Cypriot Maronite Arabic or Sanna: A Dying Language

An AFP report on the Cypriot Maronite Arabic language, often known as Sanna, caught my consideration few years again. Sadly, and primarily based on this most up-to-date article, no substantial efforts have been accomplished to reserve it. In reality, in response to linguists, Cypriot Arabic will stop to exist inside the subsequent 50 years if nothing modifications.

Why is that this language severely endangered?

– The important thing purpose is the Turkish invasion in 1974 that divided the island and left Maronite communities stranded. Over 80% of Cyprus’ Maronites had been uprooted and needed to flee and search shelter within the Greek-speaking south, whereas solely few tons of primarily in Kormakitis opted to remain behind.

– The Sanna language was completely oral till 2007 and an alphabet was solely established few years in the past. This being mentioned, linguists nonetheless are usually not positive on easy methods to classify Cypriot Arabic. Is it a semitic language? Is it a mix between outdated Lebanese Arabic/Aramaic and Cypriot Greek?

– The language is exclusive to Kormakitis and the youthful generations are majority opting to be taught Greek. Nevertheless and in an try to preserve the language alive, a summer time camp known as “Xki Fi Sanna” (“Converse in Our Language”) is being organized since 2007 for kids.

On a optimistic observe, Turkey did enable again in 2017 Maronites to return to the villages of Asomatos, Kormakitis and Karpasia within the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. However, solely few returned up to now whereas the bulk remained in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca.

Whether or not the language persists or not, I feel it’s vital for the Maronite Church to protect it in its historical past books and libraries and make it out there for future generations to be taught.

If you wish to be taught the spoken Arabic language, then head to the Lebanese Arabic Accelerator to be taught extra! Lebanese Arabic Accelerator

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