Here is Global English, by James Clar, where the words global English are spelt out phonetically in the letters of various languages. Here’s what he says about the Arabic block, according to this post:
This piece is a reaction to countries such as the UAE where younger generations are exposed more to English language though work, school, and pop culture, and now favour English over their native Arabic.
Every language has rules that allow us to formulate thought and transfer that thought to other people. However, the structure and rules of each language makes certain ideas easier to express in one language as opposed to another. While a global communication medium is necessary, we need to explore what we gain from the use of English and what we lose from it. In this piece, the words ‘global english’ are phonetically spelled out in Arabic, forcing an Arabic speaker to speak in English.
A while ago now I read a comment on Arablit’s post about this blog. The comment was in Arabic, and I imagine the writer (who used the sardonic name The Only Arab On the Internet, It Seems) was shaking his/her head despairingly at the sad absurdity of a blog in English about Arab art.
يعني موقع للفن العربي، للكتابة وللروايات العربية، للحضارة العربية – دون كلمة واحدة بالعربية
يعني إنتوا ضايعين يا عرب
هل من حل لإيقاف هذه المهزله؟
“So, a site on Arab art, on Arab literature and novels, on Arab culture – without a single world in Arabic. You are lost, oh Arabs. Is there a solution to put a stop to this farce?”
I read the comment, thought about it, forgot about it, and was reminded of it again today, seeing that Global English piece, and then reading this 1998 article: On Global English and the Transmutation of Postcolonial Studies into “Literature in English”
It is, further, as if the foundations of Postcolonial Studies itself would become unstable in the face of the revelation of an enormous critical paradox: one must use English to be heard, and yet to do so at one level seems to accede to the very power structures that the field has been constituted to critique.
And why is this blog in English? I can only answer the last question, and not completely, but probably it is for a number of reasons, one of which is that English is the language of my education although Arabic is my “mother tongue” (in so far as I have one) and the two meet in funny and not very coherent ways. Ideally, if this blog were to reflect the way I think, it would be in both languages, and I would use Arabic verbs with English case-endings, and I would be transliterating, that is iktibing all this, with some Swedish thrown in så här. I don’t know if that would be very readable though.
Here are some depressing material about vanishing MSA Arabic, but maybe some hope can be gleaned from the fact that this is a long-standing, apparently never-vanishing topic: