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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:41 AM
Original message
They speak Arabic in Afghanistan?
Wow Barack...you really think outside the box! Genius! Get everyone thinking you are a dumb, empty suit...nice.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian/Farsi) are the official languages of Afghanistan
Edited on Wed May-14-08 11:44 AM by dmordue
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Hush now...
Now is not the time for logic and intelligent discussion. Please let RememberWellstone get his failed hitpiece out of his system.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. He messed up, whats logical?
Maybe he should do a little more study time and less hope time.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. ...
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. LOL Nice one!!
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. My pleasure!
I've got plenty more for every failed hit piece they post...and so do you!
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. "Fail" is sooooooo perfect for almost everything that is truly specious
about many of these posts.....

Failure of logic
Failure of facts
Failure of insight


We should have a motto:

"Fail." When just a snark won't do.....

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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #32
40. but on the flip-side the nicer part of me had to post this one in response to
one hit jobber's moment of clarity: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

May she one day earn so many more of them once she gets out of the house and stops posting hit pieces against the Democratic candidate.

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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #40
51. That's very nice. I'll give out the occasional 'attaboy' when someone
rises above but I like your 'success' key....
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #12
123. Did somebody say "Failroad"?
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #123
125. Ironically I work for Amtrak....
or perhaps that's coincidentally...I can never get the irony thing perfect as some can...
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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
142. In any muslim country, educated people will speak arabic
because it is the only tongue in which the Koran can truly be read.
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
80. sometimes
Sometimes they speak Arabic; depends on which of the 57 states you're in.
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QueenOfCalifornia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
87. Er.. You may be interested
Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian/Farsi) are the official languages of Afghanistan. Pashto was declared the National Language of the country during the beginning of Zahir Shah's reign, however, Dari has always been used for business and government transactions. Both belong to the Indo-European group of languages. According to recent US government estimates, approximately 35 percent of the Afghan population speaks Pashto, and about 50 percent speaks Dari. Turkic languages (Uzbek and Turkmen) are spoken by about 11 percent of the population. There are also numerous other languages spoken in the country (Baluchi, Pashai, Nuristani, etc.), and bilingualism is very common.

Both Pashto and Dari are written primarily with the Arabic alphabet, however, there are some modifications.

Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India. Significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Republic of Yemen and the United Arab Emirates), as well as large communities around the World.

They speak Arabic.
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Texas Hill Country Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #87
105. no, they dont actually... arabic alphabet is not the language... we use the same alphabet as
spanish, german, italian, french (with some modifications) but because I use the same alphabet, does not mean that i speak the same language.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #105
108. oh yes they do and I know that for a fact because in the UN that is the language
we used with Afghan refugees in the 1980s

The countries of South Asia are plagued by hundreds of local languages and dialects and use common 2nd languages to communicate between them.

In India this is English. In Pakistan it is English. In Bengladesh it is English


In Afghanistan it is Arabic because the Koran is taught in Arabic and it is widely known and the most common 2nd language.

Your reply is without merit and without citation

You can go downthread and find links to Refugee cites that use English and Arabic for Afghan refugees but use no tribal languages.

You have absolutely no link or reference for your reply because it is completely false.
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MediaBabe Donating Member (610 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #108
144. Get pompous much?
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MediaBabe Donating Member (610 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #87
143. Well Spanish and French are written primarily with the English alphabet
But that don't make French or Spanish the language of America
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. And agriculture?
We need agricultural specialists in Afghanistan, people who can help them develop other crops than heroin poppies, because the drug trade in Afghanistan is what is driving and financing these terrorist networks. So we need agricultural specialists, he said.

But if we are sending them to Baghdad, theyre not in Afghanistan, Obama said.

Iraq has many problems, but encouraging farmers to grow food instead of opium poppies isnt one of them. In Iraq, oil fields not poppy fields are a major source of U.S. technical assistance.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Agriculture is not a language - different topic
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Same speech
He is unqualified and he knows it.
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QueenOfCalifornia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
90. The only person
who is unqualified is you for that idiotic OP.

Keep defending it though.

Hillary was shot at and she didn't support NAFTA either.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. I think that's a fair statement, if a bit poorly worded. We need agricultural specialists,
and we can't afford to train and send them to Afghanistan, because we're spending all our time and resources on counterinsurgency specialists sent to Iraq.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Poorly worded?
Nice deflect, he has no idea what is going on over there..back to back gaffs on the most pressing problem the next President will face. It's not a good sign.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. Yes. His point is completely correct--we don't have the agric. specialists we need, because
we're spending all our resources and manpower in Iraq. He worded it clumsily, but he's right--the money and men who should be going to Afghanistan as agricultural specialists are headed to Iraq.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. BS, thats not what he said.
You guys are spinning air..there's no connection in what he said and what you said. None.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #39
60. Sure it is. He simply said it awkwardly. The resources that should be going
to agricultural work in Afghanistan are going to counterinsurgency work in Iraq. He's undoubtedly exhausted, and said that inelegantly. It's really not that big a deal.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
95. This is absolute ignorance Arabic is the common 2nd language in Afghanistan: English is in India
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:58 AM
Original message
He might have been referring to this.
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?c...

