fayeq Oweis, supervisor of the Arabic localisation staff at Google, “Arabic is a thriving language and can be adapted to fashionable technology” (Al Tamimi, 2012, para.1). Oweis believes that there are principally three risks that threaten the Arabic language within the Arab world. The first is utilizing overseas terminologies despite the existence of Arabic synonyms. The second is writing Arabic however using international characters, which is heavily and commonly used on the internet. The third is together with totally different dialects within the sentence.
In Oweis’s opinion, the best way to avoid these three threats is to use right and proper Arabic not only in on a regular basis use or formal communication, but additionally in the know-how subject (Al Tamimi, 2012). In order to put this answer into practice, Google has launched “Google Ta3reeb” in 2009 (Al Tamimi, 2012). This program came out because of the growing use of Arabizi on the internet, so it mechanically translates Arabizi into classical Arabic. Therefore, Google is significantly contributing to the survival of the Arabic language by preserving its existence on the web.
Arabizi and Identity
An extremely important query imposes itself on the scene, whether or not Arabizi negatively impacts our language and identity or it simply finds a widespread ground to unite Arabs in all places. According to a study carried out in order to investigate what Arabs take into consideration the impact of Arabizi on their Arab id, customers affirmed that Arabizi does not negatively have an effect on their id as Arabs, however quite it helps them discovering a common floor in which they will easily belong to (Abdel-Ghaffar, N., et al, 2011). However, Abdel-Ghaffar discovered that Arabizi doesn’t facilitate the communication process among Arabs however somewhat it makes it vaguer, inconsistent and misunderstood in plenty of cases (Abdel-Ghaffar, N., et al, 2011).This is because Arabizi users use Arabic numerals mixed with the closest English counterpart to express what they need to talk. For instance, the ط may be represented with “6” or “t”, which creates inconsistency in communication (Attwa, 2012). Therefore, Abdel-Ghaffar suggested that using Arabic letters is the most effective, consistent and overall the clearest means for communication in Arabic (Abdel-Ghaffar, N., et al, 2011).
Many Arabs think about Arabizi as a significant threat or perhaps a war in opposition to the Arabic language and they are concerned that it will additional weaken the language or even replace it within the close to future. Some Arabs even believe that if young Arab folks continued to use Arabizi transferring it to the following generations, the Arab world may be imagined with out Arabic language in few a long time. According to Miral Dibawy, a college graduate and addicted user of Arabizi, Arabizi has weakened her Arabic language and he or she even needs to put in writing firstly in Arabizi after which translate it whether in Arabic or English (Ghanem, 2011). On the opposite hand, Dina Jamal, a college student, doesn’t use Arabizi although all friends do because she strongly considers it as a major menace to the Arabic language (Ghanem, 2011). Also, Taiba Al-Amoudi, an Arabic trainer, argued that Arabizi was severely affecting her students’ linguistic abilities (Ghanem, 2011).
In order to determine the extent to which Arabizi can really have an effect on our language and identity, we ought to always undoubtedly contemplate Edward Said case which is to some extent just like what the Arab youth experiences these days. Said represented the problem of getting unsettled identification since he was raised in a bicultural household, uncertain about which language or which identification he ought to more belong to (Said, 1999). This description of Said’s conflicting childhood in reality displays today’s younger Arab people, since they’re enrolled in English-based faculties however they communicate at home principally in Arabic. Thus, they wish to combine these two different languages collectively to characterize themselves in a means that satisfies their wants (Kramsch, 2000).
III. Research Question:
Based on secondary data and one other main analysis, survey, the focus of this paper is to deeply examine the results of utilizing Arabizi on the Arabic language. The major analysis was performed at the American university of Sharjah, so as to reveal and decide the scale of this matter. Thus, the following research questions needed to be investigated:
RQ1: What are the students’ motives to use Arabizi?
RQ2: How do college students perceive Arabizi and its results on the Arabic language? RQ3: How does students’ proficiency in Arabic relate to the utilization of Arabizi? RQ4: How does students’ high school system relate to the usage of Arabizi? Therefore, the impartial variables are highschool background, proficiency in Arabic, age, gender and nationality. And the dependent variable is the use of Arabizi.
This research was restricted to investigate participants from completely different ages, genders, schools and nationalities at the American University of Sharjah. The sampling technique that was used to decide out participants in this research project was a simple random pattern. The number of members was one hundred fifty AUS students (N= 150). The ages of members in this examine range from 17 to 26 years old and the average ranged from 20-22 years (Appendix 1). The gender ratio is 1:1, so seventy five males and seventy five females participated on this study. Participants had been chosen from the following out there schools at the American University of Sharjah: College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Architecture, Arts and Design (CAAD), College of Engineering (CEN) and SBM (School of Business and Management). The last psychographic high quality that was studied on this project is nationality. Nationalities have been divided into the following 4 classes: 1) GCC Countries, 2) Al Sham Countries, 3) North Africa and 4) Other. The objective of this categorization is to realize simplicity. Participants from Al Sham nations made up 50% of the participants (Appendix 2).
