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OdaySomali

INstant exponentian increase in Soomaali literacy

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DoctorKenney;990396 wrote:
Never did I claim that Somali *are* literate. Most Somalis cannot read, and I never claimed otherwise. I'm just stating the obvious. Somalis can read the Arabic script, but can't understand the language. So
perhaps
a solution could be to change our writing system.

 

For example, Ayan can read the Arabic script, but Ayan doesn't understand the Arabic language. So she can't be considered "literate" since she can't understand what's she's reading. However, Ayan can speak Somali, and understand Somali. But she has no familiarity with the Latin script (which Somali is written in) so therefore she's unable to read Somali. She would be considered technically illiterate. But if the Somali language was switched to the Arabic script, Ayan would now be able to read Somali fully. Now Ayan would be considered literate.

 

Do you see how this little change can raise our literacy rate in one day?

 

I feel like I'm repeating myself here.

Indeed. Well said. What further confirms your point is UNESCO defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society [and the inability to do is defined as illiteracy]. "

 

Given such definition, the statistics used by safferz is misguiding in context of this argument.

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Safferz   

Khayr;990393 wrote:
Saff,

 

Ever done questionnaires for your research papers? Ever interviewed someone and quoted their "findings"?

 

Exactly what sort of progress and development do you have in mind? Do you want Industrialization? If yes, are you prepared to take responsibility for the population and cancers that come with it?

 

What literacy standard are you talking about here? Do you want Somalis to all become "English/French/Latin" readers so that we can "progress" as people?

lol Khayr, it's always amusing to read your interpretation of things I've said and the (wrong) questions you pose as a result :P Literacy is an important indicator for development and quality of life in a society, it's linked to how people fare economically, socially, politically, it even has an impact on health. It's also linked to women's empowerment in a society, and in turn has consequences for children and families. I think the importance of improving literacy rates in the Somali region is something we've all agreed on here, but we differ in how we've analyzed the problem of illiteracy and in the solutions for it.

 

I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the first two questions, or the strange comment about industrialization and cancer, but progress and development to me is the improvement of the quality of life of Somalis living in the Somali region, across a number of indicators. At the moment I'm concerned with our poor numbers in literacy, life expectancy, infant mortality, and maternal mortality rates, among other things.

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Safferz   

SomaliPhilosopher;990399 wrote:
Indeed. Well said. What further confirms your point is UNESCO defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society [and the inability to do is defined as illiteracy]. "

 

Given such definition, the statistics used by safferz is misguiding in context of this argument.

Except the statistics I cited are from UNESCO, so...

 

DoctorKenney;990396 wrote:

Do you see how this little change can raise our literacy rate in one day?

I'm repeating myself here too. Your entire argument for this magical transformation rests on the false assumption the "virtually all of Somalia" can read Arabic, which is something you've determined on the basis of an accumulation of anecdotal experience, when they can't.

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Waryada, if the whole idea is to educate the population, then kids will need to go proper school. It doesnt matter what script one use to educate. Even if the Arabic script is introduced today, it will have to be structured(grammar, style,etc) to suit the language. And this will bring us back to square one, that proper schooling is needed for one to be literate and educated.

 

Just ask yourself how many Somali speaking kids (third grader and up) in the West can read and write the Somali script. Naga daaya.

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Safferz;990405 wrote:
Except the statistics I cited are from UNESCO, so...

And that is precisely why it is misguiding. You made the statement that the premise of this thread, that most somalis can read/write arabic is wrong, because most Somalis are illiterate. Given the UNESCO definition, a faraax who can read and write arabic, through his dugsi background, would not be considered literate. Despite the fact that he can still 'read' arabic, which is essentially the premise of the thread.

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This brother here is a clear example. He lives in Nigeria where the national language isn't Arabic and the school system likewise, but understands what he's reading fully. Some people are going to sit there and tell me Somalis can't read or understand Arabic, when our second and national language is Arabic and our school systems have been in Arabic since the collapse of the state. This is the biggest Xaar that has been stated in this forum.

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actually English could be said second language of Somalis today.See some claim Arabic as second language,but no one buys,sells,communicates in neither Arabic nor any otha language beside Somali.

don't put extra on what we all know.

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burahadeer;990417 wrote:
actually English could be said second language of Somalis today.See some claim Arabic as second language,but no one buys,sells,communicates in neither Arabic nor any otha language beside Somali.

don't put extra on what we all know.

 

 

I would actually believe if that was the case in Somaliland. But don't make any assumptions for other areas. Reer Burco seem more reer magaal than the Boosaasans. God bless Burco.