Advisors. USDA supports Iraq's reconstruction by placing individuals ranging from senior advisors to food advisors and from technical experts to development experts in the country. In July 2004, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service began posting two U.S. agricultural officers at the American Embassy in Baghdad.

This June, a USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service employee went to Iraq to serve on a one-year detail as an agricultural development officer on a newly created Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) under an agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Three USDA agriculture advisors will be assigned to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture later this year to build its capacity in agricultural extension, agricultural strategic planning, and food safety and inspection. In addition, USDA will provide a public affairs specialist to be part of the U.S. embassy's public affairs team.

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
37. I've read that, and I think that's a pretty poor cover. I know that's the Obama camp's defense, but
the relatively small number of USDA advisors in Iraq is not the primary reason why we can't control opium in Afghanistan. Security is.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #37
48. That's a good point. But I do think many people including elements in our
Edited on Wed May-14-08 12:06 PM by Guy Whitey Corngood
government benefit from the heroin trade just like they did in SE Asia. I'm not sure the current administration wants to stop it. Hopefully the next one will.
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Yotun Donating Member (346 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. It wasn't poorly worded, it was absolutely true nt
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
68. I agree to a point
But not the specialist from Iraq, they would be worthless..we do need the transition from poppy to other crops.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #68
73. Those particular specialists? Of course they'd be useless; they're trained for Iraq,
not Afghanistan. However, if we weren't training them to send to Iraq, we'd be training them to send to Afghanistan. I would think that would be obvious.
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
85. Where did he say anything about poppy fields in Iraq?
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
124. For your consideration...
Iraq has many problems, but encouraging farmers to grow food instead of opium poppies isnt one of them.

Title: "Opium Fields Spread Across Iraq as Farmers Try to Make Ends Meet"

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/17/6437 /

I don't think opium production is as prevalent as it is in Afghanistan, but apparently it's still a problem in Iraq.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:31 PM
Original message
and Arabic is the common 2nd language spoken throughout Afghanistan
just like English is spoken in India
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
109. Very few Pathans speak Arabic... mainly only the clerics
Edited on Wed May-14-08 01:02 PM by JCMach1
Even then, they mainly know the Koran through rote memorization... They don't actually KNOW the language.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #109
116. You don't understand the requirements of a translator.
Edited on Wed May-14-08 02:31 PM by grantcart
Whether it is in refugee camps or going from village to village the operational question is what language can you go in with that you can find at least one person to communicate with. You can go into any area of Afghanistan and expect to find a few Arabic speakers. They don't just learn the Koran by rote but the commentaries are also in Arabic and religious teachers would have been taught in Arabic.

The other point is availability of translators to use. It isn't very helpful to speak about Pathu translators if none are available. We have a limited supply of Arabic translators but it is much greater than that of Pathu which we have none.


http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~kdickson/arabicdbarron.html
And the University of Illinois disagrees with your assessment of Pathu/Arabic bilingualism.

Dennis Baron is a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

America has a problem of linguistic security: We don't understand the languages of our attackers. Just a week after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was offering $38 an hour for translators of Arabic or of Pashto, the language of about 35 percent of the people of Afghanistan, including the Taliban. Many in Afghanistan, where bilingualism is widespread, understand both.

But bilingualism is not widespread in the F.B.I. or in the Central Intelligence Agency. Admittedly, there are only 25 million speakers of Pashto around the world, and there may be few opportunities to learn it. But Arabic is the fifth-most widely spoken language in the world; our government should not need to place help-wanted ads for Arabic speakers.
Even if many more students enroll in Arabic, they could graduate without the ability to understand the kinds of communications our security agencies want to monitor. The Arabic taught in classrooms is formal Arabic, the shared language used in newspapers and books. But many varieties of colloquial Arabic are spoken around the world, and even many Arabic speakers have to learn modern standard Arabic in school as a second language.

The first step in addressing our language deficiencies is a national recognition that they exist. For now, federal security agencies should realize that in recruiting native speakers of strategic languages they may have to rely more on background checks and less on rigid rules about citizenship and residence. In the long run, much more needs to be done.



Now we can have our little Arcane discussions about Indo language subgroups and the utility of second language elasticity and whether Farsi is better in Afghanistan because of commercial reasons or Arabic is better because of historic or religious reasons but all of that is beside the point of the OP.

The OP set out that it was a ridiculous gaffe to think that Afghan could use Arabic speakers because it does not have native speakers of Arabic. That is complete nonsense as the use of English in India and Pakistan shows.

