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The Arabization Process

Term Development & Arabization Methodology:

Basic guidelines: BCA held several meetings and seminars, (ex; 1981 in Rabat and 1993 in Amman), and set the principles in the selection/ Arabization of scientific terms.

  1. 1. Regularity and common use
  2. 2. Ease of use
  3. 3. Convenience and compatibility
  4. 4. Feasibility of derivation

The Arabization Methodology:
The BCA, along with various national commissions, devised a set of eighteen (18) ruling principles that cut across the various aspects of terminology.

  1. 1. Establishing a suitable link between the linguistic meaning of the term and its idiomatic significance, through it is not required in the term to accommodate or capture the whole scientific meaning.
  2. 2. Developing a single term for a single scientific concept, carrying a single scientific content in a scientific field.
  3. 3. Avoiding multiple connotations of the term in one single field, and preferring the specialized term over the common one.
  4. 4. Extrapolating and reviving the Arab linguistic heritage, especially the previously used and which remains usable to this day.
  5. 5. Keeping in line with the international approach in the selection of scientific terms, which requires:
    1. a. Taking into account the convergence of the terminology between the Arabophone world and the international terminology community, so as to facilitate their use by the scientific and scholarly community.
    2. b. Adopting the international decimal classification system of terms, according to their fields and affiliations.
    3. c. Dividing, updating, refining, defining, and rearranging of concepts in accordance with related fields.
    4. d. Actively involving professionals and users in the development of the terminology.
    5. e. Conducting further research and studies to facilitate communication between the makers and users of the terminology.
    6. f. Using linguistic tools to generate new scientific terminology such as derivation and localization.
  6. 6. Giving preference to initially classical Arabic terms over Arabized ones.
  7. 7. Avoiding the use of colloquial and informal terminology, except when absolutely appropriate or necessary. These can only be used if they are shared between many Arabophone dialects and if their dialectal nature is explicitly explained.
  8. 8. Giving preference to clear terms and avoiding the dispersion of banned words and expressions.
  9. 9. Giving preference to words where derivation is possible over those where it is not.
  10. 10. Giving preference to the singular form of the term as it facilitates derivation and combination into the plural form as well.
  11. 11. Giving preference to specific terms over generic ones, and ensuring that the Arabized term is compatible with its scientific meaning in the foreign language, without being subjected to the linguistic significance of that term.
  12. 12. In the case of synonyms or near synonyms, giving preference to the term whose root refers to an original concept explained.
  13. 13. Giving preference to the known term over the strange or remotely known term, except when the scientific significance of the known term is problematic or confusing.
  14. 14. In case multiple terms are synonymous or carry a close significance, determining with precision the scientific significance for each one of them. It is preferred that when dealing with terms of this nature, to bring them altogether and deal with them as one group.
  15. 15. Taking into consideration what specialists and the scientific community have agreed to use, regardless of whether they are translated or Arabized.
  16. 16. Localizing (as in Arabizing), when needed, the terms with a globalized nature, terms and phrases from Greek or Latin origins, or/and the names of commonly quoted scientists, in addition to chemical elements and compounds.
  17. 17. When Arabizing foreign terms, taking into account the following:
    1. a. Giving preference, and adopting the term that is easier to pronounce in Arabized words, particularly when the difference in the pronunciation of foreign languages is explicit.
    2. b. Changing the shape of the term so that it conforms to the Arabic forms.
    3. c. Considering the Arabized term an Arabic term, and thus subject to the rules of the language.
    4. d. Straightening out the Arabic words that have been altered by foreign languages by adopting the original form of the term.
    5. e. Adjusting terms in general, but the Arabized ones in particular to ensure their proper pronunciation and accuracy.