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The equivalent term of the 5Cs in Arabic
By: Dr.Naji Abduljaber
Former Principal of Bridge Academy & Director of Arabic GEE Academies in Michigan
The national standards for the teaching of foreign languages have been a very helpful guide for both teachers as well as the learners of foreign languages. The expression 5Cs has become an internationally well known expression, which makes many people even use it in their native language as if it has been existing in the target language for hundreds of years. As far as the Arabic language is concerned, many people have been asking me: What is the accurate Arabic expression that stands for the 5Cs? Of course, some people may quickly answer: It is al-ma’aayiir al- khamsah; or it is al-maqaayiis al-khamsah, as a meaning for the national five standards. This might be truly the meaning of the national standards, but not an exact term that may stand for the 5Cs, as many people hope to find in Arabic. Then, when I started thinking of an exact term in Arabic, I said to myself: What are the common features that all of the 5Cs have? I found out that they have at least the followings: 1- They are all goals for teaching a foreign language. 2- They are all imperative verbs. 3- They all start with the letter C. 4- The letter C is the 3rd letter of the alphabetical order in English. 5- The total number of these goals is 5. Accordingly, I started thinking of a term in Arabic that have all of the above features. I can claim that I found that term. It is al-taa’aat al-khamsah “or “The 5Ts”“ التاءات الخمسة” Why do I use this term? Here is an explanation: 1- Communication “التواصل” it starts with the letter “ t” 2- Culture “ التثقيف” it starts with the letter “t” 3- Connection “الترابط”it starts with the letter “t” 4- Comparison “التقارن” it starts with the letter “t” 5- Communities “ التجمعات”it starts with the letter “t” Just to remind everyone that the article “al” in Arabic is not considered when it comes to place the word in its alphabetical order, because it is not part of a word; however, it is just a prefix for defining a noun and it is called: “al al-ta’riif” a definite article. Another look at the above Arabic equivalent terms, we will notice the following: 1- All of them can be goals for teaching Arabic as a foreign language. 2- All of them are verbal nouns. 3- All of them start with the letter “t” 4- The letter “t” comes as the 3rd letter of the Arabic alphabet. 5- The total number of them is 5. Therefore, we can easily call them “al-taa’aat al-khamsah “or the 5Ts.
One may ask: Why did you use these Arabic terms in particular and not any other terms? As a respond, let us go back to the verbal nouns that may be derived from the roots of the Arabic verbs and from the verbs that have one or two extra letters and see the most accurate meaning of them that might be equivalent to the English ones. 1- Communication; the possible equivalent terms from the Arabic root and from the verbs that have one or two more extra letters are: Wasl from Wasalaوصْل إيصال Iiisaal from Awsala توصيلTawsiil from Wassala مُواصلة أو وصال Muwaasalah or Wisaal from Waasala اتصالIttisaal from Ittasala انوصالInwisaal from Inwasala توصُّلTawassul from Tawassala تواصُلTawaasul from Tawaasala Of course, there are some other possible equivalent terms, but the above examples are sufficient for our purpose here. It is very clear to anyone who knows Arabic that the last term; Tawaasul تواصُل , is the most convenient one, since it has the exact meaning of communication, because it includes that the action takes place between two or more people, or teams, or parties and that it is not limited to verbal communication, but it also implies other ways of communications such as: Listening, writing,gesturing, comprehension and others.
2- Culture (s); the possible equivalent terms are: Thaqaafah from Thaqafa or Thaqifa ثقافة إثقاف Ithqaaf from Athqafa تثقيف Tathqiif from Thaqqafa مُثاقفة Muthaaqafah from Thaaqafa اثتقاف Ithtiqaaf from Ithtaqqafa or Itthaqqafa انثقاف Inthiqaaf from Inthaqafa تثقّف Tathaqquf from Tathaqqafa تثاقف Tathaaquf from Tathaaqafa Going back to the above terms, we notice that the closest equivalent term to the English target one is to cause someone to know or to be educated or to be familiar with the culture. The verb that has this meaning is Thaqqafa and the verbal noun is Tathqiif. 3- Connection (s); the possible equivalent terms are: ربط Rabt from Rabata إرباط Irbaat from Arbata تربيط Tarbiit from Rabbata مُرابطة أو رباط Muraabatah or Ribaat from Raabata ارتباط Irtibaat from Irtabata انرباط Inribaat from Inrabata تربّط Tarabbut from Tarabbata ترابُط Taraabut from Taraabata It is clear that the last term includes the meaning that is aimed in the English one. It implies the connection between two things or more, which is the aim for the usage of the English term. 4- Comparison (s); the possible equivalent terms are: قرن Qarn from Qarana إقران Iqraan from Aqrana تقرين Taqriin from Qarrana مُقارنة أو قران Muqaaranah or Qiraan from Qaarana اقتران Iqtiraan from Iqtarana انقران Inqiraan from Inqarana تقرّن Taqarrun from Taqarrana تقارُن Taqaarun from Taqaarana The last term Taqaarun indicates the English meaning, because it has to do with the comparative of two things or more and it includes the similarities like Tashaabaha and the differences like Taqaabala. So, it implies both the similarities and the differences at the same time which is the target objective of the English term. 5- Communities; the possible equivalent terms are: جمع Jam’ from Jama’a إجماع Ijmaa’ from Ajma’a تجميع Tajmii’ from Jamma’a مجامعة أو جماع Mujaama’ah or Jimaa’ from Jaama’a اجتماع Ijtimaa’ from Ijtama’a انجماع Injimaa’ from Injama’a تجمُّع Tajammu’ from Tajamma’a تجامُع Tajaamu’ from Tajaama’a Once again, it is clear that the verbal noun Tajammu’ indicates the exact meaning of the English one, since it has to do with the groups when they gather next to each other. Thus we should use the plural form to indicate the exact meaning of the English one. There are many other arguments that can be added to the above ones, but I think that there is no need for further proofs. I hope that I have answered the question of many people who have been wondering about the exact Arabic term of the 5Cs; that is the 5Ts or التاءات الخمسة
I wrote before about the equivalent term of the 5Cs in Arabic; that is the 5Ts. In that article I show how all of the Arabic terms are verbal nouns, they all start with the letter T in Arabic and this letter is the third letter of the Arabic alphabetical order. They are as follows: Communication التواصل Culture التثقيف Connection الترابط Comparison التقارن Communities التجمّعات
I would like to add that the question which made me think of the above terms came from Dr. Mohammad Eissa who asked me saying: What is exactly the Arabic term for the 5Cs? Then I started thinking of these terms until I found out what I wrote before.
This time, I would like to share with you the discussion that took place between me and Dr. Wafa Hassan about the equivalent terms of the 3 modes of communication in Arabic. Like the above terms, we came out with 3Ts in Arabic for the 3 modes in English. They are as follows:
Interpersonal تحاور or تراسل and the term that embedded both is تبادل , because the exchange can be either verbally or in writing.
Interpretive تفسير as one interprets the written text or the utterance. So, it has to do with understanding and comprehension.
Presentation تقديم which is the giving of a text orally in front of audience. It can be by reciting what is pre written to be presented or by presenting the main ideas of what is memorized
Another look at all above Arabic terms, they all start with the Arabic letter T and all of them are verbal nouns too.
So, we can call them the 3Ts of communication.
-- Dr. Naji Abduljaber Former Principal & Director of Arabic Bridge Academy