The poster of the OP however has run away in the face of facts.


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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #116
117. I can tell you from experience there is not a lack of Arabic translators
in Afghanistan. Obama was way off on this one.

There is a great lack of CAT I and II Dari and Pasthu translators, but not Arabic translators.

When you want to communicate with the locals, you hire a English speaking local (a CAT III translator). There are enough of them to go around.

There is not enough Arabic spoken/intercepted in Afghanistan that the lack of Arabic translators is hurting military operations. There are enough Arabic speakers in Afghanistan to handle that work load.

I've been to Afghanistan and done Signals Intelligence there, so this is coming from my experience, not from what I've read in the papers.

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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #117
121. You are correct...
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mckeown1128 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #117
129.  Your wrong.
Edited on Thu May-15-08 08:29 AM by mckeown1128
as someone who has been to the Defense Language Institute and who is a spouse of an Arabic Linguist I can tell you that you are wrong. There is a shortage of Arabic Linguists and of Dari and Pasthu linguists.

Much of that is because of Iraq. It both takes Arabic linguists away from Afghanastan and pushes most linguist trainees into Arabic and away from Pashtu and Dari.

The point is that if we weren't training so many Arabic linguists we would have more than enough Dari and Pasthu linguists.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #129
131. McKeown1128, no one is disagreeing with you on a shortage of
Arabic, Dari or Pashtu linguists.

What I am disagreeing with you on is whether there is a shortage of Arabic linguists in Afghanistan. "There is a shortage of Arabic linguists in Afghanistan because of Iraq." This is the statement Obama made and a lot people here are disputing that statement.

Lets make sure we distinguish between translator and linguist. A translator is a local who can speak English and the native language and has no security clearance (CAT I) normally used by troops to communicate with the locals. Linguists are: a US citizen who can speak the local language but is not a member of the government with a secret clearance (CAT II), or a US citizen who can speak the local language and is part of the US government, both are used to for intel purposes.

If you or your spouse have been to Monterey than you obviously have some experience with intel collection. The type of collection that most Arabic is gathered from in Afghanistan does not have a lack of Arabic linguists. There isn't a lot of it and it can be handled by the Arabic linguists assigned to handle it.

There isn't a need for an Arabic CAT II or III linguist to go out on patrols with troops because anyone in Afghanistan who's primary language is Arabic is going to be shooting at troops, not talking to them. Yes, Afghanis speak some Arabic because that is how they say their Islamic prayers, but it doesn't mean that is how they communicate with each other. They also speak Punjab, Urdu, and several other languages but we don't need people who speak that.

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mckeown1128 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #131
137. Ok.. I see your point...
I don't think he worded it correctly but I think he still has a point. The overall linguist shortage wouldn't be as bad if it weren't for the war in Iraq. My problem is with people posting in this thread are trying to imply that Arabic linguists in Iraq has no effect on the war in Afghanistan. When it does since there is a serious linguist shortage all around. And while the everyday people in afghanistan don't know any Arabic (besides what they memorize in the koran) the Al Queda leadership is made up of Saudis...who do speak arabic.


Of course most of what I know comes from what I remember hearing at the DLI... I never made it to goodfellow(Korean's a b#tch) and my wife of course won't talk. lol
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #137
140. You are missing my point, which is Obama was wrong
Edited on Fri May-16-08 02:37 PM by wmbrew0206
There are enough Arabic speakers in Afghanistan.

I'll give Obama a pass on this one since he was speaking off the cuff. I think he realized he made a mistake and was just trying to cover for it.

I disagree with the idea that we would be training E-1 through E-5 to speak Dari or Pashtu if they weren't learning Arabic. These are very low density languages. The requirement to for this languages will not last more than seven years, where arabic is spoken through out the world and there will be a long term need for it. It doesn't make much sense to start funneling a large portion of your linguists toward a language that we won't have a large demand for later on.

The better way to handle the lack of Dari and Pashtu speakers, is spend more time and money finding native speakers and getting them clearances, combined with taking your E-4 to E-7 who have a natural ability with languages and putting them into Pashtu/Dari conversion courses and make it a MOS.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. What's the Russian president elect's name? "Medve... Medve... umh....Medvedwhatever." n/t
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PBS Poll-435 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Thank God they didn't ask Obama that question.
We might have heard "Nicolae Sarkozy."

Or Yeltsin.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Ready to fuck up people's names (and be arrogant on top of that) on day one.
:thumbsup:
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
75. I know. She gave a long and detailed answer, obviously had seen the name but didn't quite pronounce
it right, and then Obama basically answered, "what she said".

