Diversity of dialects disrupts real-time Amazigh translation in Moroccan parliament
Saturday 18 December 2021 - 21:30
Real-time Amazigh translation in parliament is making headlines in Morocco, following a dispute between Minister of Justice, Abdellatif Ouahbi, and former Minister Mohamed Ouzine, after Ouahbi did not respond to a question asked in Amazigh.
A parliamentarian addressed the question to the Minister of Justice, who then said he “only speaks Soussi Tamazight, and does not know Atlas Tamazight.”
The occurrence renewed the deputies’ call to apply the requirement to provide interpretation to and from Amazigh during parliament’s plenary sessions.
The demand has been placed on the administration office of the two councils since the demarcation of Amazigh in the constitution back in 2011.
The main reason for not activating the requirement for simultaneous translation to and from Amazigh is due to the multitude of dialects the language has, which has left MPs undecided on which one to adopt.
Noureddine Median, head of the independent team for unity and parity in the House of Representatives, told Hespress AR that “the issue is now exploited as a political tool.”
A viable solution for Median is the adoption of translation in all dialects on broadcasts, while keeping Arabic as the main spoken language within the session.
The Akhannouch government has been adamant about fully including the language in political and administrative life. Following up on its promise to generalize the use of Amazigh in public administrations ahead of 2022, the Ministry of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform has been granted a MAD200 million budget for the project.
But the issue of dialects remains a challenge the government will need to surmount, particularly on the national level.