‘Abjed’ initiative aims to enrich Arabic dictionaries

Dubai Culture has announced the launch of the ‘Abjed’ initiative, which aims to enrich Arabic language dictionaries with a new alternative vocabulary of the most commonly used foreign terms among Arabic speakers in all social and economic fields. The new development was revealed as part of the Authority’s participation in the events of the 15th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which will be held from February 1-6 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City and Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. The initiative aims to strengthen the position of language in society as an important element of national identity, in line with the vision of Dubai and the UAE, which place Arabic among its strategic and development priorities, and support efforts to spread culture and affirm the Arabic language everywhere.

Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, director general of the arts and literature sector at Dubai Culture, affirmed that the ‘Abjed’ initiative represents a qualitative step towards enriching the Arabic language with new vocabulary and terminology, saying: “Languages are influenced by trends, cultures and traditions. Throughout history, Arabic has been able to express our culture and intellectual orientations, and has also been distinguished by its ability to adapt to social, economic and scientific changes, through its diversity of expressions, quotations and derivations, which has made it one of the pillars of human civilization.”

Bin Kharbash stressed that ‘Abjed’ is in line with Culture Dubai’s commitment to preserve and develop the Arabic language, and that the Authority seeks, through its plans and projects, to enhance the presence of Arabic everywhere and affirm its position in the local and Arab community. He explained that the Authority aims, through its new initiative, to motivate society to innovate and encourage the enrichment of the language with new terms and vocabulary.

Dubai Culture developed specific criteria for selecting the vocabulary to be added to Arabic dictionaries, assessing its ability to harmonize with literary and colloquial expressions.

Writers and Arabic language experts will then evaluate and select suitable words proposed by the public and the committee will prepare lists that are appropriate to the nature of the Arabic language and express the most common foreign terms in the region, in preparation for their addition to dictionaries and offering them for public use.

The right to suggest new vocabulary is available to all who wish to do so for the time being by visiting the initiative’s stand at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Hotel.

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