Usage of Arabic Pidgin Language Among Saudi Arabic Speakers and Foreign Workers in Yanbu

Layal Tariq Bedairi, Suzan Al-Doubi


The purpose of this study was to investigate Arabic Pidgin language used among Saudi Arabic speakers and foreign workers in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. In Yanbu society, Saudi Arabic speakers and foreign workers use Arabic Pidgin language in their everyday conversations to communicate successfully. The research investigated the features and varieties of Arabic Pidgin language. Moreover, the study also identified Saudi Arabic speakers’ attitudes toward the use of Arabic Pidgin in Yanbu. The participants of the study were four foreign workers from different nationalities, Kenyan, Indian, and Indonesian and fifty-six Saudi Arabic speakers. Mixed-methods research was used. Therefore, the tools of collecting the data were observations, interviews, and a questionnaire. The observation of simultaneous conversations among Saudi Arabic speakers and foreign workers was the first tool. Foreign workers were interviewed and asked about their usage of Arabic Pidgin. The questionnaire was given to Saudi Arabic speakers to collect their attitudes about the use of Arabic Pidgin. The results of the study showed that the variety of using Arabic Pidgin by foreign workers and Saudis was very similar. Saudis and foreign workers used the same structures while speaking Arabic Pidgin. However, there was only one difference which was using of gender pronouns by foreign workers. The findings of the interviews showed the features of Arabic Pidgin which included insertion, adding, combining, and code-switching. The results of the questionnaire showed positive and negative attitudes toward Arabic Pidgin. Saudis had positive attitudes toward Arabic Pidgin for communication purposes. However, they had negative attitudes in the development of Arabic language.


pidgin, Arabic speakers, foreign workers, attitude

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