Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Saudi- Foreign accent determines local attitude  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 07/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) Om a foreigner's point of view learning arabic as a second language in saudi arabia in an informal setting can surely be a frustrating experience.most non-arab employees pick up arabic as they go about their daily lives with little or no formal language instruction.the result is a distorted simplistic version of the language that determines the way native speakers communicate with non-arabic speaking expats and which has wider implications on the language itself.'it is amazing to see how foreign presence influences even our own native arabic" said fahd al-sanie a young saudi businessman who runs a small factory and a farm with several asian workers.this simplistic version of arabic has slowly influenced al-sanie's use of his native language even when communicating with his family. 'my kids ask me if i'm still a saudi" he said.mohammed al-shehri a young saudi university student said he speaks two languages daily.'i speak one language while communicating with saudis and arabs and one when i communicate with non-arabs" he said. 'it is much easier to use broken arabic grammar pronunciation and vocabulary to communicate with non-arabs than to speak to them in plain arabic."'i have met non-natives whose accents sound remarkably close to native accents" al-shehri said. 'i feel much closer and more comfortable communicating with them."sulaiman a pakistani barber in jeddah's nuzla district speaks 'jiddawi" arabic with no accent at all.he has many saudi friends in the neighborhood. sulaiman arrived in jeddah some 30 years ago when he was only 10 and had totally immersed himself in the culture.he now has children of his own who grew up bilingual speaking both urdu and arabic.'we speak urdu with them and their neighborhood friends speak arabic to them" he said. 'they don't feel discriminated against when they go out to play with other kids."'sulaiman is my homeboy" said one of his saudi customers as he was waiting for his turn to get his hair cut.'he even understands and speaks our slang prompting us to be cautious when we talk to him or among ourselves at his salon" the loyal young customer jokes.'he has acquired our language like nobody else that i know of" he said.young saudi feel differently however toward expats who are less fluent in arabic.'i wouldn't feel comfortable using my language normally with someone who doesn't speak the same language i do" he said. 'i just try to cut it short."nina a filipino nurse at a private clinic has tried unsuccessfully for eight years to get rid of her accent despite her intermediate level of arabic proficiency.although the locals know her background they talk to her as they would to a newly arrived foreigner often in a condescending manner.'i still feel discriminated against because of the language and accent barrier but that doesn't compromise the quality of nursing i provide" she said. 'many patients speak to me in a very telegraphic language with distorted pronunciation and vocabulary thinking it would make it easier for me to understand."interestingly highly educated saudis tend to communicate normally in arabic with foreigners said mujeeb an indian national who works as a security guard at an upscale apartment complex in jeddah's naseem district.one of the tenants who works for king abdulaziz university always speaks to mujeeb in plain and proper arabic but he usually speaks very slowly and clearly.'it was tough for me to understand him at the beginning but i got used to it over a couple of years" he said. 'it is always a very short exchange that is limited to service requests."the academic always patiently repeats what he wants if he feels there is a communication barrier said mujeeb. 'my problem is that i can't speak like he does but 'shwaya shwaya' (arabic for 'slowly but surely') i will get there" he said.a restaurant waiter in jeddah's jamia district said saudi customers often make complaints using language that he does not understand.'first they will order and speak with a non-saudi accent thinking that i can understand only if they speak with a foreigner's accent but whenever they get mad about an incorrect order they use words and expressions that i don't understand. customers are not always right."the waiter said he started his job without any language training.nevertheless every saudi social segment seems to use language differently when communicating in arabic with foreigners.the more educated group converse with foreigners normally while other social segments either avoid contact or use broken arabic or worse still become abusive.dr. khaled al-harthi a newcastle university graduate in linguistics who works at the english language institute at king abdulaziz university said that language can turn out to be an attitude reinforcing stereotypes.'locals are to blame for reinforcing distorted arabic when communicating with foreigners" he said.this simplistic version of arabic could be called saudi 'pidgin" arabic.with the help of locals foreign workers have created their own language which is a mixture of two or more languages with very basic or even worse incorrect grammar and pronunciation he said.this type of language is 'used as a tool for communication with different minorities in saudi arabia" he said.'as locals have contributed to this phenomenon they should accept it 'as is' unless they change the way they speak with foreigners."from a sociolinguistic point of view language discrimination is largely influenced by social class and education in saudi society or in any other society for that matter he said.'the closer you are to the culture including its language the better your chances of being a part of it" he said.he called on non-arabic speaking residents to immerse themselves in the culture and eventually acquire the language on a semi-native level of proficiency. 'but this is not easy task which can take years and years of practice."'when i lived in the us and the uk to complete my higher studies everybody spoke to me in normal everyday english including my homestay family at school and in the street with no twisted tongue. i got the language this way practiced it and became like a local in my daily life" he said.'interacting effectively with foreigners goes way beyond language acquisition" he said. 'it is a mindset determined by saudis' social behavior."


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 2 2015 - Mine Blast Kills One Soldier, Injures Four in Northeast TurkeyQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) A Turkish soldier were killed and four others were injured in a mine blast in the Turkish northeast province of Kars, security sources said. Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported that ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Turkish Prime Minister Meets HE Qatar's Minister of State for DefenseQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Sunday with HE Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs Major-General Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah and his accompanying delegation on the ...

 Aug 2 2015 - HE Prime Minister Meets US Assistant Secretary of StateQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani met Sunday with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson and ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Kuwait Stock Exchange ends Sunday's session on mixed boardSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended Sunday's session on mixed board as the weighted index gained 1.42 points reaching 420.33 points, the price index lost 16.99 points ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Muscat Securities Market Loses 2 PointsSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Muscat Securities Market (MSM) general index (30) today lost (2.86) points, comprising a decline by (0.04%) to close at (6555.32) points, compared to the last session, ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Supervisor of King Salman Center for Relief receives Yemeni Information MinisterSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Adviser at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah received Yemeni information ...

 Aug 2 2015 - More than 400,000 Yemenis corrected their situations in the KingdomSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) The General Directorate of Passports announced that the number of brothers of the Republic of Yemen who have corrected their situations of residency in the Kingdom ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Governor of Riyadh Region Receives Pakistan's AmbassadorSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh region, received here today the Ambassador of Republic of Pakistan to the Kingdom Manzoor Al-Haq.During the ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates Niger's President on Independence DaySaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) The Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz has sent a cable of congratulations to President Issoufou Mahamadou of the Republic of ...

 Aug 2 2015 - Iraqis Protest Electricity Shortage During Heat WaveThe Arabian Post
(MENAFN - The Arabian Post) In the Iraqi summer, when the temperature rises above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, electricity becomes even more of a political issue than usual. This past week, at the top of ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help