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Language politics in Algeria

April 25, 2009

Jabal al-Lughat has a good post on language politics in Algeria:

The key issue in Algerian linguistic politics – substantially overshadowing the question of the role of Berber – is what should be the language of bureaucracy and education: Standard Arabic (the official language, and the primary pre-colonial language of literacy for all Algeria) or French (the colonial language, and hence ironically the language which most of the few educated Algerians at independence had studied in.) In practice, it’s settled on the one setup most certain to minimise social mobility: Standard Arabic is the primary language of education and symbolism, and French of bureaucracy and social climbing.

The rest is here.

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