Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Suzanne Talhouk: Don’t kill your language

Translator: khalid marbou
Reviewer: Anwar Dafa-Alla Good morning! Are you awake? They took my name tag,
but I wanted to ask you, did anyone here write their name
on the tag in Arabic? Anyone! No one?
All right, no problem. Once upon a time, not long ago, I was sitting in a restaurant with my friend,
ordering food. So I looked at the waiter and said, “Do you have a menu (Arabic)?” He looked at me strangely,
thinking that he misheard. He said, “Sorry? (English).” I said,
“The menu (Arabic), please.” He replied,
“Don’t you know what they call it?” “I do.” He said, “No! It’s called “menu” (English),
or “menu” (French).” Is the French pronunciation correct? “Come, come, take care of this one!”
said the waiter. He was disgusted when talking to me,
as if he was saying to himself, “If this was the last girl on Earth,
I wouldn’t look at her!” What’s the meaning
of saying “menu” in Arabic? Two words made a Lebanese young man
judge a girl as being backward and ignorant. How could she speak that way? At that moment, I started thinking. It made me mad. It definitely hurts! I’m denied the right to speak
my own language in my own country? Where could this happen? How did we get here? Well, while we are here,
there are many people like me, who would reach a stage in their lives,
where they involuntarily give up everything
that has happened to them in the past, just so they can say that they’re modern and civilized. Should I forget all my culture, thoughts, intellect and all my memories? Childhood stories might be the best memories
we have of the war! Should I forget everything
I learned in Arabic, just to conform? To be one of them? Where’s the logic in that? Despite all that,
I tried to understand him. I didn’t want to judge him
with the same cruelty that he judged me. The Arabic language
doesn’t satisfy today’s needs. It’s not a language for science, research, a language we’re used to in universities, a language we use in the workplace, a language we rely on if we were to perform
an advanced research project, and it definitely isn’t a language
we use at the airport. If we did so,
they’d strip us of our clothes. Where can I use it, then?
We could all ask this question! So, you want us to use Arabic.
Where are we to do so? This is one reality. But we have another more important reality
that we ought to think about. Arabic is the mother tongue. Research says that mastery
of other languages demands mastery of the mother tongue. Mastery of the mother tongue is a prerequisite
for creative expression in other languages. How? Gibran Khalil Gibran, when he first started writing,
he used Arabic. All his ideas, imagination and philosophy were inspired by this little boy
in the village where he grew up,
smelling a specific smell, hearing a specific voice, and thinking a specific thought. So, when he started writing in English,
he had enough baggage. Even when he wrote in English, when you read his writings in English,
you smell the same smell, sense the same feeling. You can imagine that that’s him
writing in English, the same boy who came from the mountain.
From a village on Mount Lebanon. So, this is an example
no one can argue with. Second, it’s often said
that if you want to kill a nation, the only way to kill a nation, is to kill its language. This is a reality
that developed societies are aware of. The Germans, French, Japanese and Chinese,
all these nations are aware of this. That’s why they legislate
to protect their language. They make it sacred. That’s why they use it in production,
they pay a lot of money to develop it. Do we know better than them? All right, we aren’t from the developed world, this advanced thinking
hasn’t reached us yet, and we would like to catch up
with the civilized world. Countries that were once like us,
but decided to strive for development, do research, and catch up with those countries, such as Turkey, Malaysia and others, they carried their language with them
as they were climbing the ladder, protected it like a diamond. They kept it close to them. Because if you get any product
from Turkey or elsewhere and it’s not labeled in Turkish, then it isn’t a local product. You wouldn’t believe it’s a local product. They’d go back to being consumers, clueless consumers, like we are
most of the time. So, in order for them to innovate and produce,
they had to protect their language. If I say, “Freedom, sovereignty,
independence (Arabic),” what does this remind you of? It doesn’t ring a bell, does it? Regardless of the who, how and why. Language isn’t just for conversing,
just words coming out of our mouths. Language represents specific stages
in our lives, and terminology
that is linked to our emotions. So when we say,
“Freedom, sovereignty, independence,” each one of you draws a specific image
in their own mind, there are specific feelings of a specific day
in a specific historical period. Language isn’t one, two
or three words or letters put together. It’s an idea inside
that relates to how we think, and how we see each other
and how others see us. What is our intellect? How do you say
