Is Fusha a Dead Language?

One of the questions we get asked most often when it comes to learning the Arabic language is whether or not it is sensible to study Fushaas many believe that it is, like the Latin and Greek of old, a dying language. But is that true? Is Fusha dying or is it making a comeback?

Before we answer those questions, first we must ask, what is Fusha? Fusha Arabicis the formal literary Arabic of both Classical ArabicandModern Standard Arabic (MSA). `Ammiyyah Arabic, on the other hand, is the local colloquial dialect primarily spoken in any particular Arab region and varies greatly throughout the Arab world. Therefore, from Morocco to Yemen, Fusha is the only language that ties them all together in one central language, and this unification is what keeps Fusha from dying.

In fact, Fusha may be making a comeback. Because of modern communications technology and globalization there has been an increasing need for communication among Arabs from different regions, andFusha Arabic has established itself as the language that unites them all together, especially in the areas of social media and news media.

Modern literature in the form of novels is another medium in which Fusha seems to be making a comeback (if it ever really went anywhere in the first place). This is especially true in Morocco, but a revival of Fusha of sorts can also be seen in other countries such as Tunisia and Saudi Arabia where, in the last decade or so, the Arabic novel has risen to be the chosen medium over the traditional medium of newspapers and other printed mediathat Arabs use to communicate their ideas and feelings about currentpolitical, social, economic issues.  And the authors of these novels choose to write in Fusha because they understand that it is the only practical language in which to convey their message to all Arabs within the region. As a result, it seems that Fusha isn’t a dying language, but quite the opposite; it has been given a new birth by these modern-day authors.

Among the majority Muslim population, Fusha also continues to thrive in the daily affirmations and prayers. These are not the highly educated authors and professors spoken of earlier, but the everyman who goes to mosque on Fridays or at each prayer time and recites from memory from the Quran. As long as there is Islam, therefore, Fusha will continue to be alive.

So if you choose to study Fusha,we salute you as you will be carrying on a language that has survived for centuries, and from the looks of things, will continue thriving into future centuries as well.

If you’re interested in learning Fusha, or any of the other Arabic dialects for that matter, join us at kaleela a website offering articles on Arabic language and Arab culture. And don’t forget to download our newly launched kaleela Arabic language learning app which teaches you everything from the Arabic alphabet to the different dialects found throughout the Arabic speaking world.

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