Qatar Bedouin’s dialect losing status

July 18, 2011

Bedouin mothers prefer to use urban Arabic in public places rather than their native dialect to avoid being left out in the Qatari society, a study by Qatar University students indicates.

The research, conducted by Jawaher Ahmad Al Mansouri and Yasmin Saleem, revealed that Bedouin mothers would rather speak urban Arabic to gain prestige and earn a better place in the society.

A survey conducted by the two students showed that 92 per cent of Qataris speak urban Arabic “because it is the dominating language and the language of formal education.”

Bedouin dialect is only spoken inside homes of Bedouin families and when the mothers are in public places they switch to urban Arabic, the study said.

The research was based on visits to Bedouin homes where the students recorded the conversations for half an hour, concentrating more on the words the mothers uttered with other family members, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Sunday.

The study is among the few researches that clarified the transformation from Bedouin to Arabic among Bedouin families. However, the two students recommend that it is important to have more studies to understand the linguistic phenomenon.

According to researches, Qatar’s Bedouins trace their descent from the nomads of the Arabian Peninsula.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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