whether this guy understands or not? So, if I say, “Freedom, sovereignty,
independence (English),” or if your son came up to you and said, “Dad, have you lived through the period of
the freedom (English) slogan?” How would you feel? If you don’t see a problem, then I’d better leave,
and stop talking in vain. The idea is that these expressions
remind us of a specific thing. I have a francophone friend
who’s married to a French man. I asked her once how things were going. She said,
“Everything is fine, but once, I spent a whole night
asking and trying to translate the meaning of the word
‘toqborni’ for him.” (Laughter) (Applause) The poor woman had mistakenly told him
“toqborni,” and then spent the whole night
trying to explain it to him. He was puzzled by the thought:
“How could anyone be this cruel? Does she want to commit suicide? ‘Bury me?’ (English)” This is one of the few examples. It made us feel that she’s unable to tell
that word to her husband, since he won’t understand, and he’s right not to;
his way of thinking is different. She said to me,
“He listens to Fairuz with me, and one night,
I tried to translate for him so he can feel what I feel when
I listen to Fairuz.” The poor woman tried to translate
this for him: “From them I extended my hands
and stole you –” (Laughter) And here’s the pickle: “And because you belong to them,
I returned my hands and left you.” (Laughter) Translate that for me. (Applause) So, what have we done to protect
the Arabic language? We turned this into a concern
of the civil society, and we launched a campaign to preserve
the Arabic language. Even though many people told me,
“Why do you bother? Forget about this headache
and go have fun.” No problem! The campaign to preserve Arabic
launched a slogan that says, “I talk to you from the East,
but you reply from the West.” We didn’t say,
“No! We do not accept this or that.” We didn’t adopt this style because
that way, we wouldn’t be understood. And when someone talks to me that way,
I hate the Arabic language. We say– (Applause) We want to change our reality, and be convinced in a way that reflects
our dreams, aspirations and day-to-day life. In a way that dresses like us
and thinks like we do. So, “I talk to you from the East,
but you reply from the West” has hit the spot. Something very easy,
yet creative and persuasive. After that,
we launched another campaign with scenes of letters on the ground. You’ve seen an example of it outside, a scene of a letter surrounded
by black and yellow tape with “Don’t kill your language!”
written on it. Why?
Seriously, don’t kill your language. We really shouldn’t kill our language. If we were to kill the language,
we’d have to find an identity. We’d have to find an existence. We’d go back to the beginning. This is beyond just missing our chance
of being modern and civilized. After that we released photos
of guys and girls wearing the Arabic letter. Photos of “cool” guys and girls. We are very cool! And to whoever might say,
“Ha! You used an English word!” I say,
“No! I adopt the word ‘cool.'” Let them object however they want,
but give me a word that’s nicer and matches the reality better. I will keep on saying “Internet” I wouldn’t say:
“I’m going to the world wide web” (Laughs) Because it doesn’t fit!
We shouldn’t kid ourselves. But to reach this point,
we all have to be convinced that we shouldn’t allow anyone
who is bigger or thinks they have any authority over us
when it comes to language, to control us or make us think and feel
what they want. Creativity is the idea. So, if we can’t reach space
or build a rocket and so on, we can be creative. At this moment, every one of you
is a creative project. Creativity in your mother tongue
is the path. Let’s start from this moment. Let’s write a novel
or produce a short film. A single novel could make us global again. It could bring the Arabic language
back to being number one. So, it’s not true that there’s no solution;
there is a solution! But we have to know that, and be convinced
that a solution exists, that we have a duty
to be part of that solution. In conclusion, what can you do today? Now, tweets, who’s tweeting? Please, I beg of you,
even though my time has finished, either Arabic, English, French
or Chinese. But don’t write Arabic
with Latin characters mixed with numbers! (Applause) It’s a disaster!
That’s not a language. You’d be entering a virtual world
with a virtual language. It’s not easy to come back
from such a place and rise. That’s the first thing we can do. Second, there are many other things
that we can do. We’re not here today to convince
each other. We’re here to bring attention
to the necessity of preserving this language. Now I will tell you a secret. A baby first identifies its father through language. When my daughter is born, I’ll tell her,
“This is your father, honey (Arabic).” I wouldn’t say,
“This is your dad, honey (English).” And in the supermarket,
I promise my daughter Noor, that if she says to me,
“Thanks (Arabic),” I won’t say, “Dis, ‘Merci, Maman,'”
and hope no one has heard her. (Applause) Let’s get rid of this cultural cringe. (Applause)

