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Arabic arose from the assimilation of the previous knowledge, which was Greek. During the Omayyad period, Islam was widely adopted because the rulers by then were associated with Islam. Being a Muslim was an added advantaged because it exempt them from paying taxes. At this period, a large number of tribal Arabs migrated to the newly conquered areas that were fertile and these served as a catalyst to the spread of the Arabic language. Every community has language which is one of the many things that are shared. Movement of people from their place of origin, brings about the need to translate different languages for convenience in communication among members of different origins in terms of culture and hence, the language.
It was during the relocation of Baghdad that saw the sponsorship and promotion of extensive translation into Arabic of Syria, Sanskrit and Greek treaties on philosophy, astronomy, logic, mathematics, medicine and political philosophy (Faiq, 2004). A group of Persian scholars, who were able to combine their knowledge in Arabic with their Pahlavi roots, to, facilitated this translation from the old Greek sources.
The translation of Greek to Arabic was enhanced further when the Persians adopted the use formal Arabic rhetorical poetry, to praise the non-Arabic traditions in the face of Arab cultural domination. This was to create a sense of independence, to the people whose land was occupied (Donner, 2012).
This sense of independence amongst the people brought about revolutions that were associated with rebellions. It was during these rebellions that saw the rise of the new Persian Empire. This Empire led to the development of many dynasties that were influenced by Persian mythical and literary traditions. This saw the translation of al-Tabaris’s historical chronicle from Arabic to Persians.
During the Abbasid period, many Arab scholars translated philosophic and scientific texts that were available to them. New discoveries led to revisions of previously translated work. Not only were revisions done but names and terminologies were changed. These early philosophers came up with the basic formulas that are still being used today (Reynolds & Brustad, 2001).
The occupation of the French in Egypt led to translation of Arabic language to French. This led to the influence of the European lifestyle to the Arabs living in the occupied areas. The Arabic language was found to be rigid in that it could not be assimilated in the modern world. Most of the population leaving during this period saw that the Arabic language could not accommodate what the Europeans offered. For instance, Arabic could not be used to teach modern science or mathematics.
The French took it upon them to translate the modern law from French to Arabic. They were faced with many difficulties that forced them to translate Arabic to French. The young generation found it easier to converse in French rather than in Arabic. The Ottoman Empire was not happy with the French assimilation policy and plotted to overthrown them (Goldziher, 1994).
Despite their victory, they saw the need to modernize the Arabic language. It led to expansion and alteration of the existing Arabic words. Although the French had occupied Egypt for three years, but their influence spread all over the Arab region. The Arabic language had to be modified so that it could fit in the modern era. The Arab intellectuals worked tirelessly to ensure that Arabic could fit into the modern world. This was to ensure that the gap between the spoken and written Arabic was reduced.
Donner, F. M. G., & In Cobb, P.M (2012). The lineaments of Islam: Studies in honor of Fred McGraw Donner. Leiden: Brill.
Faiq, S. (2004). Cultural encounters in translation from Arabic. Buffalo: Multilingual Matters.
Goldziher, I. (1994). On the history of grammar among the Arabs: An essay in literary history. Amsterdam [u.a.: Benjamins.
Reynolds, D. F., & Brustad, K. E. (2001). Interpreting the self: Autobiography in the Arabic literary tradition. Berkeley [u.a.: Univ. of California Press.