This primary analysis project was carried out through distributing printed surveys among AUS students throughout one week (from June 30th to July 7th 2013). Our main objective for this project was to randomly gather unbiased, rational and representative information. The data was collected from the Chemistry Building, Nab, Library, Student Center, Guys’ dorms and women’s dorms. It took round 10 minutes for participants to finish the survey. After the information was collected, we used the beneficial ‘IBM SSPS Statistics Software’ to analyze the collected data. This software was very helpful for the analytical and the reporting process that is mainly because of the a quantity of integrated modules that we could simply use to get precise and precise stories. We had been able to get accurate representation as nicely as attain reliable outcomes for our survey findings. In addition, due to the number of the supplied options in this software program, we had been in a place to get a full representative picture of the results via descriptive statistics and lots of other statistical representations.
For the measurement course of, we used the Likert scale as an effective, consultant and accurate method. This scale provides respondents with the following 5 degrees of settlement: Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. It quantifies the responses and allows for mathematical analysis. Also, it allows members to reply with a versatile diploma of agreement as an alternative of forcing them to take a decided place. The collected data from this scale was simply and precisely used to create charts that symbolize how opinions are distributed across the population. Moreover, it permits for comparisons between and among the founded results. The Likert scale was used with the following questions: “Do you feel that Arabizi helps you specific your self extra clearly?”, “In my interactions with others, I typically do you mix English and Arabic?”, “Some folks think that speaking in Arabizi, makes its customers appear smarter?” and “I imagine the use of Arabizi will negatively affect my proficiency in Arabic?”.
HighSchool of participant
Arabic proficiency of participant
Arabizi makes participant smarter
Arabizi negatively affects Arabic
Age of participant
Paticipants College Year
Participants uses Arabizi with individuals who don’t communicate English or Arabic 150
Collage of participant
Gender of participants
Participant mixes English and Arabic
Use of Arabizi makes clearer
Participants use Arabizi
MotherTongue of participant
Nationality of participant
Valid N (listwise)
Figure 1.1: Descriptive Statistics of a hundred and fifty surveys
Figure 1.2: Participants really feel Arabizi express them clearer
Figure 1.3: Participants Mix of English and Arabic
Figure 1.4: Arabic proficiency of participants
Figure 1.5: Relation between High faculty and use of Arabizi of participants
Figure 1.6: Arabizi negatively affects Arabic
The outcomes of the survey of one hundred fifty members were not surprising as they relate to the discoveries of previous researches and findings referred in the literature evaluation. To begin with, the desk above contains the descriptive statistics of the a hundred and fifty members (Figure 1.1). For occasion, the imply respond concerning the question of “Does Arabizi makes you are feeling smarter?, is 3.4133. Since the variable 3 is impartial and four is disagree, then the higher half was kind of inside that run. The same procedure is valid to every query. Regarding the analysis question expressed in part III, the question states; “Do you feel Arabizi helps you specific your self extra clearly?” is replied by way of the pie define in Figure 1.2. More than 36.7% of the members demonstrated that they use Arabizi in their day by day communication because it helps in speaking their statements. The minimum picked reply, which just included 4.7% of the individuals, was on the grounds that the person they’re conversing with can’t comprehend Basic English. This share indicates that youngsters and youth are adapting more to using Arabizi of their day by day interactions greater than ever before.
The discoveries of this pie graph are parallel to what Ghanem (2011) found in her interviews with school scholars. Indeed, Bruna Kesserwani said the identical factor (Salhani, 2013). Figure 1.three and figure 1.5 illustrates the participant’s response to mixing English and Arabic of their daily interactions according to their schooling. The outcomes which are delineated within the determine indicated that virtually all of members come from English-based academic system. Then again, to evade misconceptions, the degree of each high school foundation was figured. For the individuals who went to an Arabic-based highschool, the proportion of members discovering Arabizi express their ideas more clearly it is under 20% which approximately (=0.15). For the people who went to an English-based high school the diploma is above 80% which (=0.85). The dispersion of each degrees is exceptionally far from one another with nearly 0.7 contrasts, which is high.
The third query, “How do individuals characterize their proficiency in Arabic?” is diagramed in Figure 1.four. It signifies that the capability of a participant in Arabic dialect is establish with the apply of using Arabizi. The people who appraised themselves as phenomenal in Arabic had the most astounding degree of individuals who likewise mentioned that they don’t use Arabizi; so they manage every dialect as its personal specific. Moreover, participates who evaluated themselves with Average or above average within the language proficiency had a particularly skinny rate of people who don’t use Arabizi; the bigger half whose Arabic proficiency is beneath average makes use of it. This comes to simply accept that one’s capability in Arabic does affect his/her use of Arabizi. This comes as an inseparable unit with data addressed in determine in 1.5 with respect to the excessive school educational system of participants.