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Safferz   

SomaliPhilosopher;990410 wrote:
And that is precisely why it is misguiding. You made the statement that the premise of this thread, that most somalis can read/write arabic is wrong, because most Somalis are
illiterate
. Given the UNESCO definition, a faraax who can read and write arabic, through his dugsi background, would not be considered literate. Despite the fact that he can still 'read' arabic, which is essentially the premise of the thread.

Where does the UNESCO definition say anything about what language literacy is measured in? How do you think multilingual societies, like virtually every other country in Africa, grapple with the challenge of measuring literacy? It's not tied to the ability to read/write Somali, it's about the ability of people to recognize, read and communicate in a writing system.

 

Anyway, to say it again -- Somalis are a predominantly oral people, even the way of learning Quran and religion is traditionally structured by orality not text (rote), and the problem/challenge of literacy goes far deeper than what some of you are acknowledging here. I have issues with the categorization of literate/illiterate though I've used them here to refer to the absence of textuality (I don't think oral societies are lesser than, and the privileging of writing as modern/oral as backward is rooted in colonialism), but as I pointed out earlier most African societies are oral and Arabic literacy in Muslim societies like ours has historically been confined to scholars and elites. That was the challenge during the Osmanya/Latin/Arabic debates -- grappling with the reality of an oral society, the impossibilities of replicating oral usage in text, the question of language growth and how to disseminate/institute mass literacy, etc. I'm just rehashing some of these points in this thread because it contradicts the mythologizing re: Arabic usage in the Somali region, but if anyone is interested in reading further on the topic, let me know.

 

magicbird;990411 wrote:
Some people are going to sit there and tell me Somalis can't read or understand Arabic, when our second and national language is Arabic and our school systems have been in Arabic since the collapse of the state. This is the biggest Xaar that has been stated in this forum.

Speaking of mythologizing...

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Safferz;990438 wrote:
Where does the UNESCO definition say anything about what language literacy is measured in? How do you think multilingual societies, like virtually every other country in Africa, grapple with the challenge of measuring literacy? It's not tied to the ability to read/write Somali, it's about the ability of people to recognize, read and communicate in a writing system.

You missed the point saffy. The UNESCO definition states "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute..." This definition does not capture the Somali who can simply read and write arabic, through his dugsi studies, which is essentially all that is important for the premise of this argument made by Odey. whereas "understanding, creating, interpreting..." is not relevant in this debate and thus why your statistic is misleading

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Safferz   

SomaliPhilosopher;990441 wrote:
You missed the point saffy. The UNESCO definition states "ability to
identify
,
understand
,
interpret
,
create
,
communicate
and
compute
..." This definition does not capture the Somali who can simply read and write arabic, through his dugsi studies, which is essentially all that is important for the premise of this argument made by Odey. whereas "understanding, creating, interpreting..." is not relevant in this debate and thus why your statistic is misleading

But I thought "the biggest xaar to ever be stated on this forum" is that Somalis don't understand Arabic (magicbird, 2013)? :P

 

Fair enough, my broader point is on the history and context of orality and literacy in the Somali territories anyway, literacy rates are only one part of that.

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One thing that I do agree with is that the Arabic Alphabet is more "difficult" to learn to read/write. And that is without even having adapted it for the soomaali language. At least in the latin alphabet letters don't change every time depending on their position within a word relative to the other letters within that word. Arabic is inefficient to write... IMO it requires a lot more effort to write.

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Gheelle.T;990408 wrote:
Waryada, if the whole idea is to educate the population, then kids will need to go proper school. It doesnt matter what script one use to educate. Even if the Arabic script is introduced today, it will have to be structured(grammar, style,etc) to suit the language. And this will bring us back to square one, that proper schooling is needed for one to be literate and educated.

 

Just ask yourself how many Somali speaking kids (third grader and up) in the West can read and write the Somali script. Naga daaya.

The modalities and practicalities of it would have to be carefully considered. But I wouldn't think that the use of the Arabic scipt would require the alteration of the grammer of the Somali language. :confused:

 

I do agree though that a functioning and effective education system is required to achieve literacy. But initially, I think we could possibly make some quick gains by using the Arabic alphabet... recognition of the letters, knowing how to pronounce/read the letters, the ability to write the letters - just as you would do when reading the quran. So that at least you are able to read/write your name and other names, recognise signs, compose and understand short/simple pieces of written communication. The logic being that if a good proportion of Somalis are able to read the Quran (a book), then using the same letters and similar pronounciations they would be able to read written pieces of information in Af Somali but using the Arabic alphabet.

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