I would REALLY like to go back in time and have him answer that question first.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #75
93. It wasn't that detailed. Anyone who had read an issue of the Economist could have said that.
Edited on Wed May-14-08 12:35 PM by Occam Bandage
She obviously shouldn't have gone *more* in depth (because a debate audience is not well-informed enough and would simply get bored), but I would expect that any moderately intelligent and well-read person could have explained that Medvedev is Putin's handpicked successor, and that he is likely to continue Putin's move towards greater authoritarianism, militarism, and foreign interventionism.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. Would you care to provide a link to your whine......
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. It was in his speech yesterday
Google is your friend. He said it and then continued to show his ineptness with the agriculture statement after the first gaff.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Wellstone would not be supporting the DLC candidate.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Are you channeling now?
Paul does'nt/did'nt have to support anyone to influence my personal decisions.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
24. no and neither are you
no one consistently posts opinions more antithetical to the brilliance of PW than you.



Speaking about getting more native language speakers in a war zone and you want him to list all of the tribal languages in a country that has no universal language group is trivial and pedantic.

Paul Wellstone was never trivial and never pedantic.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #24
126. go get um grantcart

I wonder how HC would have answered the question?

She is still stuck in Bosnia.

I can't recall her ever having an intellectual discussion of any issue other than "White Voters In WV."

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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
26. his first "gaff" LMFAO And you are throwing stones...
Perhaps you should use "The google" yourself.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
101. Yes google is YOUR friend....
so google up a link or edit your post!

It is your whine!
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
17. Muslims around the world use Arabic when worshiping.
Islam, by tradition, frowns on using translations of the Quran, preferring to use the original Classical Arabic when possible, so yes, even though Afghans natively speak Pashto and Dari, they will learn Arabic for the purposes of studying Islam. Muslims in the U.S. do the same thing.

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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Too bad that was'nt what he said.
He has no clue what is going on over there..none.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Oh don't let "the facts" interfere with HRC's worshipers daily "Five minutes of Obama Hate"
:eyes:
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. DING DING DING We have a winner!!!
Thanks for that!
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #17
145. Yes, but it doesn't mean they know what they are saying
In Afghanistan, the only Arabic most of the masses know is the traditional Muslim prayers and greetings. They normally start a conversation with the greeting in Arabic and then switch to their native language.

They don't become fluent in arabic, they learn certain phrases needed to pray and that is about it.




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Arrowhead2k1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
19. The ARAB fighters in Afghanistan certainly do
Edited on Wed May-14-08 11:57 AM by Arrowhead2k1
speak Arabic btw. Arabic is also the only languaged used by Muslims when reading the Koran. So you bet your ass they speak Arabic in Afghanistan.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. Wrong.
We don't need them to speak to the people like they are doing in Iraq...which is what he said. We are using translators to connect to the people in Iraq, common knowledge. We do not need those translators in Afghan unless of course you provide a translator to translate from Arabic to native Afghan language. Which is silly.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. We need a Jibbrish translator to understand what you just wrote
:shrug:
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #33
69. My Obama impression.
Pretty good huh.
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Arrowhead2k1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
54. There are already Arabic translators in Afghanistan.
Arabic is the language of Al Qaeda. It's a pretty good idea to figure out what they're saying you know...
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #27
91. The word interrogation does not exist in your vocabulary?
And there is a good chance that many translators speaking the local Afghan languages are also able to speak arabic - and therefore in Iraq.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #27
110. You are clueless, go back to hating (n/t)
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:59 AM
Original message
While I'm sure it was an error, we actually do have Arabic specialists in Afghanistan.
There are a good deal of foreign fighters in Afghanistan, a good deal of Arab-world organizations with presence in Afghanistan, and a good deal of multinational organized criminals--and all speak Arabic primarily. We of course need more Pashto specialists, but Arabic is not useless in Afghanistan.

Regardless, every student we train in Arabic and send to Iraq is a student we should have trained in Pashto and sent to Afghanistan, so his underlying point is correct.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
34. Wrong.
You guys are parsing an open gaff. Silly. He screwed up and has no idea what you are talking about. He said what he said because he does not know the language nor the agriculture problems. Poppy yes, sending the "experts" that go to Iraq and send them to Afghan...silly. Ineptness is an open sore.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. So you are saying we dont have any Arabic translators in Afghanistan?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. Wrong? You're saying that we don't have Arabic specialists in Afghanistan? That's a new one on me.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. I have no idea how we intercepted and translated Obama's transmissions in Tora Bora
:shrug: He might have been speaking in Pashtu to his Arab comrades.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I wonder how we talk to captured/defecting foreign fighters.
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Yotun Donating Member (346 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
25. Interesting...
I remember hearing his speech yesterday: and he was talking about how the war in Iraq was keeping them from having Arab translators in Afganistan... and then you could see him thinking for a second, and seeing how it could be spun against him, and specifically going on to say the specific Afgan dialects (can't remember the names), and how we actually have those folks occupied as well in Iraq, even though its not the majority language. I found it quite impressive how we was thinking on his feet to ensure he wasn't spun as if making a mistake.

