Classical Arabic as official language.
The Jordanian constitution proclaims in its articles 2 and 6: "the religion of the State will be Islam and its official language Arabic". In its article 6, it forbids all discrimination based on race, language and religion.
However, we must qualify the constitutional arrangements with the ethnic realities of the country.
Classical Arabic is the language of the State, and it is used in the Parliament, in writing and in the promulgation of laws, in the courts of justice and in schools. But in the daily life it is the dialect Arabic that dominates, and more precisely Levantine Arabic of the south (55% of the population speaks it).
There exist, in addition, other mother tongues such as the Bedouin Arabic (11%), Najdi Arabic, Circassian Arabic (1%), Armenian (0.1%), Chechen (0.05%) and finally the Tsigane Domari.
If Arabic is a part of the Chamito-Semitic family, the Armenian and the Tsigane are Indo-European. The Circassian and the Chechen are Caucasian languages.
Place of the English and French languages :
Jordan has a long Anglophile tradition. English is the second language and it is practiced in the public and private sectors.
The French language is taught in 45 private establishments, that is 32 800 students, of a total of 1.3 million. The Jordanian authorities decided since 1999 to introduce the French language as an optional examination in the literary baccalaureate and as an examination in its own right in the hotel baccalaureate as from the year 2003.
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