3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Your are proof of the Title of this article, Arabist Snobs

Reader comment on item: Arabist Snobs
in response to reader comment: ... Generic, Unoriginal & Prejudiced

Submitted by Peter Hall (Australia), Nov 29, 2011 at 00:33

Well Amin Riaz, after reading your response to my comment, I had to take a deep breath and relax before responding. Please do not confuse my professed lack of knowledge about Arabic with lack of intelligence or lack of insight. You attempt to contemptuously dismiss my comments, and your apparent superior attitude show how truly closed minded and ignorant you are. You have picked on the wrong person to adopt a superior attitude with, as I will demonstrate who has the better understanding of Arabic, you or me.You may understand the words, I understand the implications.

First let me unsettle you with a few facts. Not the self absorbed opinions you have inflicted upon us so far. You Said Opinions - and baseless opinions. If you cannot and do not understand Arabic how do you know it cannot convey complicated ideas? Well with the exception of Syria, all Universities in Arabic speaking countries use keep textbooks in universities in their original langauges. for example, in almost every arabic university, medicine, engineering, sciences...etc are taught in their original books in English or French. With the spread of this phenomenon, people in general began to neglect the importance of translating not only normal textbooks but also anyother books like novels... etc. compare that with the European countiries that used to translate books from english to their local languages. but since nineties, there are more and more programs in European universities taught in english instead of the local languages. Can you tell me the Arabic word for lazer ? Is there an Arabic word for microchip? What is the Arabic word for FACTAL? Do you even know what a factal is? If Arabic countries cannot get their Universities to teach complicated concepts in Arabic there must be a reason! Well Amin Riaz ?

I think that shows whó's comments are baseless? Lazer? Well Amin Riaz? I guess you are the flint knapper here, saying how 1000 years ago Arabic was very advanced, THAT WAS 1000 YEARS AGO! That was my point. Your said Arabic was the language that conveyed Science and Philosophy to the West. Likes of Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Sina Ibn Rushd Facts Amin state some current facts, for example, there are only 8 Muslims who have ever won Nobel prizes in Sciences and the Arts, ever!

There are only 3 Universities from Arabic speaking countries that are in the top 500 in the world, only 3 and only in the bottom half. Your Arabic obviously has not conveyed anything much of importance recently has it Amin has it? Again you are talking about Arabic being progressive 1000 years ago. No now. you said Arabic has vast classical literature base but it is mostly outstanding for its prose works - its a beautifully logical language with amount of linguistic richness & history only matched by perhaps Greek Again you are missing the point, you are knapping your flint again Some more FACTS The United Nations estimates that the entire number of books translated into Arabic in the past 1,000 years is the same as that translated into Spanish every year. Also that the average number translated each year is 330 books. This estimate was made by an all Arab committee chaired by a Jordanian. At present many of the greatest works of literature and science are available in Arab countries only in their original languages, making them inaccessible to most readers. you said Again any evidence? This is ignorance of infinite proportions - might I suggest a little learning. http://worldpress.org/Mideast/663.cfm

That is my evidence for starters, where is your evidence Amin? (ouch, that knapping must hurt) Obviously it what you said was true, people would read classical Arabic writings like they do Shakespeare. Obviously they do not. You are still pushing your flint tools. You said So how the hell did you come up with this judgment? "been used by simple people and uneducated people who have never placed many demands upon it" What is your justification?

Out of 320 million Arabic speakers only 8 Nobel prizes for arts and sciences and only 3 universities in the top 100, 50% of Arabic speaking women are illiterate, DO I REALLY NEED TO GO ON AMIN? The Arabic speaking world on any measure or statistical survey I can find anywhere rates poorly when it comes to education. Amin I ask you where is there any support the Arabic speaking world is highly, or even moderately well educated? I cannot find any, maybe you can. I am not cherry picking facts and figures, I am trying to find any measure that shows Arabic supports and conveys complicated ideas efficiently. I cannot, that is why Universities do not use it for modern science. Even Arabic Universities do not use it. you say Any evidence? Before the British rule took over Islam was the last empire - its influence reaching Mughal India, Europe, Africa and Far east Asia and Russia. I ask you the same question? Are you saying the Ottoman Empire was the last great Empire before the British? Ever heard of the Spanish Empire? The Russian Empire? The Dutch? The French? The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Chinese Empire. The Ottoman Empire was nothing special. I think you lack of judgement and myopic views clearly show how limited you are in your Arabic thought. you said Why did you even bother to write the above drivel? Don't you even know that Arabic too has modern forms?

