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Egypt’s parliament discussed a draft law on the protection of the Arabic language

The parliament has been discussing a draft law to protect and develop Arabic in the face of an increasing interest in foreign languages at the expense of the official language.

MPs Soulaf Darwish and Mona Omar submitted a draft law that suggests means to develop Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic, including penalties on companies that do not use Arabic in their official records, obligating the state to produce drama and animated movies for children in standard Arabic.

Article 21 of the draft law stipulates: “Shops, companies, malls, restaurants, and cafeterias are obliged to choose and write names in pure Arabic and put them on their signs, and in case of violation, their licenses will be withdrawn for a period of no less than six months and not more than a year.

It also suggests establishing a translation center in all universities to translate Arabic books into foreign languages and gifted to universities outside of Egypt and obligating transport companies to use Arabic on their vehicles. All public and private institutions and companies should use Arabic in their documents, records, contracts, prices, and information about their products should also be in Arabic, according to the draft law.

Arabic needs to be protected and its uses developed to preserve the language in writing and speech, the MPs said, adding that it needs to be protected from foreign influences and to developed into a contemporary language that copes with the advancement in human civilization.

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