Arabic Language Blog

World Arabic Language Day Posted by on Dec 21, 2020 in Arabic Language, Culture, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

Last Friday يوم الجمعة الماضية, the 18th. Dec. 2020, was the world Arabic language day اليوم العالمي للغة العربية. In 2012, UNESCO -منظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلم والثقافة  – decided to dedicate  قررت أن تُخصّص this day هذا اليوم to celebrate the Arabic language للاحتفال باللغة العربية , its diversity وتنوّعها and legacy وإرثها .

In this post, we’ll look at how the day was celebrated and talk about a Saudi initiative مُبَادَرَة that was started to promote Arabic in everyday life.

Image by Ayesha Firdaus on


The celebration of the day الاحتفال باليوم

Let’s start with how this day was celebrated by Twitter users. Many Arabic speakers posted about the importance of أهمية preserving Arabic الحفاظ على اللغة العربية by speaking it daily  من خلال التحدّث بها يوميًا and taking pride in it والاعتزاز بها .


Those posts included two main hashtags (in Arabic & English) hashtags >





Every year, UNESCO discusses one theme in relation to Arabic and its future. The theme of موضوع the virtual panel discussion حلقة النقاش/الندوة الافتراضية for this year لهذا العام  was titled كان بعنوان : ‘Arabic Language Academies: Necessity or Luxury?’ مجامع اللغة العربية: ضرورة أم ترف؟  to look into the use of Arabic in academia استخدام اللغة العربية في المجال الأكاديمي and enhance its role within it  وتعزيز دورها فيه.

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“Speak in Arabic” Initiative “مبادرة “تحدّث بالعربية

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to an interesting and useful twitter account you can follow (see photo below).

Click here to visit their account.


The screenshot is for the twitter account dedicate to an initative مبادرة that has started by a Saudi youth group بدأها شباب سعودي more than a year ago, to revive the Arabic language in everyday life لتفعيل/إعادة إحياء اللغة العربية في الحياة اليومية .


To spread the word about their work, they use the hashtag >>



 Or speak Arabic


To celebrate the Arabic Language Day, they made a video that addresses the importance of speaking Arabic the correct way (Saudi dialect, in this case – but also Arabic in general) and not break its rule عدم كسر قواعدها or simplify it  تبسيطها when using it with non-natives (e.g. the Asian workforce العمالة الآسيوية that make up التي يتشكّل  a large number عدد كبير of the labour force in Saudi من القوى العاملة في السعودية ) .


You can see the video below>>


The video encourages native speakers of Arabic to not “break” their language as this can have a detrimental effect تأثير ضار on it. The video was promoted through the hashtag >>>




Don’t break it (in reference to the Arabic language).


If interested, watch the video to listen to the ways in which this unhealthy simplification (according to the video makers) or “breaking” of the language is done within Saudi (and probably practiced by many other Arabs when having to interact quickly with a foreigner who knows little Arabic!) .

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About the Author: Hanan Ben Nafa

Hi, this is Hanan :) I'm an Arabic linguist. I completed my PhD in Linguistics - 2018. My PhD thesis was entitled Code-switching as an evaluative strategy: identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals. I'm also a qualified public service translator & interpreter.