I also take it the OP thinks poppy cultivation in Iraq isn't a problem... which I find hard to comprehend, but, whatever. I take it that the OP disagrees with the main gist of Obama's argument that Iraq is drawing resources and manpower that could be better utilised in Afganistan. Then again, his/her candidate DID vote for the war, so...
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #25
36. I don't know about poppies being cultivated in Iraq but the US is
sending agricultural experts there who could be deployed elsewhere.

Advisors. USDA supports Iraq's reconstruction by placing individuals ranging from senior advisors to food advisors and from technical experts to development experts in the country. In July 2004, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service began posting two U.S. agricultural officers at the American Embassy in Baghdad.

This June, a USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service employee went to Iraq to serve on a one-year detail as an agricultural development officer on a newly created Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) under an agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Three USDA agriculture advisors will be assigned to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture later this year to build its capacity in agricultural extension, agricultural strategic planning, and food safety and inspection. In addition, USDA will provide a public affairs specialist to be part of the U.S. embassy's public affairs team.

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?c...
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
30. You need to have Arabic translators if you wish to fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan
FYI the Arab fighters and even some Taliban fighters speak Arabic.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
43. Thats not what he meant.
The translators we use in Iraq are for the people not the enemy. He did not know Afghan does'nt speak Arabic that is why he said what he said. Nice try.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. Are you saying we dont need Arabic translators in Afghanistan?
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Arrowhead2k1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #50
59. nah,
When we find Arabic documents and intercept Arabic transmissions over there, we just twiddle our thumbs and say DARN! :rofl:
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #50
134. Yes, that is correct
The only Arabic linguists we need in Afghanistan are for intel purposes and there are plenty there to handle the work load for translations.

There is no need for Arabic translators to go out on patrols because none of the locals use Arabic as their primary language and anyone who does is going to shoot at soldiers rather than talk to them.
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Freida5 Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
31. and to think "foreign policy is his strength".
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
47. Scary huh?
Most of these supporters on here barely know him for 10 motnhs and have no clue if he is qualified or not. They don't care.
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UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
35. He really said that ?
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. Read the replies
The OP is doing a Limbaugh...not presenting the whole quote and context...and showing a bit of ignorance about the whole thing too.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #35
44. Oh come on. Farsi is also spoken in Iran. There's a mix of languages. This is pathetic.
:thumbsdown:
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Texas Hill Country Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #44
102. in afghanistan, they SPEAK pashto and a dialect of farsi called Dari. They dont SPEAK arabic
I was raised Catholic and can recite the prayers in Latin... that does not mean I can SPEAK latin.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
46. In the 1980s I was chief of operations for resettlement for all refugees out of south
and southeast asia.

We moved about 10,000 refugees out of Afghanistan. Many of the refugees that were resettled spoke English for those that did not we had to use interepreters and while not all of the refugees spoke Arabic and Arabic is not a native language it is a very common second language because of the religious traditions and the dominance of Arabic used in teaching Islam. If we had a group of twenty people atleast 5 would be Arabic speakers and the others would always be split amongst the various tribes.

It is a similar situation to that of India. Even though India is not a native English language country English is the most common 2nd language.

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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #46
53. We do not need Arabic translators in Afghan
he thought that was the native language..he screwed up and changed it. Quit spinning his mistakes, it is what it is. He has no clue about the language nor the situation over there. Those missed meetings are catching up to him.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #53
62. Your bitterness is showing. Your candidate is done. Get over it.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #53
63. How do you propose we intercept and translate al-Qaeda messages? Or talk to
defecting/captured foreign fighters or workers?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #53
89. Arabic is the common 2nd language used in Afghanistan
You are the ignorant one.



In most South Asian countries there is no unifying national language this is true of India, Pakistan, Bengladesh and Afghanistan.


To communicate with everyone it is essential that you use a common 2nd language.

As every idiot knows in India Pakistan and Bengladesh that language is English.


In Afghanistan it is Arabic.



As the Koran is written in Arabic and it is widely taught in the study of religion it is the most universal language of the country even though it is the second language. Just like it is in India.


1)Here is a website dedicated to Afghan refugees.

It is in English.

The other language used is Arabic.

http://www.hikyaku.com/afghan/afghan.html

Afghanistan has been strongly influenced by the Arabic culture like any other Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Iran. Click here to find more detailed description and screen shots on the Arabic tutorial program "Free Light Arabic" and possibly download a free demo version.

2)Here is an article how in response to 9/11 Newsweek outlines that UCLA is adding Arabic


Islam, Arabic And Afghanistan 101
http://www.newsweek.com/id/76368


















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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #89
111. The vast majority of Pathans do not speak Arabic...
They are MUCH more likely to speak English as a 2nd language.

However, if they have worked in the Gulf, they may have picked-up a little.

