Another Algerian ministry dropped French and switched to Arabic

Another Algerian ministry said it would start using Arabic in all business instead of French, in light of a growing diplomatic crisis with Paris

Another Algerian ministry said it would stop using the French language and switch all its relations to Arabic amid a worsening diplomatic crisis with France.

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

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

So far, all the ministries of the North African nation – except the Ministry of Defense – have used French.

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

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

This week’s administrative decision comes in light of the unstable relations between Algeria and France.

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

Things got worse after French President Emmanuel Macron questioned whether Algeria even existed before French colonization, which lasted between 1830 and the Algerian War of Independence in 1962.

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