Saturday, July 30, 2016

Amazigh Language - a Three Step Introduction

While the parliamentary session almost coming to an end, the General Secretariat of the Government has finally released the draft law to empower the Amazigh language. The head of government and all ministers have received a copy
An Amazigh child writes in Tifinagh, the script of Tamazight

This project adopts the principle of progressive implementation of the Amazigh language as an official language of the kingdom. The plan includes three major steps.

A first step over five years will be devoted to the gradual introduction of the language at all levels of basic education, as well as being included in the struggle against illiteracy. During this period, the speeches, the royal messages and official statements will be broadcast on Amazigh TV and radio.

A second 10-year period will be devoted to the generalisation of the Amazigh in colleges and high schools and will also see the introduction of courses at the tertiary level. In addition, an official journal is to be created by the parliament where the texts will be published in Arabic and Amazigh languages ​​and all official documents (identity card, driving license, passport etc.) will include data in Amazigh .

The third period, spanning 15 years, will see the widespread use of the Amazigh language in all public facilities and services, with all documents being written in both official languages.

The Amazigh languages and dialects have had a written tradition, on and off, for over 2,200 years, although the tradition has been frequently disrupted by invasions. They were first written in the Tifinagh alphabet, still used by the Tuareg. The oldest dated inscription is from about 200 BCE. Later, between about 1000 CE and 1500 CE, they were written in the Arabic script, and since the 20th century in the Amazigh (Berber) Latin alphabet, especially among the Kabyle and Riffian communities of Morocco and Algeria. The Berber Latin alphabet was also used by most European and Amazigh linguists during the 19th and 20th centuries.

A modernised form of the Tifinagh alphabet was made official in Morocco in 2003.


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