Reading with children is a pleasurable bonding and educational experience. However, in the case of Arabic, people often find reading in this language to be a painful experience. The reason being there are not enough books written in the language they are fluent in – Levantine Arabic.

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Accessible books are uncommon, but inaccessible books are a lot. Children do not seek out books written in ancient Arabic. This is because they are full of strange vocabulary and grammatical structures. Parents struggle to inculcate a love of language and learning in their children.


  1. Diglossia:

Arabs have done this to themselves. They blame their communication on diglossia, or language diversity while denying their participation in it. Diglossia occurs when two or more variations of a language are pushed together by social conditions. In the case of Arabic, there are several spoken dialects that coexist alongside the formal, standardised al-fu, also known as Modern Standard Arabic or Classical Arabic.

While attempting to denigrate, cripple, and even eliminate dialects, Arabs have attempted to elevate the sole so-called genuine or pure Arabic. As a result, they have created an official language out of a form that no one considers a native tongue. Also, while simultaneously making everyone’s original tongues appear inferior, and worthless.


This emphasis on maintaining Classical Arabic has made reading it an unappealing experience for most people who struggle to speak the language effectively. More crucially, the dialects have been directly impacted by the fixation with or holy perspective of the ancient language.


2. Lack of Institutional Support:

Speakers are unable to properly pass on their dialects due to a lack of institutional support, a lack of relevant resources, and social snobbishness toward the spoken language. They also don’t have easy access to Classical Arabic, which everyone praises but no one speaks fluently.


Classical Arabic isn’t even a full or alive language in its current form. The majority of individuals rarely utilise it and only do so in formal contexts (or, perhaps, for official purposes). It lacks the expressive features necessary for ordinary communication. This prevents greater adoption and use, resulting in a situation in which Arabs are unable to produce such expressions. People would struggle to utilise Classical Arabic as a daily language if dialects vanished tomorrow.


3. Maintaining Literacy Rates


When language scholar John Myhill compared worldwide literacy rates to education spending, he came to the conclusion that focusing on Classical Arabic in formal education lowers literacy rates in Arabic-speaking nations. Arabic-speaking literacy rates are lower than predicted across the board, especially in the wealthier Gulf Arab states, considering the amount of money spent on education.


Given allegations that people pay bribes to pass literacy examinations, exam scores, a frequently used indicator of educational performance, fail to reflect an accurate picture of language ability.


Arabs and other Arabic speakers praise Classical Arabic while mocking themselves for not being able to grasp it, and they despise their own dialects while spending their days immersed in them. If people could be free of that strange and terrible contradiction – if they could love and embrace Arabic in all of its forms without conflicting with or inside themselves – then the world would be a better place.


Check out our range of books in Levantine Arabic for both Kids and Adults.