Sunday , February 19 2017

Pakistan´s regional languages face looming extinction

Pakistan´s regional languages face looming extinction

PESHAWAR: around a hundred women have gathered in a neighborhood centre in Peshawar, the center of Pakistan´s fabled northwest — but they’re conversing in a dialect incomprehensible to the Pashtun ethnic group that dominates the area.

instead they’re changing anecdotes and ideas of their native Hindko (literally, “the language of India”) at a conference organised to advertise the increasingly more marginalised language.

Pakistan´s 200 million folks discuss 72 provincial and regional tongues, together with professional languages Urdu and English, in step with a 2014 parliamentary paper on the topic that classed 10 as both “in hassle” or “close to extinction”.

in keeping with students, Hindko´s decline because the gold standard language of Peshawar city began in 1947 when Hindu and Sikh merchants left the city after the partition of British India.

recognized for its curious aphorisms comparable to “Kehni aan dhiye nu, nuen kan dhar” (“I´m speaking to my daughter, my daughter-in-law should pay attention”) — which is meant to convey a harsh message however indirectly), it best has some two million audio system throughout Pakistan as opposed to Pashto´s 26 million.

It has also transform a minority language within the metropolis of its start.

“Years and years of political unrest in Pakistan´s northwestern area and Afghanistan have adversely impacted our language and it has misplaced grounds to Pashto,” Salahudin, Chief executive of the Gandhara Hindko Board which organised the event, explained.

Some three million primarily Pashto speakers fled struggle from neighbouring Afghanistan during the last 35 years, whereas others are more recent migrants from other components of Khyber Pakhtunkwa province.

– lack of culture –

probably the most endangered of Pakistan´s dialects are now spoken by means of only some hundred people, akin to Domaaki, an Indo-Aryan languages limited to a handful of villages in far off northern Gilgit-Baltistan.

Even regional languages spoken via tens of millions like Sindhi and Punjabi are no longer as full of life as they as soon as had been.

“there may be not a single newspaper or journal printed in Punjabi for the 60 million-plus Punjabi audio system,” wrote journalist Abbas Zaidi in an essay, despite it being the language of the nationally revered Sufi poet Bulleh Shah and the native-tongue of high Minister Nawaz Sharif.

English has been viewed as the language of the elite in Pakistan since the us of a was based.

it is used at the best authentic ranges, regardless of the fact this excludes the vast majority of Pakistanis — many of whom, as a consequence of low literacy charges, don’t talk English smartly or in any respect, in line with major linguist Tariq Rahman.

Urdu, the commonest nationwide tongue and spoken as a second language by way of the vast majority of Pakistanis, has been relegated to the middle- and lower-stage halls of energy, whereas the commonly spoken regional languages — usually native to their speakers — will not be even taught in faculties.

“the end result is an underclass that continues to be out of any public policy making, its upward mobility an increasing number of restricted, and harbouring a deep feel of inferiority,” wrote Urdu poet Harris Khalique in a research paper.

“A majority of Pakistanis is unable to know car registration plates, many road indicators that are best in English, the signboards of shops and offices.”

– Taking a stand –

Some language activists have taken a stand, corresponding to Rozi Khan Baraki, a champion of the Urmari language of South Waziristan tribal zone that claims some 50,000 speakers.

At its height within the early 16th century, the language flourished across so much of Afghanistan and what’s now northwest Pakistan.

“but then individuals in [the area] began conversing Pashto and Persian as a result of the various speakers of these languages migrated to the fertile lands of this area.

“Migrations have also threatened our subsequent era, who being Internally Displaced people (IDPs) in Dera Ismail Khan, Peshawar, and Karachi have stopped speaking of their mother tongue.”

Baraki said to steer clear of extinction, neighborhood elders have asked their individuals to “force their youngsters to talk Urmari at homes, particularly individuals who have married ladies who talk different languages”.

“Our next generation is threatened, this language is going to die if we don´t protect it these days,” he said.

Rahman lauds such efforts however says the method of saving dying languages can handiest happen when it is taken up at a governmental stage as used to be the case with Welsh, a regional language of britain.

A lack of variety can have lasting ill results, he warns.

people who shift from their mom tongue to assimilate “try to become clones of any other group — the one which they need to imitate, and lose appreciate for his or her former team,” he said.

children find it difficult to keep up a correspondence to their elders, while folk stories and song might also fade from memory.

“There are names of herbs and native names for fruit and animals which can be lost. In some instances while you lose the identify of the herb the use is also forgotten,” he stated.

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