99 Replies to “Suzanne Talhouk: Don’t kill your language”

  • Judging on other languages based upon you're knowledge of English language is not a fair way to judge.

    Arabic is great because it's so precise; u change one sound the whole sentance changes.languages are art and detailed art is the most beautiful. The beautiful art of Arabic languages is not dying, it's the most spoken native language and it'll always be spoken.

    The speaker here is addressing Arabs who don't use Arabic words wanna sound cool. But they're not aware that speaking your mother tongue is the coolest!

    BTW, the word "thermal" in Arabic is "حراري" "harari" with the letter "ح" you can't pronounce that in English cause English doesn't serve all the pronunciations a human tongue can pronounce. + it's 100% Arabic it's not driven from other languages.

  • احتراما للغتي العربية سوف ارد عليكي بالعربية واقول انتي رائعه احسنتي بارك الله فيكي ، لقد لمستي الجرح الدامي للامه العربية في هذا الزمان و من اصعب ما يؤلم فعلا ان تحاول ايصال شعور الحب لديك مثلا الى طرف اخر لا يفهم لغتك . الحقيقة المرة ان لغتنا العربية متراجعة في العالم على الرغم من انها اشمل واقوى تعبيرا من اي لغة ولكن ضعفها اصابها بسبب اهلها الذين لا يسمون شيء من اكتشافاتهم باسم عربي هذا اذا اكتشفواواواواوا تحياتي لكي مرة اخرى وكثر الله من امثالك بين العرب .

  • wtf? i thought she was gonna start speaking Korean or something lol. i wasn't expecting Arabic. doesn't she look kinda asian

  • Languages naturally get influenced by other languages, evolve, and disappear all the time. Preaching to preserve a language for nationalistic ideals will do nothing to prevent the course of nature.

  • After watching it who cares. We should be getting closer to everyone using the same language. could be English, Chinese, Arabic, whatever. Having separate languages doesn't get us closer to a one-culture society.

  • Meh, I am against this chick. Lets just get this world into a global community already. Holding onto the old is not nearly as valuable as people think.

    Fuck separate governments and languages and currencies and laws. One world community!

  •      This is a very controversial topic but here is my opinion. She is saying that you should not just kill of your native language that you grew up with for the modern world. She says IT IS FINE TO NOW THE MODERN ENGLISH LANGUAGE but you should not forget about your old language. A lot of the hate comments I am reading all have some good points. But what I cannot stress enough is that there is NO WAY to get everybody to speak the same language. You can't force people in developing countries or in other developed countries to suddenly use the English language or any other dominant one FLUENTLY (I cannot stress this enough that I mean fluently not just clips and bits and pieces of it.) Some people in these countries DO know how to speak English but that does not account for every single person there. We are trying to be realistic here.

         And why not preserve these languages? Of course they will die out someday as MedEighty stated along with many others, but languages do have culture in them and variety. If we all spoke the English language our lives would be different in one way or another. It doesn't hurt to know another language, and a lot of you American folk don't realize that. Suzanne is only giving advice to people, not proposing to make a huge change in all of our lives.

    Again this is only my opinion.

  • I think this is one of the most inspiring and thoughtful tedtalks I heard in a while. Being Swedish, I've had quite a few thoughts about whether we do have the need for multiple languages or not and I've had quite a few moments of annoyance when I've heard about the things people do to save dying languages. If it's dying, let it die.. But as she is saying, all languages comes with a way of thinking which is unique for that language, which is in its essence much more than the words. Think about it, even speaking technically the same language at home and at work, with with my big-city friends and my friends from the country, the way I use my words, the way I think and talk will be different depending on whom I talk to.

  • Wow, some comments here are extremely stupid. You think English is the best? well maybe that's because it's the only language you speak 🙂 You use English? Fine! don't call others stupid for preferring their languages.

  • It's all well and good for one language to evolve outside of its landmass of origin, however, the evolved version shouldn't be confused with the language that it originated from which of course evolved also. People who are raised in England generally speak English. People who are raised in America generally speak American-English.

    "The math involved in analyzing the amount of aluminum in this can is beyond me." isn't an English sentence.

    This is an English sentence, "The maths involved in analysing the amount of aluminium in this tin is beyond me".

    It makes little sense to me to allow great diversions between the two but to carry on calling them the same thing. If we want to take English on as a global language and allow any nation to push changes to it please make sure to call it Global-English, or something else other than English for short.

  • I didn't turn on the subtitles because I wanted to hear the flow of the language she's speaking. I'm too ignorant to know what language it is but it is a beautiful language.

    Sounds Arabic or a mix of German & French.

