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Language Toys 

Currently, the design and production of most language toys are by non-Arabic speaking companies which results in unintended conflicts with our culture and language. My aim is to design toys, especially for the Arabic language, as an Arab designer myself, to truly present the depth and richness of the Arabic language, highlighting all it can offer.​


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Arabic language learning toys are simply copying the same play methods and materials used for Latin languages; most of them use the one-to-one letter connection method. With Latin Letters, there are two ways of writing each letter: capital letters and small case letters. However, in Arabic there are four ways to write each letter depending on its placement in the word - beginning, middle, or end -  and the letters that come before or after. With the one-to-one method being copied to Arabic language learning toys, children cannot form a proper Arabic word by placing separate letters next to each other, let alone the formation of more complex sentences.

Although the visuals of letters is a major issue in language toys, it is not the only one. A different aspect of Arabic that gets neglected in toy design is the different varieties as Arabic is a diglossic language.  Classical Arabic, or Fus-ha, is the official spoken and written language, used in formal circumstances, or high situations (Chart 1)  such as the education system and government correspondence. However, the varietal characteristic of the language comes in the many dialects spoken across the Arab World. Everyday language, used in low situations (Chart1) has been shaped and changed across the years in a geographical sense resulting in many dialects. Chart 2 differentiate between types of colloquial varieties of Arabic.

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