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ARABISM Threatening  Extinction  Of Somali Language , Linguist  Warns
Somali News

ARABISM Threatening Extinction Of Somali Language , Linguist Warns

A systematic embrace of Arabic language and culture is threatening the existence of Somali language a top Somali linguist has warned.   Prof Mohamed Dahir Afrah the President of the Intergovernmental Academy of Somali Languages told Radio Dalsan in an interview that the Government has the responsibility to introduce policies to save the Somali language. “ Arabic is taking over in our schools since around 1990. Somali language is no longer the language of instruction in educational institutions. The government is not playing its part to save the language either” Afrah said when he paid a visit Radio Dalsan on Monday when the world marked World Mother Tongue day   “Before the civil war the Somali language was a priority to the government. The government appreciated the importance of the Somali language and made it a written language in 1972 “ Afrah   With the collapse of the Siad Barre government millions of Somalis fled to the neighbouring countries , the West and Middle East . A second generation of the refugees was born either speaking less Somali or some unable to converse in Somali   Back in Somalia religious based schools became the best alternative to the collapsed education system. But with these schools came the use of Arabic in the education system at the expense of the Somali language   “Arabic should be left for religious purposes not as a language of instruction in our education system. Arabism is not only threatening our language but also our culture” Afrah said   Afrah says the Somali language speakers may range from 30 to 40 million across the world but the number may start dwindling Somali language is spoken by ethnic Somalis in Somalia , Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti where a large population of indigenous Somalis exist