  • nobody is saying lose your language, but learning English as a second language is super important so you can work anywhere, attend school anywhere, communicate with anyone on earth, I have German friends because every German under 50 speaks decent English, every Dutch, Israeli, Nordic person, Indian with college education, speaks fluent English, join the modern world

  • her first example about a loanword in her language becoming more popular than the original one doesn't really mean the language is being "killed". english could serve as a good example to argue this point…
    the preservation of languages is surely an honorable endeavor, but in her case, i'm quite skeptical, b/c her motivitations are not to preserve a dying language, but to keep arabic "pure", a motiviation steeped in tribal and ideological sentiments. people of this kind seem to be found in every language community. they are irrationally afraid that their native languages will be supplanted by others just b/c some foreign loanwords have crept into them. they are wrong. foreign loanwords are NOT serious threats to languages. history has proved this numerous times and each time there have been people bemoaning the fact that their language is no longer "pure", when in fact it wasn't "pure" to begin with…
    endeavors of this kind are always ultimately futile (just thinking of the academie française here)

  • Language changes over time. It always has. It's better to accept that it evolves over time (and is dynamic by nature) than to arbitrarily attempt to keep it static.

  • Watched with English subtitles… 🙂
    This was an interesting talk… I am a native British, however my ethnicity is indian. I am fluent in both my mother tongue and English… I think this is important as modern languages such as English are more global, and so are useful in life, however my mother tongue is also often very much needed in day to day life, to communicate to relatives and friends back in India… I think communities should be able to learn new language and adapt to modern ones for ease of global communication and life, but also to not forget our roots and mother tongue… All languages are sacred…. 🙂

  • I speak 4 languages, yes everybody should learn English as a second language but anyone who claims that English is superior, is an idiot!

  • am pretty sure all the dislikes came from entitled and ignorant people that did't understand the video in defence of their language
    its okay if you don't want to learn other languages and cultures simply because of what you think of them..
    but that you should keep to your self specially when the comments have nothing to do with the video, some of the retarded comments here say english "has more prepositions" and "concepts and combinations" and is "the best language" and all that ignorance even though English is one of the weakest and illogical languages out there i mean its easy to learn.. hence weak but its just a product of mixed languages that some people carried out and the only reason of its global use is colonization and the fact that the people who spoke it eventually took over this world in some ways for the time being at least same thing with arabic back when othmans and other islamic nations where great economical powers plus the language doesn't even have some of the properties that for example arabic language has for better explaining..
    i mean some of this is quite ironic

  • I watched for almost 5 minutes thinking "she's going to start speaking English any second now". Time to start over with the captions!

  • صح لسانك وصراحه شيئ يقهر هالحكومات العربيه كيف سمحوا للانجليز يحتلونا بدون يحاربونا

  • lol I thought she was going to talk in english and her starting with arabic was just her introduction to the topic xD 

  • Dear Suzanne. I respect the passion behind your words and see your point on many of the issues you raise. You are totally right about that tendency to talk French or English as a sign of being cool, or educated or belonging to the upper classes. But, I still fundamentally disagree with many of the things you say. 
    The crux of it, the core of the issue is the state of complete confusion about language that we have, and it is not because of foreign invasive languages. It is the fact that we are not aware, or not able to agree on, what language is our mother tongue. Throughout your talk you treated Arabic as the mother tongue. But it's not, is it? I mean you hardly spoke a word of Arabic yourself in the talk! The only language you used to communicate your ideas is the Lebanese language, not Arabic. And the heart of the confusion is that we treat both as one thing. And they aren't. Arabic is the 'proper' language, and Lebanese/Egyptian/Moroccan/Saudi are just colloquial forms; that's what they teach us. And it simply isn't true. 
    Lebanese is evidently your mother tongue not Arabic. You only learnt Arabic when you went to school; it is a second language that you acquired at school like any other second language. And it is the most peculiar of situations. Because technically speaking no one ever speaks Arabic in their normal day to day life. You only hear Arabic exclusively spoken by news presenters and some politicians wanting to give false weight to their empty words. And that's it, no one else ever speaks Arabic! Isn’t that the most peculiar thing? 

    The confusion is only compounded when we examine further and find that when it comes to written language the opposite is true, everything is written in Arabic and almost never in the local language. So we find ourselves in this uniquely confusing situation where we speak in our local languages and never in Arabic, yet we write in Arabic and never in our local language. 

