Another Algerian ministry drops French for Arabic

Another Algerian ministry has dropped French and switched to Arabic
2 min read
27 October, 2021
Another Algerian ministry has said it will begin using Arabic in all business instead of French, in light of a growing diplomatic crisis with Paris
Algeria has used French in nearly all its ministries until today [AFP/Getty]

Another Algerian ministry has said it will stop using the French language and switch all dealings to Arabic amid a worsening diplomatic crisis with France.

The country's labour ministry on Tuesday sent an official notice informing institutions of the decision, and that only Arabic should be used in correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, and documents.

This is the third ministry to take such a move, after the ministries of vocational education and training, and sports, also transferred from French to Arabic.

Up until now, all ministries in the North African nation - except for the defence ministry - have used French.

A law to generalise the use of Arabic in Algerian government sectors was issued in 1991 but has not been fully implemented.

The Algerian constitution stipulates that Arabic is the official language of the state, while Tamazight - a language spoken by the Amazigh people - was recognised as a second language in 2002.

This week's administrative decision comes in light of unstable ties between Algeria and France.

Last month, Paris limited the number of visas available to Algerian citizens, as well as two other countries. A decision by Algiers to ban all French warplanes from using its airspace followed.

Matters were made worse after French President Emmanuel Macron asked whether Algeria even existed before French colonisation, which lasted between 1830 until the Algerian War of Independence in 1962.