The rote memorization of the madrassas does not usually produce fluency at all.
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lastliberalintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
52. This is really not necessary
This was just a gaffe, mistake, misspeak, whatever you want to call it, and ALL the candidates have them after so long on the campaign trail. If you want to legitimately criticize Obama for positions on that part of the world, his stance towards Pakistan would be a real topic of discussion. But I don't think we actually discuss issues on this site anymore...
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
55. What language do Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri speak?
I'm sure many of their associates speak that same language as well. Out of all the dumb things presidential candidates say this doesn't rank as anything special.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. Thats not what he meant.
He messed it up.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:12 PM
Original message
Oh well if you say so then sure. That settles that. n/t
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Dont try to work your way out of your sorry slime work
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. Nice, thats not what he meant.
He was trying to make the connection with Iraqi translators being sent to Afghan..won't work, he knows it, hopefully. He gaffed, get over it.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #65
70. Do you deny such a connection?
That is to say, do you deny both:

A. That the United States has Arabic specialists in an area crawling with foreign fighters, criminals, and terrorists who speak Arabic as their primary language?

B. That resources spent on training new Arabic specialists for Iraq could instead be spent on training Pashto specialists for Afghanistan?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. While I admire your telepathic link with Mr. Obama, you really got nothin' here.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #64
78. Listen to him again.
You will hear him try and catch himself after the mistake only to make it worse.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #78
83. I hear him stopping, and then expanding on a correct statement to make it broader.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #57
98. This is absolute ignorance Arabic is the common 2nd language in Afghanistan: English is in India
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #98
136. Not anymore
It goes Pasthu, Dari, Urdu, and then English.
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Yotun Donating Member (346 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
56. Again: He QUALIFIED his statement to include the actual Afgani dialects, EXACTLY because he realised
it's be spun against him! Provide the full transcript ot the answer to the question, becuase I remember hearing him, and finding it very impressive how we made sure that he explained what he meant so as NOT to be misunderstood as saying that Afgans talk Arabic!!!
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. He was in another direction.
He was trying to say weneed to take our resources from Iraq in Afghan, he did'nt make the connection with the translators precisely because he remembered they don't speak Arabic. He messed it up.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. So now you're admitting that Obama does know what languages they speak in Afghanistan?
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #66
72. Evidently he is mixed up.
he was trying to connect the tramnslators from Iraq to Afghan..no. We don't need them there.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #72
76. He is mixed up? You are speaking some jibbrish there
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #72
81. Why is he mixed up? He said we need Arabic translators, as well as Pashto and Farsi. That's true.
He said that Iraq is preventing us from having more translators in Afghanistan. That's true. I'm glad he's bringing up points that Sen. Clinton is ignoring.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #72
96. This is absolute ignorance Arabic is the common 2nd language in Afghanistan: English is in India
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Arrowhead2k1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #61
67. I think your strawman is falling apart...
Too bad, so sad.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
71. I thought many muslims learned Arabic for religious reasons?
Like Hebrew for the Jews and Latin for the Catholics? A unifying language of sorts.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #71
74. I know that its mandatory that you learn Arabic in Iranian schools
And yes if you are a muslim then you pray 5 times a day in Arabic and read quran which is also written in Arabic.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #71
77. They do.
But you don;t need them to communicate to the Afghan people. You need the other dialects.
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thewiseguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #77
79. We dont need translators in Afghanistan to communicate with people on the street
Do you think Americans are patrolling the streets of Kabul?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #77
82. And you propose that we never need to understand what foreign fighters and terrorists
are saying? I would think that being able to understand their communications--and understand what defectors and captured fighters are telling us--would be a good thing.
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Arrowhead2k1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #82
86. Look, you can't reason with desperation.
It's obvious, they're desperately trying to sink his campaign right now again. They ain't gonna let little things like facts and reason get in their way when there are morons out there who will take them at their word.
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DerekJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #77
92. You know you're an idiot right?!! You know the history of the Arab fighters who went to Afghan to
fight the soviet (10's of thousands of them), many settled there, and some developed some radical ideas that we need change in the Muslim countries, and the only way to do that is by violent force like what they did to the soviets. Out of those al Qaeda emerged. You do understand that those factions are the actual threat to the U.S.? Not the Afghani, not the Taliban, Not Iraq, not the Muslim nations.

Who do you want most to be able to intercept, translate, and talk to?!

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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #77
94. This is absolute ignorance Arabic is the common 2nd language in Afghanistan: English is in India
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #71
97. (notes that people learn latin and greek for more important reasons than religion)
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. Hebrew, too. There's a whole country of people who speak that nowadays.
Same with Greek.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #99
103. When I say "greek", I'm talking about a different language than you are....
I don't know enough about hebrew to know whether or not it's in-all-essentials the same language as in ancient days - I had the feeling it actually *is* the same language.

