ALGERIA: Researcher urges revival of Arabic

Algeria's access to the knowledge society depended on developing the Arabic language so it could compete with other languages, according to university researcher Ammar Bouhouche, reported La Tribune of Algiers.

Speaking at the conference "Language of development and development of language", organised by the Conseil Supérieur de la Langue Arabe in Algiers, Bouhouche underlined the importance of Arabic as a determining element of national identity, and advocated strengthening quality linguistic programmes to make Arabic competitive when faced with other idioms.

He traced the decline of Arabic in Algeria back to post-independence ideological conflicts which had hindered a return of the language. And today, teaching methods in schools were obsolete, he said, and lack of incentives meant good teachers were more inclined to go abroad, leaving in charge those with no vocation for the job.

Arabic was confined to theological areas at a time when the West was becoming aware of the value of the language, as was shown by the creation in its societies of research engines, software and television channels in the Arabic language.

Development of scientific research in Arabic was dependent on a genuine will to change, especially through realisation of the importance of the language as a factor for success in every project, Bouhouche concluded.