Why Classical Arabic at all? - that is purely the power of Quran and Hadith. Besides Arabs Muslims of all backgrounds study it and place. my response On IkhwanWeb, Al Aswany is quoted as saying "I sold 160,000 in France alone in one year." However, Jraissati says, these are the exceptions. "Sales numbers commonly range from 500 to 2,000 copies in markets like France…." In France—a high-translating country—the most-translated languages are: English (62%), Japanese (8.3%), German (6.2%), Italian (4.3%), and Spanish (4.0%). About 0.9% of the titles translated are from Dutch authors, which is equivalent, Jsraitti writes, to 83 titles. In comparison, the number of Arabic titles translated per year can generously be estimated to a maximum of 20. …the Arab market is completely opaque, and publishers have no means to evaluate a book: Who is the author and what is the importance of an author in the Arab cultural landscape? What is the extent of his impact on the local press? How many copies has a book sold in its market of origin? How does it compare to other sales? How original or literary is its content and language compared to other books?

http://arablit.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/who-sees-arabic-literature-in-translation-who-reads-it/

As I said, if modern Arabic Literature was any good people would read it. You still just do not understand do you? You again ask for evidence and again I have supplied Amin, are you still holding your positions that I am the one who is uninformed? I would like to see some evidence for you outlandish and obviously ignorant claims as to the effectiveness of sophistication of Arabic. Again you say Unlike any other religious book I am aware of Quran emphasized its language. It claimed to be marvel of Arabic. It may be a marvel of Arabic, but again I say that is not setting the bar too high. The Quran contradicts itself and I can site numerous references that nearly 20% of it does not make any sense even when read in Arabic. The limitations of Arabic to convey complex ideas and meanings is why Muslims are so misunderstood, its because even Muslims do not understand what they believe in! you said Try naming me some of these modern concepts that do not not have Arabic words. Technology is the foremost - but Arabic has classical depths, range of language - that even in technology Arabic uses its own words. Again lazer, not that modern, but necessary. Try and find a copy of an arabic book on relativity ! you say Unlike the Bible - Arabic has always resisted translation. As it was and is an Arabic book. Conveyed in its original form.

Like I said they claimed to be a linguistic marvel. It resisted translations because it does not make sense. Claimed by who? Are you a member of the flint knappers association? They all claim flint tools are superior to stainless steel and can site many reasons why. However, the rest of the human population use stainless steel I think I have adequately demonstrated that the rest of the world do not read the Arab Classics because they are not very good. I also have shown that even the few Arabic Universities do not bother to try and teach the sciences in Arabic because it is not capable of conveying modern concepts. The facts as to levels of Arabic speaking peoples lack of education I leave you to disprove. As to the value of Arabic as a modern language 320 million people in the world speak Arabic. 550 million speak English as a first language 720 million speak English as a second language and 1 in 4 people in the world speak some English. 98.3% of the worlds total knowledge is recorded, translated to or originated in English. 89.5% of the worlds total written knowledge has been translated to or originated in French Less than 4% of the worlds total written knowledge is recorded in Arabic.

So Amin Riaz, you have demonstrated your lack of understanding of Arabic and its shortcomings. I think that proving how silly you are was a very easy exercise that I undertook to show that just because a person is not an expert on a particular subject, it does not mean that they cannot evaluate the subject matter. You are the expert flint knapper, I am the average person who recognizes that a steel knife works much better.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Your are proof of the Title of this article, Arabist Snobs by Peter Hall

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)