I have no idea why I have that feeling though.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #103
107. Hebrew is actually an interesting case.
Edited on Wed May-14-08 12:52 PM by Occam Bandage
It's quite similar to Classical Hebrew--because it actually is Classical Hebrew, which was revived, modernized, streamlined, and fleshed out with modern vocabulary by the emerging Jewish nationalist/literary movements in the 19th century.

(Oh, and Christos Anesti!)
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #107
113. What'd you say about my momma!
:P
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #97
100. Of course.
I was simply making a parallel.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #100
104. Yup. Just wanted it noted for the record. :)
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
84. Soooo... I guess he's NOT muslim today then?
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Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
88. But in any language, Hillary has lost.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
106. If you have any regard for the truth you should post an apology
or you should instruct the people of India Pakistan and Bengladesh to stop speaking English


In south Asia it is common for disparate tribal groups to communicate with each other in a non native 2nd language. As everyone knows you navigate in India in English.

In Afghanistan it is Arabic.


Here are the facts

1) Afghanistan has no native language that unifies the country

2) Arabic is the most common 2nd language

3) the UN uses it to communicate with refugees as it is impossible to have interpreters in a dozen local tribal languages

4) UCLA uses Arabic to train people going to Afghanistan

5) UAE troops are very effective in Afghanistan because they share the same religion and can communicate in Arabic
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7318731.stm

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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #106
112. Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, and English are MUCH MUCH more common 2nd languages among
Edited on Wed May-14-08 01:13 PM by JCMach1
Afghans.

Punjabi music and Bollywood (and Lollywood movies) have more linguistic sway over Afghanistan these days. Plus MILLIONS of refugees lived in Pakistan over the past 30yrs as regugees. Most learned English and Urdu there.

However, I suspect you will wait a long time for the OP to apologize...


This was just a slight error on Obama's part... Really doesn't even rise to the level of gaffe.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #112
114. The cultural impact of Bollywood is marginal as their movies are translated for local
consumption. Urdu has an but is confined geographically to the south and the urban areas. The idea that Hindi is used as a second language in Afghanistan is laughable. You were better off sticking with Urdu. Farsi has a wider use in the commercial world. In any case there are no demands for Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi translators.

The need for translators is for Pashtu, Dari and Arabic. Where do you think we should find Pashtu and Dari speakers. The fact is that there is no supply of Pashtu or Dari speakers. There is a supply of Arabic translators, we teach Arabic in universities and there are large number of Arabic immigrants that we could choose from. Farsi speakers could also be used. Again there wouldn't mass numbers of Farshi speakers but almost every area would have some.

But you have a basic misunderstanding on the need of interpreters and second language speakers for the international agencies. It is not a question of numbers it is a question of geographic use. It is true that Urdu is more common on the south it is also a fact that no one in the northern half of the country speaks urdu or other Indo based languages. You can go into any village anywhere in the country and find a few fluent in Arabic if only the religious teachers.

You would be hard based to find Urdu speakers in Turkmen, a dialect in the north with 500,000 speakers, that speak Urdu, Punjabi or English.Like many of the tribal dialects their script is based on Arabic not Hindu. Uzbeck and Tajiki are also Arabic based written languages.


But all of that really is beyond the point. The question really is whether or not Arabic is perceived by the government as an effective 2nd language tool in Afghanistan.

The answer is yes

quote
America has a problem of linguistic security: We don't understand the languages of our attackers. Just a week after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was offering $38 an hour for translators of Arabic or of Pashto, the language of about 35 percent of the people of Afghanistan, including the Taliban. Many in Afghanistan, where bilingualism is widespread, understand both.
unquote

http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~kdickson/arabicdbarron.html


Now if you are able to dispute the above that is fine, I know that when we hired translators to work in the refugee centers in Afghanistan we used Pashto/Arabic speakers. But that is irrelevent. Obama did not make a gaffe he reflected the government's understanding of what is needed in Afghanistan.


Commercial translation services in Afghanistan offer Dari, Pashto and Arabic not Urdu or chuckle Hindi.
http://www.afghantranslation.com /

quote
Similarly the language combinations that we support have also grown from our initial offering of Dari, Pashto and Arabic. As was the case in the past, we still focus on the few languages that we specialize in and have built an expertise for, but we are also constantly expanding our portfolio. By establishing partnerships and acquiring resources globally we are exposing our exceptional resources to a wider client base.
unquote.


The use of Arabic translator is not a gaffe. Just because Arabic is not a native language of Afghanistan does not mean that it is not an effective language to use as a commonly known 2nd language over a wide geographic area. The proposition contained in the OP has been completely disproved. The author has provided no support in its defense but has run away and left the thread in tatters.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #114
120. Sorry, but you are wrong... I am speaking of real Afghans
I know and have met (there are many here in the UAE and MOST barely understand Arabic)... Please understand that is within an 'Arab' country.
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Blu Dahlia Donating Member (362 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
115. brilliant move. gobama!
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
118. And Kerry called our soldiers stupid for getting stuck in Iraq.