    Your criticism of 'ma32ul' is misplaced. Nothing is being lost when we use this, on the contrary; something has been, and is being, created. You see, have you ever tried to write Lebanese with Arabic script? If you have you would have noticed that Arabic script is woefully inadequate in rendering natural Lebanese speech in all of its myriads of sounds and dialects. A simple way of seeing this is thinking of the vowel sounds, the heart of any pronunciation system. Arabic does not have the sound 'o' as in 'dOg' or the 'e' sound as in 'pEck', while the Lebanese language does and many more sounds besides. So if you want to write "ta3o zurune" (come visit me) in Arabic you'll end up writing "ta3u' because there is no letter for the 'o' sound in Arabic, same with 2inno, 2alo, 5alo, 3amo, simi3to etc. Even the word 'Lebanese' can’t be written in Arabic script because the Lebanese say '2ana libnene' while in Arabic you can only write it with an 'i' sound at the end 'lubnani'. Incidentally, the 'e' sound (eh, kamen, libnen, ta3ben, fet, bet, 7et, etc) is the most common sound in Lebanese, and there is no way of correctly writing it in Arabic. And this can create a lot of confusion. So using the Latin script with numbers has been an innovative solution for a new problem and is right now the first and only decent attempt to render Lebanese speech in writing though it is still far from being perfect. 
    That’s where talking about the mother tongue starts to make sense to me. Yes we should create in our own mother tongue, but first, we should come to understand which one is our real mother tongue, the one you can’t speak until you learn it at school or the one you say your first words in? I have never heard a 2 year old Lebanese baby say "2ummah, 2ana ja2i3 2ureed 2an 2a2kul". They say "mama, 2inno ji3an, badde 2ekol". 
    Now I hear people up in arms shouting that Lebanese is only a form of Arabic, and Arabic is its origin. I’m not going to get into the history of language to debate  this. I’m going to draw on the analogy of Latin languages. Is French just a colloquial form of Latin? Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian? Well of course not, they all come from Latin, but they aren’t Latin anymore, they are their own languages. Clearly they are the descendants of Latin, just as Lebanese is the descendant of Arabic, but they are still a fully fledged languages, not dialects, or colloquialisms. But of course, they were called Latin Vulgar (or common Latin or 3amiyye) at the time when a political unity existed amongst these countries. Latin was the proper language and the rest were just vulgar renderings of it that the peasants and uneducated used in their localities. Does anyone think of French as a vulgar language anymore? I don’t think so. 
    So the situation of the local languages in Arab countries versus Arabic ‘proper’ is analogous to that of Latin and its ‘vulgar’ counterparts. The day the Latin identity died and in its place came the national identities, the idea of Latin as the ‘proper’ language died with it. Classical Arabic is as dead as Latin, it is maintained however on life support artificially because of complex socio-political, cultural, ideological and religious reasons. So if you stop teaching Arabic at school, it would be gone and forgotten within a single generation, yet people will still be happily chattering away in their local languages. As linguists often say a language is a dialect with an army.
    Trust me; I would have loved to write all of this in Lebanese. But since Lebanese is only a spoken language it would take me hours to write using the Latin/numbers system and you won’t be able to read it. So I agree with you that we should respect and create with our mother tongue, but let’s start by first not calling it ‘lugha 3amiyye’ anymore and acknowledging it as a language. Then maybe we can start taking more pride in it.

  • One language may obsolete the other languages because it superior utility and simplicity. Culture coming behind the language also is important. This process has been ongoing for millennia. I don't understand why people would want to fight by legal protectionism. It's not effective in the long run – it's just hold the language back.
    Want you language/culture to prevail and prosper – take good care of your economy.
    Just ask China.

  • I wish that this were true. Alas, it is not true. English is the language of the ruling class. I don't applaud this, but I accept it. Speak English and get respect. I am sad that this is true, but nonetheless, it is so.

  • "لا تئتلوا لغتكم" والعنوان بالانجليزي والتعليقات بالانجليزي ،، مافيكم حل بس اعجبني اسلوبها ماااشاااء الله لا قووة الا بالله

  • في اكتر من 300  معقدين مو عاجبهم الحكي ولا قادرين يخلصو من عقدتهم ! 

  • There are not two realities.  There is one reality.  You can deal with it or not.  Greek, Latin, French, and Arabic have all had their day as the widely understood cross-cultural languages.  The lingua franca, as it were!  Now it's English.  I think Chinese will have its turn if the global economy doesn't crash, which it probably will.  Languages change, evolve, borrow, hybridize and go extinct.  C'est la vie!

  • الله يجزيك الخيييييير فعلا كلامك صح انا بكره الكتابه بحروف انجليزي وارقام شو هاللغه المكتوبة ؟؟؟؟

  • شكرا وبارك الله لك.. لقد انتبه سمو الشيخ الامير الوالد حمد بن خليفة لذلك وكان اول من سن قانون من اجل ذلك في عام ٢٠٠٩ بخلاف النص في الدستور القطري بانها اللغة الرسمية للبلاد، ومنذ ذلك الحين ونحن نشجع ذلك في كل محفل باسم" لغتي هويتي" .. لكنني أتعجب ولا افهم المقصود من ان كل التعليقات باللغة الانجليزية ..!؟ شكرًا

  • اشكر من الأعماق تي إي دي على إقامة هذا المنتدى واشكر بيروت الحبيبة على استضافة هذا المنتدى … شكرًا شكرًا شكرا

