Pe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19548 posts, RR: 51 Posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2107 times:
Aside from Arabic, which is the official language of almost all the Middle East, which of the following would you say is the second most important (excluding English): Turkish; Hebrew or Farsi? I realise that Turkish and Farsi are spoken relatively widely (besides merely in Turkey and Iran) whereas I suspect Hebrew is the most limited of them all.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 28812 posts, RR: 74
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2000 times:
I would say that Turkish and Arabic run closely, as 27% of Iranians and 100% of Turks and Azerbaijanis speak very similar Turkic languages. English, like anywhere else, is also important. I definately think Farsi is more important than French as it is the official language of Iran, which is tied with Turkey for largest country in the Middle East.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
AirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4534 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1998 times:
I really don't think French is important in the middle east. First of all, not that many A-rabs even speak it. Secondly, the ones that do are likely to speak English and Arabic as well. My vote is still for Farsi, with Turkish a close second.
BA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11161 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1941 times:
Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 10): I really don't think French is important in the middle east. First of all, not that many A-rabs even speak it.
While it is true that French is getting less important in Lebanon at quite a rapid rate (and has disappeared in its entirety in Syria due to Baathism), the situation in North Africa is extremely extremely different. Every North African Arab who has grown up in a city knows French extremely well and uses it extensively.
Of course, by North Africa, I'm not talking about Egypt or Libya. However, many of the rich in Egypt speak French and it is considered the "cool thing to do." In Lebanon, speaking French is also considered the "cool thing to do" nowadays...
In the case of Libya, despite being under Italian colonial rule, very few speak Italian, largely because of policies put into place by Muammar Qadhafi to rid the country of any Italian influence. Instead, he worked to promote both French and English as foreign languages for Libyans to learn, French so they can interact with the rest of North Africa.
Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 10): Secondly, the ones that do are likely to speak English and Arabic as well.
Except in the North African countries (again, excluding Egypt and to an extent Libya), many many do not English or know it only very poorly. They are only fluent in Arabic and French.
Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15): Farsi is neither spoken nor understood anywhere outside Iran, which means that it is a "purely" national language, outside Iran only understood in Tajikistan.
It's also widely spoken in Azerbaijan.
Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15): Most Mashreekis have problems to understand the dialects of Algeria and Morocco, and Maghrabis have problems with High Arabic and English. So that French is THE language.
Very very true...
Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
Yes, and while most Lebanese quite nicely master English, it is a bit different in the Maghreb
A BIT different? That's all?
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
ME AVN FAN From Algeria, joined May 2002, 13937 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1916 times:
Quoting BA (Reply 16): French is getting less important in Lebanon
I was in Lebanon in 1974 and then again in 2004 and 2005, and had the feeling that French even had regained importance, which to me with some lousy Arabic and English being my stronger side if compared to my French ("afrikaaaanish" for a colleague here ! ) clearly is a DISadvantage !