Your argument here is pretty much the same as that smear against Kerry.

Of course, Hillary *did* join the Republics in smearing Kerry.


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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
119. LOLOLOL!!!!
:rofl:

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 03:01 AM
Response to Original message
122. I heard him. He is good when he follows a teleprom. but he just rambled
on and sound like Bush.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #122
132. You could have read this thread. OP's ignorance was torn to shreds.
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mckeown1128 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
127. They speak a medley of languages....
several dozens... Al Queda speaks arabic, because most of the leaders are from Saudi Arabia.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #127
133. Al Queda's leaders are NOT mainly from Saudi Arabia....
they are mainly Egyptians.

UBL is a Saudi, obviously, but most of the senior leadership behind him are all Egyptians that use to be part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). The EIJ became part of Al Queda after Zawahiri decided to join UBL for monetary reasons.



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mckeown1128 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #133
138. It's a good mix...but my point still stands...
they speak Arabic.
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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
128. BITCH! BRAV-F*CKING-O!
Genius!

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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
130. What breathtaking ignorance. "Pashto/Dari/Arabic Linguist"

In the time it took you to post that nonesense, you could have looked it up and spared yourself the embarrassment of saying something so incredibly stupid.

Yes they speak Arabic in Afghanistan Virginia. Yes the military and fovernment have been sending Arabic linguists there for years.

Way to confirm things. I shudder really.



Job Description

ICiCS
Cryptologic Linguist 3 - Afghanistan
Cryptologic Linguist 3
Pashto/Dari/Arabic Linguist - Afghanistan
Clearance: None Required
Location: Elkridge, Afghanistan
Status: Full-time employee of CACI

Opportunity:
Review and analyze translated foreign language source material. Assigned broad area of translation responsibility and may delegate portions of work to lower level personnel. Transcribe/translate advanced level graphic and/or voice language material into modern American English in either verbatim or gisted format. Provide quality control of transcripts and translations of more junior linguists. Operate customer furnished transcription equipment in accordance with operational guidelines. Draft SIGINT reports and provide quality control of reports of more junior personnel. Develop and implement translation methodology and quality control procedures and standards. Prepare and present technical briefings to customer and upper management. Share language expertise with Government or Contractor Language and Intelligence Analysts, and other personnel as required.

Required Experience:
Requires a bachelors degree or equivalent experience, and five to seven years of relevant experience.
All positions will be in Afghanistan supporting OEF-A operations.
Consecutive interpretation, into, from and between the required language(s);
Written translation of general and technical material into and from English and SCRL;
Interpreting aptitude, while maintaining integrity and meaning of material;
Transcription of aural SCRL language material into written form;
Ability to write and speak using clear and concise grammar to and from the required
(SCRLs);
Capable of providing idiomatic translations of non-technical material using correct syntax
an expression from English to the SCRL language(s) or vice versa;
Ability to conduct consecutive and accurate interpretation and translations of on-going
conversations and activities;
Familiarity with and ability to conduct oneself in accordance with local culture and
customs;
Ability to deal unobtrusively with local populace;
Familiarity with and adherence to standards of conduct as prescribed by U.S. Army
instructions, this contract, and laws of host nation(s) in performing work assignments;
Willing and able to live and work in harsh (to include combat) environments;
Ability to provide the cultural and ethnic context of their translations and interpretations
and advise the supported commanders and organizations on the cultural and ethnic significance
of statements, conversations, situations, documents, etc.; and
Ancillary professional skills (e.g. medical, scientific, general education, engineering, legal).

Languages: Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian, Persian-Afghan-Dari, Pashto, and Pashto with Dari. (Must possess native or near native proficiency and a 4/4 rating on the DLPT.)

http://www.intelligencecareers.com/jobs/jobview.cfm?job...



There are a ton more where that was posted.
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Beacool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
135. Yeah, and we also have 57 states.
Nice to know we are about to nominate the most experienced guy in the field.

:rofl:
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
139. Oh heavens, did he lie about what language they speak in Afghanistan?
Oh no!

Not THAT!

Let's make sure to mark subsequent statements of his in which he understandably errs or misspeaks. Certainly those will be LIES, too. I mean, he did say not too long ago that there are 57 states in the union - that was a LIE! Hence, he must be a LIAR!

Furthermore, we'll have every on-air pundit supporting Clinton and McCain repeat over and over again about what a liar he is. Until it sticks in the American electorate's minds that Barack Obama is a liar... (for making a simple mistake.)


I mean, don't you know that Obama misspoke, er, I mean LIED?







((Yes, this is sarcasm.))
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
141. Well, that does it.
I'm not going to support him any more.
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