  • Okay, let's clear some things up:
    1) Anglophones can be entitled assholes sometimes. Sorry, people of the world. We're not all like that.
    2) I feel a lot of this hate comes from a total lack of self awareness, privilege and chauvinism, as well as the fact that she's an Arab.
    3) Language death is not "natural." The fact that thousands of languages are in danger is a terrible detriment to humanity. And, worst of all, it's not social evolution, it's the product of oppression, colonialism and inequality.
    4) If you think English accurately explains the human experience to a tee, you need to get out and see the world. 
    5) She never said "don't learn English." She said be proud of your language and work to making it better, don't just be an English wannabe because of class and status reasons.
    6) I hope all of the jerks commenting below me will have to learn Chinese in the future, just so I can laugh my ass off at their smugness now.

  • Wait, she's talking Arabic right? I'm not sure Arabic is at risk of dying. Koran still written in Arabic, even the English translation still has the Arabic version in it (and trying to get one of those is like pulling teeth, Muslims don't seem to trust white boys asking for a copy of the Koran it seems).
    Of course I didn't understand a word she said, except 'father' so all I can go off on is the title and description. Still where I'm from it seems somewhat mandatory for Muslims to learn Arabic (or that's the impression I got from all those lecturers one of my colleagues gave me about the Arabic language).

  • Excuse me Suzanne but English is not a global language.  The English I learnt growing up in England is not the English I hear and read every day here in North America.  Consonants are softening – eg Peder for Peter,  Consonants are disappearing eg labratree for laboratory, and winner for winter, canceled for cancelled.  Pronunciations are changed seemingly arbitrarily, while is while but missile is missul. Verbs are misused eg pressurized for pressured.  Nuance of meaning is disappearing eg bring supplanting take, and come and go.  I cringe when I hear there's instead of there're. My pet peeve is the use and misuse of gotten.  I call this English AmeriCanadian English – just another pathway in the evolution of the language.

  • We need to keep all these beautiful languages in the world !
    I cannot imagine a world without Japanese, neither can I without Arabic.
    Great speech!

  • The european languages  are not the "best languages" because more people speak them. It has more to do with a history of colonialism and power relations in the world than the actual usefulness of a language. Other languages were systematically destroyed as part of a European 'mission' to "civilize" the world.

  • صحيح 100%
    وبخصوص مين بيستعمل اللغة العربية أو لشو منستعملا….
    مين بيستعمل اللغة الإيطالية غير الطليان وبعض اللبنانيين و المصريين و المالطيين…
    إيه بس حدا يجرب يحكي فرنسي أو إنكليزي مع واحد إيطالي!!!
    مظبوط كل الشعوب عم بحافظوا على لغتن إلى العرب و خصوصًا اللبنانيين!

  • I bet English is their first language for those who commented about holding on to their language is useless and futile. If you come from an English speaking nation, it is easy to take it for granted because it is, in fact, a widely recognized language in the world due to the legacy left behind by English colonialism and US as the international super power since WW2. However, do not think English is superior to other languages just because it is the predominant language as of now.

    As far as I know, more and more Westerners are learning Mandarin as China is advancing at an unprecedented rate after 1980s. One day, we might have to learn Mandarin or Hindi as a second language to increase our competitiveness as they are becoming an important asset to the corporates.

  • Language is a beautiful thing I don't understand Arabic but reading the subtitles and hearing the passion in her voice…we can't let languages die they give us the opportunity to express thoughts and ideas differently

  • Some people here in the comments don't get that losing your language is the same as losing your identity and therefore losing your pride as a human being. We are witnessing a globalization which will destroy any trace of diversity and making the English language universal is just a small part of it.

  • كلام كثير كبير وانا بستخدم العربي ع طول و#بالعربي_أحلى , شكرا لك ^_^

  • Those English defenders think they are the most cosmopolite just because they speak English while others are narrow minded. In fact, they are the most ignorant people.

  • The reason there is a push to destroy different languages is because of this sick dream of making all cultures one, all languages one, all countries one it is a dream of the New World Order.  It wouldn't surprise me if they also want to merge all religions in to one instead of our world learning to deal with and love one another despite differences.

    This dream of breaking down the differences is also supported by a popular band you go ahead and figure out whom that is.

  • I get that people want to preserve languages and I completely agree its what makes diversity beautiful, but don't give up on English. Its paramount that everyone in every continent and every country learn the english language.