One could go to an English-based highschool, however be extremely distinctive at Arabic from his/her associates or any exterior components, which makes him/her barely Arabizi and contemplate it as a lifestyle habit. The fourth query addressed in determine 1.6 whether or not individuals believed Arabizi will negatively affect their proficiency in Arabic. It showed that fifty members and above are neutral about it, they don’t imagine that the usage of Arabizi will negatively affect their proficiency degree of the Arabic language. In distinction, 35 individuals imagine that Arabizi can kind a threat to the Arabic language utilization amongst youth and teenagers. Furthermore, round 9 individuals don’t imagine that Arabizi is inflicting any risk to the language. These findings are constant with the Warschauer’s thoughts, as he believes that this phenomenon will result in the demise and loss of the Arabic language.
The final two questions have been addressed when members were requested about their opinions “If Arabizi threatens the existence of Arabic language?”. Therefore, many of the participant’s responses had been balanced between supporting the assertion and rejecting the assertion. For occasion a feminine participant clarifies her opinion saying, “No, it doesn’t as a result of Arabic nonetheless exists as a spoken language, it’s just the form that is changing”. Another Female contradicts with that opinion saying, “I strongly disagree, as a end result of it’s a common language amongst all Arabs”. Females’ responses differed from males’ ones, for instance; a male participant who wrote unordinary response “ no, it will help us study new phrases from both languages” while other male expressed a suggestion “ merely, enrich and enlarge the areas of Arabic language usage, also encourage people to make use of it”. The differentiations of female and male opinions ranged between 17 to 22 years demonstrates to what extreme the language is necessary to the participant and to what extent it pertains to his/her identity as an Arab.
On the contrary, the survey shows massive enough rations of unexpected responses that mirror the notice of participants to the existence of Arabic language. The second question was “why do you use Arabizi?” Generally, most respondents mentioned that they use it as a end result of it’s fashionable and far easier to make use of. A male participant said “it helps me use each the expressions from Arabic and English to specific myself extra vividly” another male explains why he makes use of Arabizi saying “due to the dearth of apply of utilizing Arabic letters”. On the other hand, females had other explanation why they use Arabizi “it makes texting sooner, sure regional accents cannot be typed in formal Arabic language”. Our interpretation of Arabic language from the analysis of those two questions revealed the opinions of individuals including women and men and where they see the Arabic language position in their lives. The responses of respondents and our interpretation matches Dr. Mohammad Yaghan group study when he asked students about their causes of using Arabizi. One of the reasons that teenagers use it is that they discover it a trend to which they would like to belong.
This analysis has multiple helpful and worthy implications. It added to the reasons of utilizing Arabizi. Also, it revealed participants’ own beliefs and thoughts about the consequences of using this fashion of typing. Furthermore, it confirmed the correlation between the school system and the use of Arabizi. This research project was carefully accomplished to achieve its targets. However, there have been some inevitable shortcomings and limitations. One of these limitations was the time. Since we had limited time in the course of the short summer season course, we performed our major research all through solely two weeks. If we had extra time, we could ask and survey extra number of individuals to enhance the generalizability of the results.
Secondly, the designed survey for this project was somehow lengthy which led some individuals to skip or ignore open questions. Thirdly, that data we entered in IBM SPSS Statistics Software have been done manually. Thus, it is subject to human error. Another limitation is the place. We distributed surveys to solely AUS students, so the answers can’t be generalized to any other places. The recommended future analysis of this project is to deeply examine the influence of parents or the old technology on the use of Arabizi by the youth. Recently, this topic is doubtless certainly one of the top controversial issues that need to be significantly investigated to determine its dimensions.
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YOUR ID_______________ Your Name ( optional) ________________
“Arabizi” is a slang term (slang: vernacular, well-liked casual speech) describing a system of writing Arabic using English characters. (Example: ya3ni)
1. What type of excessive school did you go to?
2. What is your mom tongue?
3. Do you use Arabizi dialy ?
Most of the times
four. Do you are feeling that Arabizi helps you express yourself extra clearly?
5. How do you characterize your proficiency in Arabic?:
6. In my interactions with others, I usually do you mix English and Arabic?
7. Are you used to Arabizi to an extent that you use it even with people who do not essentially speak Arabic or English?
8. Some individuals assume that speaking in Arabizi, makes its customers seem smarter?
9.I imagine using Arabizi will negatively affect my proficiency in Arabic?
10. Some folks suppose that Arabizi threatens the existence of the Arabic language, what’s your opinion? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. Can you tell why do you use Arabizi?