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Reader comment on item: Arabist Snobs
in response to reader comment: My poor and humble opinion.

Submitted by Amin Riaz (United Kingdom), Nov 26, 2011 at 21:11

You get many such comments on this site - that have no basis in reality. One wonders at the mind coming up with such drivel. Why bother? Peter Hall - does not know 2 things about Arabic. Yet he has a an opinion.... this is one major objection I have with democracy. Such people have the VOTE!

I believe that the reason ancient Arabic is so difficult to interpret is that it never has had to evolve like English and French and Spanish or Chinese. It has trouble conveying complicated ideas, because it is and has been used by simple people and uneducated people who have never placed many demands upon it.. This is the main problem, it is not the language used by creative people or by the sciences. Modern English bares little resemblance to the written English of 1000 years ago. Imagine trying to write a paper chaos theory and factals using the English of 1000 years ago.

Opinions - and baseless opinions. If you cannot and do not understand Arabic how do you know it cannot convey complicated ideas?

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.

Arabic was the language that conveyed Science and Philosophy to the West. Likes of Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Sina Ibn Rushd

Linguistics in English is a relatively modern science. Arabic produced outstanding and in-depth analysis of its language by Sibway, Ibn Hisham, Abu Bakr, Jurjani, ... all are linguistical geniuses. Arabic got to around 100yrs before where English has reached now.

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?

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.

Unlike any other religious book I am aware of Quran emphasized its language. It claimed to be marvel of Arabic.

It took me 6months to master the basic and intermediate grammar. Although as it is with virtually all languages it takes time for mastery.

Arabic being a Semitic language is very different from English - that is why English speakers suffer initial difficulties to learn it - but there are many experts of the language. Little research will tell you that virtually all great Western universities have Arabic departments.


It is the same with Arabic, the reason there are 20 meanings for each word is that they did not have the need for the 20 words, we are trying to use a primitive language to describe complex ideas that did not exist in the minds of people using ancient Arabic.

Yet it is English that claims to have the most words. Again you mention complex ideas? Which ones? Again you show ignorance.... English heavily relies on Ancient languages especially Latin & Greek for scientific naming.

One can argue ... English is the weak language - it still relies on other languages for more words.

The vast bulk of the Arab speaking world until the 1950's were uneducated and primary producers living a subsistence existence.

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.

The development of The English language and progression in knowledge and education went along a parallel curve. English grew as the demands upon it increased. After an initial flourish in the 10th century, Arabic has not really progressed until recently.

Again any evidence? This is ignorance of infinite proportions - might I suggest a little learning.

That is why there are so few books translated into Arabic each year, that is why there are so few Universities that teach in Arabic.

Again - any evidence? Stats?

I read a paper recently that English and French words are being introduced into the Arabic languages are a faster rate than any other language.

Name of the paper?

That this adoption of English and French words to due to the shortage of Arabic words to use to convey modern concepts and descriptions. Also the limitations of both modern Arabic and ancient Arabic are one of the reasons that so few books are translated into Arabic every year, it is just too difficult to do.

Ha ha - again you made this nonsense up. Without knowing anything of either Arabic or Arabs. It is the french that venomously try to protect their language from English influence. Whilst Arabic rappers have introduced many words of Arabic into the language.

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.

For example the word Blog was used in Arabic for about a year.... than the word mudawinna (of Arabic origin) became popular - as the incredible rise of blogging within the Arab world.

Unlike the french.... they struggle to contain usage of English


Language like Urdu - a modern derived language - does not even bother. It simply uses loans words from Arabic, Persian or English. Even Urdu conveys its language and it does not even have the vast amount of history a language like Arabic has.


One perfect example is the Qu'ran. The reason why the Qu'ran doe not make sense upon translation, is to a modern mind, is that it does not make sense even in Arabic.

Unlike the Bible - Arabic has always resisted translation. As it was and is an Arabic book. Conveyed in its original form. Like I said the claimed to be a linguistic marvel.

You do not even know or understand Arabic or Arabs.... so how did you form that Quran does not make sense? Where did you come up with such nonsense?

Besides reading it in Arabic - it makes perfect sense to me in all languages I know. Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Gujrati, Punjabi, English, Balti, Balochi (about intermedite).

It is the lack of application of Arabic to complex needs, has resulted in its lack of development. Islam and Muslim attitudes have a big factor in the stagnation of Arabic, as the goal of Islam is blind obedience and not to question, just to follow. If you do not need to enquire or question, obviously the need for new words or methods to convey new ideas is very much reduced.

Again Arabs were able to develop science, philosophy and technology and convey it - before Europe took over. So where was this blind obedience mantra? Again little bit of digging would show it was European Christian who struggle with science - that is why the religion has stagnated so much - secularism and atheism has took over - especially in science.

You wrote this drivel..... how about backing it up? Evidence? That can be verified.....

So my view of the persons who claim to be experts in Arabic and have that arrogance about them towards other, is that they are the same as being an expert flint knappers. It may have been handy in the past, but bears very little purpose in the current world. I hope I have not bored you all too much.

Given the amount of ignorance your views carry and worth wrong they are .... your opinion is worth sweet nothing.

I doubt you will make a stand for anything you have said. I would be surprised.... but you convey your prejudice, hate and sheer ignorance very well.


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