  • -Leading a new notion and walking in the street with wrist bands with Arabic letters isn't going to do the trick.
    To be honest with you I'm an Arab and I disliked the video. This is a pure example of why Arabs are abandoning their language, because she immediately ruled out using the Arabic language in science and research and making progress in all study fields which currently occupy the world today, and instead she was talking about Fairouz, Joubran Khalil Joubran and I bet if you would give her more time she would mention the importance of religion diversity etc.. 
    Imagine if the people who invented electricity, flying, computers, advances in medicine would do it by using the Arabic language, that would preserve the language and even make other countries use it in their studies since the research was done in Arabic. If all modern science books were in Arabic then obviously people would use it a lot more, but instead Arabs take pride in listening to Fairouz and reading the Kouran/ Bible rather than using it to spread research and science. A good example of a correct use of Arabic is Prof. Tony Haick who is spreading his new research about nano-particles over an internet course only in Arabic. Arabs should know ancient books/songs/history but not only that, they should accomplish new things and publish them in Arabic thus forcing the new developing world to incorporate it in new research. Until then I have no use for it besides speaking to my family.

  • To the people saying, English is simply the modern language and so holding on to your own languages just "for the sake of it" is hindrance to the development of whole cultures. This argument by no means has any bases. By simply looking at history you will see one thing very clear, no nation has ever risen or made its name heard using the language of another. Letting go of your own language is letting go of your own culture and identity, all that happens is that you become part of another culture that is not your own so you can seem "intelligent", you simply become a shadow of what you are, not your true self. Yet still, you must learn the dominant language, that is now a-days is english, people think that by learning one you should make it diminish or dominate the other. Quite the contrary, learn english, and learn about its culture and history, but that does not mean to throw your own language away or be ashamed of it, and see it as a sign of unintelligence. Close to all advancements and science and development is done in english, there is no shame in mastering that, but there is also no shame in mastering your own language. Take what you learn in english and bring it to your own culture so that this rich culture can give too. Start making these researches in your own language and preserve it. The diversity of human beings is an essential thing, its beautiful even, and hoping to destroy that will take away so much from human development.
    Arabic is not the thing pulling us behind, it is ourselves, because we can not seem to understand that we won't get anywhere as a whole without our language, and till we master that we remain a nation falling behind, a follower of another culture. The highest points of our history were when we mastered our own language, the days of Al Andalus for example, European scientist and scholars from all over the world used to come and learn our language and poetry and medicine and arts in Arabic. Your language has no faults and it is not to blame for bringing you behind, but you do.
    When I say no nation can rise with the language of another I mean that if that nation became one of the modern leading nations because it mastered all it could in another language, in this case english, then can this nation claim that it is indeed the one that is dominant. no, because its progress is done in the language of another, so that nation itself produced nothing in its own name or culture or language. So yes an individual can become something with another's language, but then he has no claim to his own heritage and his own language. For the "Arab" nation for example to become a 1st world nation, it must live up to its name, Arabs, modern, intelligent in science and literature using Arabic, their own language.  
     لن تنهض امه بلغة غيرها، لن تنهض امه بحضارة غيرها.

  • الفيديو بيتكلم عن اللغة العربية 
    والناس في التعليقات كلهم يكتبون بالانجليزي 
    يعني الرسالة لم تصل 

  • إن اللغة العربية تضايقهم لأنهم لا يستطيعون قراءتها . . . 
    والعبارة العربية تزعجهم لأنهم لا يستطيعون تركيبها . .
    وهم مقتنعون أن كل العصور التي سبقتهم هي عصور انحطاط ، وأنَّ كل ما كتبه العرب من شعر منذ الشنفرى حتى اليوم . . هو شعر رديء ومنحط . . 
    تسأل الواحد منهم عن المتنبي ، فينظر إليكَ باشمئزاز كأنك تحدثه 
    عن الزائدة الدودية ،وحين تسأله عن (الأغاني) و (العقد الفريد) و (البيان والتبيين) 
    و (نهج البلاغة) و (طوق الحمامة) يرد عليك بأنه لا يشتري اسطوانات عربية ولا يحضر أفلاماً عربية …
    إنهم يريدون أن يفتحوا العالم وهم عاجزون عن فتح كتاب …
    ويريدون أن يخوضوا البحر وهم يتزحلقون بقطرة ماء …
    ويبشرون بثورة ثقافية تحرق الأخضر واليابس …
    وثقافتهم لا تتجاوز باب المقهى الذي يجلسون فيه …
    وعناوين الكتب المترجمة التي سمعوا عنها …” 
    -نزار قباني 

  • انا معك يا ست سوزان، بس بدي ذكر انو اللغة العربية لغة احتلال في المشرق ولغاتنا الاصلية انمحت مرات ومرات وثقافتنا بعدا موجودة.

