Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development announced on Wednesday, on the occasion of UN Arabic Language Day (December 18), the preliminary results of the ‘Status Report and the Future of the Arabic Language’.

In conjunction with the UN Arabic Language Day held annually, the study was launched last year as directed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The ministry formed a team of researchers and experts from various Arab universities in charge of compiling and analysing the research and data across the 10 sections of the report.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said: “The findings show a need for adapting national tactics and policies relating to the Arabic language alongside technological and communication advancements. The UAE’s leadership is working towards plans in place for research and initiatives that will improve the usage and awareness of the Arabic language across education and communications.”

What the report shows

According to the research, only 10 per cent of academic publications under scientific disciplines are published in the Arabic language across the Arab world. This output is not proportional to the number of graduate researchers specialising in these disciplines.

Also, over 60 per cent of Arab researchers choose to publish their studies in foreign languages in Western journals to ensure that their content is getting a wider circulation and reaching students globally.

Despite their ability to publish in Arabic, 83 per cent of researchers in sciences in particular also prefer not to publish in Arabic due to the lack of existing material to build on.

Growing interest

However, the preliminary results also indicated a growing interest in the Arabic language across America, Asia and Europe.

Several factors have been identified as contributors to this, including political developments in the Middle East region over the past two decades.