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Colonial Algeria: French Language as a Tool of Suppression

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Ali Bodily

on 14 May 2015

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Transcript of Colonial Algeria: French Language as a Tool of Suppression

Colonial Algeria: French Language as a Tool of Suppression
Education after independence
Introduction
- Algerian culture has been heavily influenced by the French

- My paper aims to understand how this influence has been achieved and further to understand the
Algerian reaction post-independence

- I hope to show the significance of the French language in
suppressing and controlling Algerian culture and the changing attitudes towards language.

- Using
Education
as a reference point.
Context
- 1830 - Beginning of French colonialism

- 1962 - Algerian Independence

- Arabs vs. Berbers

- Arabophones = 70 - 75% of the population

- Berberophones = 25 - 30 % of the population
Ideologies
- Hierarchy of languages

- Mother-tongue Ideology

- 'Islam is our religion, Arabic is our language, Algeria is our country'

- One nation-one language

- Purism

- Ideologies have linking factors
Analysis of Text
- Wide range of texts to show changes in attitude to language

- La Constitution de la Republique Française - 1796

- Bulletin de l'enseignement des
indigènes de l'Algérie - 1909
‘rien d’abstrait, rien de compliqué, rien de savant’




French Attitudes Towards Education


- French policy of
assimilation

- "The remarkable feat would be to gradually replace Arabic with French"

- Literacy before and after French colonial rule

- 'Dismantling of the muslim education system and marginalising of Arabic'
- ‘...both
dissatisfaction
and
attraction
to the colonial language [French]’

- Process of
'Arabization'

- Ben Bella to Bouteflika



- Speech by Houari Boumedienne - 1973

-‘L’apprentissage du français chez les Arabophones maghrébins' - 1973

‘Elles proviennent simplement des « carences » phonétiques de l'arabe (absence de [p], [v], [ji] ou de [y], par exemple) par rapport au système phonétique du français.’

‘They simply come from the phonetic “Deficiencies" of the Arab (no [p], [v], [I] or [y] [£]> [5], [s], for example) with respect to the French phonetic system’.

- President Bouteflika speech - 1999 - '‘Algeria does not belong to Francophonia but there is no reason for us to have a frozen attitude towards the French language’

References
Maume, J.-L., ‘L’apprentissage Du Français Chez Les Arabophones Maghrébins (diglossie et Plurilinguisme En Tunisie)’, Langue Française, 19 (1973), 90–107 <http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/lfr.1973.5642>

Kaplan, Robert B., Richard B. Baldauf, and undefined, Language Planning and Policy in Africa Vol. 2: Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Tunisia, ed. by Robert B. Kaplan and Richard B. Baldauf (United Kingdom: Multilingual Matters, 2007)

CHUMBOW, B. S. and BOBDA, A. S. (2000) ‘French in West Africa: a sociolinguistic perspective’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 141doi: 10.1515/ijsl.2000.141.39



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