  • It's ironic considering that Arabic marginalised many of the previous languages spoken in the Middle East and North Africa due to it becoming the language of the elite and eventually the lingua franca of those areas post the campaigns of the caliphate. It's like someone using Spanish to drive home a message about not losing languages when Spanish replaced so many languages in South America, her use of a language other than English to prove her point would have more behind it if she was speaking a much lesser known language I think,

  • She uses English words at the end of her speech…
    She dont realize the fail she got herself in to..
    Stupid lebanese female!

  • Thanks Suzanne! Fully agree! In fact I wrote: "Language Killers in Italy" a while back, where I share similar concerns.:

  • I wish the Philippines legislated to protect its languages. English is everywhere, most signs in the country. They teach us Maths, Science, etc. in English. English is the language of the rich and upper-class in TV Series. You are perceived as intelligent if you speak it well. English is ranked higher than Filipino as the official language of the country when it comes to including non-Tagalog speaking regions. I have never seen a sign in Cebuano (native language) in my whole life. I wish my country was like France, or Spain, or something. A country that is well aware that English is the most important language of today yet regulates the local language, and use it like normal countries do, and not use English like in my country. 

  • It's good to keep one's language, but it seemed she had an agenda when it spread it to asking people for help to keep Arabic alive. I also think ruining, defeating and covering up the language of a country is a little overboard to b compared to a language simply dying out.

    Keep it alive if can and want to, but otherwise I doubt people are losing so much if the next generation grows up without that language: just let people be, is what I'm getting at I guess.

    It's quite natural for the world, for people to progress a certain way collectively, and if that language's fire goes out, there will be more, or others, or at least the ideas still there (and hopefully possible to trace back if we need to).

  • Soll doch jeder die Sprache sprechen, die er will, und in der er verstanden wird.

    Künstlich irgendwas am Leben zu erhalten, ist doch unsinnig, finde ich. Sprache sollte kein Selbstzweck sein, sondern Mittel zur Kommunikation. Sprache als einziges Mittel der Identifikation mit der eigenen Kultur darzustellen, finde ich auch übertrieben, da gehören noch so viel mehr Dinge dazu.

    Wenn englische Wörter Dinge präziser beschreiben als der deutsche Begriff es tut, habe ich auch nichts gegen Anglizismen.
    Wenn meine Kinder kein Deutsch mehr lernen, weil sie dafür keine Verwendung haben, dann sei es so, das ist eben der natürliche Weg der Dinge. Solange ich Deutsch aber benutzen will, benutze ich es. Wenn nicht mehr, dann nicht mehr. Kein Grund zur Aufregung.

  • Do u really believe that Arabic is your mother tongue language ? Are you arabic ?

    اعتقد انك لو عرتفي اصلك حتعرفي انك انسانة لغتك الام ضائعة وانتي تحاربي من اجل لغة ليست لغتك ….

    انا امازيغي من شمال افريقيا لغتي الام هي اللغة الامازيغية. لغة تنقلنالها جيل ورا جيل بدون اي دعم حكومي او نضام دراسي

  • People are missing the point. She's not telling people to not learn other languages. She said that in her own country, she spoke the native language and the person looked upon her as an ignorant and not modern. She's saying that some people are willing to lose their culture, their memories, everything they've gained in their mother tongue just to "fit in."

  • بالنسبة لي اللغة العربية هي أجمل واحلى لغة ، ليس تحيزا ولكن هذه وجهة نظري.

  • She is not in any shape of form demonizing other languages. All what she is saying preserve and master your language. Dont be ashamed to speak it and don't substitute it for a foreign language for the sake of being cool and hip

  • What a great Ted talk on the great topic of our own languages. And well needed in Lebanon where many do choose to speak English or French as a sort of "badge" – no shes promoting to have some pride in your language and in using it well.

  • دخول الأجانب للتعليق هنا بهذه الكثرة دليل أنهم يعلمون أن رجوع اللغة العربية يعني رجوع الفهم للقرآن وهذا يشكل خطراً عظيماً عليهم أعتقد الجميع فهم !!

  • برافو برافو…
    يللي بيعتقد ان اللغة العربية منها علمية يراجع التاريخ وبسأل بأي لغة طلع المنهج العلمي ومن اي لغة ترجمت اروربا الكتب العلمية يللي صنعت النهصة تبعها….
    الخطوة الجاية ان شا الله بكون الحديث باللغة العربية مش بس باللبناني
    ومعك حق ابشع شي العربي مكتوب بالحروف الاجنبية والارقام….
    تعم الحفاظ على اللغة عنوان تطور وحضارة
    وشكرا الك لانك وصلت مفاهيم مهمة. عاطفية وذهنية … هوية شعب…. بلغة بسيطة وبأسلوب بيوصل للكل.
    نعم . لازم نطلع من عقدة الاجنبي

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