La lingua dei diritti arabi
Abstract: Arabic, as a legal language, is multidimensional. Firstly, it is the language of Fiqh, the Islamic legal science: all Muslim scholars use it, irrespective of their different mother tongues. Building on this common linguistic heritage, Arab States developed their official legal languages to meet the challenge of modernisation, thus giving birth to a number of national variants of legal Arabic, whose vocabularies are smoothly diverging. Within the State borders, other languages exist, seeking some kind of recognition in the field of law: this is the case of tamazit in North African countries. More generally, legal Arabic does not exist in a vacuum. On the one hand, it influenced the legal terminology of other Islamic languages, as Farsi or Turkish; on the other, it borrowed from European languages, notably as a consequence of the colonial experience. At present, the influence of English as the dominant language of the globalisation process is clearly perceptible in the Arab world. Nonetheless, Arabic too plays an important role at the global level, as it is one of the official languages of UN, and of a number of other international organisations.