|It is commonly known that integrating dominant languages in a national
development policy can facilitate their implementation, whereas excluding them can hinder
it. In spite of this, there are still many countries, such as Mauretania, where the choice
of educational languages is not recognized. These countries do not base the educational
process on the language that could best facilitate the transmission of educational
knowledge and communications. In Mauretania, for exemple, the linguistic situation is
relatively simple. In this country, the following Mauretanian dialects and languages are
recognized: classical Arabic, modern Arabic, Hassaniya (country arabic'dialect), and
Berber. Some Black African languages are also recognized, namely, Pulaar, Soninké, Wolof
and Bambara. Furthermore, it is also possible to find French dialects and varieties such
as academic French, local French and popular French.
Hassaniya is, however, the dominant language of the country; it is also the mother tongue of the Maures, the most important community in number. This language is also spoken and understood by most of the members of the other communities. Hissaniya is in full expansion, because of many factors, including its relationship to Arabic language Islam and Coran language, large number of speakers and the Mauretanians' mobility. The Arabic, Pulaar, Soninké and Wolof are all recognized in Mauretania's constitution as national languages; Arabic is also an official language whereas this status was granted to French in 1991. In Mauretania's language planning, all these languages are taken into consideration, especially in teaching and language uses. But., the mother tongue of the Maures, Hissaniya, as well as Pulaar, Soninké and Wolof which are mother tongues of the Black Africans, are not taken into consideration in the Constitution nor in language planning. So, as far as education, literacy, teaching and training in Mauretania are concerned, Arabic is used, which is not the mother tongue of its occupants. The Mauretanian communitiy is now making a political claim to recognize Hassaniya on a constitutional basis and to include it in any future language planning.