14 August, 2008

Stranger at home

Today, while I was just about to enter "the Centre" to do a bit of quick shopping, a Bahraini man, confused, looking around and kind of embarrassed approached me. He asked (in Arabic):
"excuse me brother, I don't know English. Can you tell me where Dairy Queen is?"
It was smack behind him.
I pointed out his destination, he thanked me and ran towards it.
I looked up to the sign of the American resturant, it was purely in English as it is in its home country, despite Bahraini laws to have Arabic on all signage.
It is a sad time we live in, when a citizen feels like a tourist in his own country.

7 comments:

Cloud Thoughts said...

I never thought about it before reading your post! One more thing I noticed is that the arabs are the only ones who use english words in their sentences.

I never saw a German, French ..etc using an english word while talking.

Redbelt said...

Cloud Thoughts> Actually many cultures borrow words from other cultures. Arabs do it, yes, but so do Indians. They sometimes throw whole sentences in English. The Japanese do it too. Television is "Terebi", White is "wayto" and so on.
But still a french man should be able to read and communicate with others in French, so would a Chinese man in China, a Finnish man in Finland and a Nigerian man in Nigeria. In Egypt or Saudi Arabia, it might not be this bad still, but in Bahrain, Arabic is quickly becoming an afterthought. I know of a local Bank here who considered advertising only in Arabic on the basis that "everyone reads English, we don't need to advertise in Arabic too".
If you look hard at advertisements (if you know both English and Arabic) you can see that most communication is not written in Arabic but is translated from English.
I often wondered why don't I write in Arabic, but I know that the audience I try to reach is a mixture of local and international readers and that is why I am keeping it that way. However, I feel really bad about the state of Arabic in this "Arabic" country.

Redbelt said...

^ Sorry, I meant the local bank concidered advertising only in English.
Read my comment again now, it should make sense.

icon said...

If this situation means The Arabic Language is going to disappear as long as we're keeping it that way then it's a tragedy. Yet, I think it's pretty important to use English, it's the first language in the world, we got to do that as a feature of 'development'.

Ihateyoualltwice said...

English words... wikipdedia the language and you will learn much. Beyond that I just have hate, hate, murder, murder. murder, hate... and mer-maider, mer-maider, mer-maider, language, dumb hate! and a bunch more, but I am tired. peace ma biotches!

Ihateyoualltwice said...

Oh one thought that entered,,, a caring people would only respect an interference of their own livelyhooood. Fuck grammaticonincal relevance! Shwazam!

Redbelt said...

ihateyoualltwice>
Besides trying to make nonsense in two comment posts:
Whats your point?