Bahrain debates proposal to make Arabic official language


Parliamentarian Samira Rajab who tabled the proposal defended her calling to promote Arabic language to avoid being similar to some other Arab states that consider Arabic as their second language.

Some lawmakers including Dr Nada Hafadh feared the high cost of implementing the proposal for forcing all organisations to translate their official documents. The house decided to refer the proposal to the concerned panel for amendments.

According to the proposal, organisations and individuals disrespecting Arabic language or go easy on its grammatical commands could be fine with up to BD1000.

The proposal obliges government and private organisations, banks, trade unions and NGOs to take up Arabic as their official language with compulsory Arabic copies of all documents, including transactions, agreements and contracts.

The proposal comes to protect the language from the popularity of other foreign languages, especially English and force organisations to write grammatically-correct Arabic.

The proposal also obliges organisations to translate their foreign correspondents and international agreements and contracts to Arabic.

The decision also covers trademarks, road signs and names of the organisations. Descriptions of products made in or imported to Bahrain should be written in Arabic.

Similar proposal was submitted by the Lower House last year that only covers government organisations.

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