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Volume :33 Issue : 1 2005      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Tunisian Society Alienated from the Arabic

Auther : Mahmoud Al-Dhaouadi

This study focuses on what we consider a state of alienation between todays educated Tunisians and Arabic (their own national language) fifty years following Tunisian independence. Educated Tunisians still feel ill at ease using Arabic in talking, writing or in their daily life activities. Moreover, the prevailing attitude of most of them towards Arabic is hardly that of pride, strong commitment or willingness to defend or protect it. The socio-psychological perspective adopted in this paper attributes such alienation primarily to the ideology of the Tunisian political leadership, and to the fact that the educated Tunisians themselves are bilingual and bicultural with strong affinities with the French language and culture. The educated elite have, since independence, occupied sensitive key governmental positions, and strongly encouraged the continued presence of the French language and culture. Independence from the French linguistic and cultural influence was hardly present on the agendas of these political, intellectual and scientific elite. It was equally absent from the agendas of most of the bilingual and bicultural Tunisian post-independence society.

 

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