As part of its efforts to highlight the importance of dialogue between cultures, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi yesterday hosted a Linguistic Lecture delivered by Olivier Bertrand, President of the Language and Cultures Department, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris.
Featuring the significant role of Arabic words in the French language, the lecture, and the reception thereafter, was attended by students, alumni, faculty and the general public.
The lecture revealed the invaluable role of Arabic in human sciences as well as the scientific linguistic loans. Also reviewed were major translations from Arabic into French in subjects like chemistry, mathematics, and medicine together with distinctive lexical inputs in botany, commerce, colours and zoology. French words like sucre, giraffe, magazine derived from the Arabic words for Sugar (Sukkar), Giraffe(zarafa), and store (makhzan). The lecture analysed the ways in which Arabic enriched the French language with vital contributions and how both the cultures are intertwined. French words borrowed from Arabic are numerous representing several eras of contact, the most prominent being the medieval age, primarily from the 7th to the 15th century. The lecture also covered Arabic was responsible in nurturing and having a considerable influence on other languages like Persian from which numerous neologisms in French were derived between the 16th and the 20th century.
Prof. Dr. Jean Yves de Cara, Executive Director of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi said, "The Linguistic Lecture provided compelling insights into the dynamics of the Arabic language in enriching the French vocabulary. Both, Arabic and French are considerably impressive and influential cultural languages and, as a French academic institution in the Middle East, we constantly seek opportunities for our students to refine their understanding of the cultural and linguistic dimensions and developments between these two cultures." Ahmad Adnan Ali, an undergraduate student of French and Comparative Literature -the department which organized this lecture- said, "Attending the lecture was immensely insightful experience that has honed my appreciation of both languages. As a bilingual student, I can now certainly better relate to both Arabic and French with a cultural and a commercial perspective that will ultimately benefit my career." As an integral part of the Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030 to create a knowledge-based economy Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is committed to delivering the future Emirati and international workforce by providing globally acclaimed French education that will contribute to UAE's economic diversification.