The Berber language - one word for a language with many distinct dialects
Berber is mainly used for oral language purposes.
A special characteristic of the Berber language is the fact that it is primarily used for spoken language while the written form has virtually no use. There is, however, a written form called "Tifinagh". This is a type of Runic alphabet, which historically was used to engrave short texts into slabs of rock. Today it is used for things like inscriptions and other decorative purposes. However, there is no literary tradition. Efforts to develop a single written form for this language have only been made since the 1980’s with the trend of reverting to the Latin alphabet. The result of these efforts is the formulation of a standardized form of the Berber language with consistent grammar and vocabulary. The efforts to promote and protect the Berber language in Algeria where the confidence of the Berber population has already been strengthened by introducing compulsory education under French colonial rule are especially very noteworthy. This can best be seen in their concentrated attempts to differentiate themselves from the part of the population characterized by Arabic-oriented culture and language and to maintain their own identity. Even after achieving independence, the fight to protect the Berber language was ongoing, and it has been successful: Today, there are Berber television and radio stations and the Berber language is even a subject taught in schools.
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