Language

    About Fikrun

    Fikrun wa Fann was a cultural magazine published by the Goethe Institute from 1963 to 2016 that supported and shaped the cultural exchange between Germany and Islamic countries. Together with the publishing of the last issue, “Flight and Displacement” (issue 105), in autumn of 2016 the maintenance and updating of this online portal was ceased.
    Rosetta Stone

    What Is Language?
    An Overview of Current Debates

    Almost all humans use language continually, but many linguistic phenomena remain enigmatic and controversial. Is it a good thing that there are so many languages? Should we be concerned about languages dying? By Jürgen TrabantMore ...
    Professor at the lectern, 1340

    Is German a Mixed Language?
    The Role of Latin, French, and English in the History of the German Language

    In this age of globalisation, no language in the world can maintain absolute, original purity. But did such linguistic purity ever exist? Or is it wishful thinking, a mere construct? By Uwe PörksenMore ...
    Somewhere… Boys. Photo: Alaoui Moulay Youssef

    Discourse on Power and Powerlessness: The Colonial Linguistic Legacy as Exemplified in Senegal

    Anyone who wants to participate in power must speak the language of domination. Under colonialism, that was the language of the colonial powers; but linguistic exclusion did not end with colonialism. By Khadi FallMore ...
    Sanskrit script, India 1849

    Multilingualism and Cultural Diversity: Exemplified by Europe and India

    At first glance Europe and India would appear to be strikingly different, but the process of European unification is making it increasingly apparent just how much they have in common. This is particularly true with regard to languages. By Anil BhattiMore ...
    Two couplets of poetry, Iran 16th century

    Language, Poetry, and Singularity: The Arab Jews

    A joint Arab-Jewish identity seems an impossibility given the current political situation in the Middle East. And yet, like German-Jewish identity, until the Second World War it was a reality, exemplified by Arabic-speaking Jews and their writers. By Reuven SnirMore ...
    Bearded Scribe, Isfahan 1626

    Purity or Realism?
    The Dispute between Linguists and Linguistic Purists in Iran

    Critical texts devoted to maintaining the purity of Persian are very popular in Iran. Linguistic criticism has gone through several phases, and now representatives of modern linguistics are resisting defenders of the language and taking the discussion in a new direction. By Manutschehr AmirpurMore ...
    Persian Shop in Tel Aviv. Photo: Gundula Tegtmeyer

    The Flavour of Words: What Happens When a Man Emigrates from His Language

    Words stir up associations, feelings, they have a flavour. If one loses one’s mother tongue and writes in another this becomes especially clear, because the words are no longer a given. By SAIDMore ...
    Divination book from northern Sumatra

    One Land, One Nation, One Language: Indonesian as a Lowest Common Denominator in the Largest Island Nation in the World

    Scarcely another country in the world boasts a tangle of languages as complex as that in Indonesia, where around five hundred ethnic groups speak roughly the same number of different languages and dialects. By Christina SchottMore ...
    Youth reading, Isfahan 1625

    Iranian Identity in a Blaze of Colours

    Following on the heels of a Chinese and a Roman emperor, ‘Abbas I is now featured in London’s ‘Great Ruler Exhibition’ series. ‘Abbas’s rule from 1587 to 1629 is intended as a key for viewers of the show to understanding modern-day Iran. By Georges WaserMore ...
    Vending machine for books, 1912

    No Purism, Just the Actual Case: Two Exhibitions on the German Language

    German is a difficult language. This is regarded as an established truth; comparisons are often made with English, the grammar of which is less complicated. In fact, languages make different demands of those who learn them. By Joachim GüntnerMore ...