Canon Middle East promotes Arabic on ‘International Mother Language Day’ 2018

  • Canon launches Arabic language programme for its employees

Canon Middle East (CME), a leader in imaging solutions, is launching a series of language classes for its employees in celebration of International Mother Language Day (IMLD)and a continuation of its pledge to support the nation-wide Bil Arabi initiative. The classes will include a series of Arabic language sessions since it is the region’s mother tongue, and getting more acquainted with Arabic is an important aspect of living and working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Held annually on 21 February for nearly 20 years, International Mother Language Day was announced by UNESCO to promote linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism. By extension, Canon also seeks to engage its employees to bridge cultural differences and gain a deeper understanding of the Arabic language and give them the opportunity to start understanding and speaking it by enrolling in the classes.

Canon also aims to encourage native Arabic speaking employees to play a larger role by directly teaching and interacting with their colleagues in Arabic outside of the regular classes. This creates a deeper connection between Canon employees as well as a more practical and direct approach to learning a new language.

Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications & Marketing Services Director, Middle East & Africa, ‎Canon Middle East said, “International Mother Language Day is another opportunity for Canon Middle East to maintain the importance of the Arabic language within the organisation, especially among our employees. This initiative is building on Canon’s ‘Follow You Happiness’ campaign launched in 2017 and driven by three pillars of Future, Youth, and Happiness. The chance to enrol in Arabic language courses falls within the Happiness pillar which was developed to engage our employees in activities and projects that support their personal as well as professional growth, which they can then project positively toward their community – the Arabic language classes are an excellent opportunity for our non-Arabic team members to better understand and engage with their community through their learnings.”

“On a business level, and to further promote the region’s mother tongue, all our products and solutions are supported with an Arabic interface, as well as the manuals, to ensure that we effectively communicate with our partners and customers in the region. In addition, as the world shifts more toward automation and digitisation, our larger goal is to support and increase the creation of Arabic digital content through our imaging solutions. Digital Arabic content is in high demand, but unfortunately quite limited at only 2-3 percent globally. Being the fifth most spoken language in the world this figure is meagre compared to the global number of native Arabic speakers, which is close to 300 million,” added Mai

Canon’s Arabic classes programme also aims to support the UAE’s commitment to preserving and promoting the language globally to showcase the language’s immense contributions to date, as well as maintaining Arabic as one of the languages of the future with a focus on developing innovations and research that stem from the region to the world.

Last December, Canon also commemorated the United Nation’s (UN) World Arabic Language Day on 18 December 2017 through a series of activities that support and celebrate the Arabic language across the region. These initiatives included sponsoring the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) ‘Bil Arabi’ initiative in its fifth edition as well as launching a region-wide social media campaign to emphasise the importance of promoting Arabic in the digital age, an integral part of the Smart vision adopted by several governments regionally.

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