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Is Urdu language on the verge of extinction?

By Khalida Aamir


English language is colonizing the world, and these days knowing English is an integral part of life. Cultural, political, and technical influences from abroad are not essentially negative; on the contrary, they can often prove to be enriching.

The influence of English language has come to be a threat to our Urdu language and somehow our culture. I personally believe that we should have Urdu as an important subject in schools. Our language is our identity and to preserve it is our responsibility.

Developed countries like Japan and China have their national language in schools and even they prefer to write in their own language. China even has its technologies in Chinese language, like its search engine Biadu and social site Sina Weibo.

Even Brazilians use Portuguese language in schools, offices etc. They do learn English language, but for that they have to go special schools and not every one learns English. I have seen many of my friends from China, Korea, and Brazil who use their own language on social networking sites like Facebook. Why are we so much obsessed with English than? Is speaking English a fashion trend or a need?

Over the past few decades, English has increasingly come to dominate in research and higher education. In Pakistan we have three types of schools. Firstly, those school who have Oxford syllabus and have highly qualified teachers. Secondly, we have schools where English and Urdu are being taught, but English is given more importance, due to which students get in between Urdu and English and speak a mix of Urdu and English. Third, we have the government owned school/colleges, where students learn Urdu and somehow English.

If our country doesn’t have a proper and defined language use in schools, how come a student will be able to have fluency over a language, be it Urdu or English? Students who go through schooling in Urdu are more at loss. What if we have all subjects in Urdu during our primary education? At least we will be able to speak or write Urdu well.

I fear this English phobia is going to cause the death of Urdu. When a language is no longer used in a certain area of expertise, it ceases to develop as a means of communication in this area. We are so much going through this phase in Pakistan.

The language issue has been very well narrated by SAGHEER SAGAR Turbat in Dawn, especially the importance of mother tongue.

“COUNTRIES like China, the US and many others have made compulsory their own mother tongue in their respective educational institutions. As a result, they are at the peak of success and prosperity. In other words, everyone wants to speak and write his or her own mother tongue, but unfortunately our own beloved languages have been neglected by our own people,” Mr. Sagar writes in his article. I personally agree with him because according to linguists, thousands of languages will disappear within the next hundred years.

There is no doubt that having a good command on English is important and it could give us better opportunities to move ahead in life. Honestly, I am not an English or Urdu Savvy; I struggle in both languages. I am not against English language, but I just wonder why don’t we treat Urdu as an important subject?

The views expressed by the writer, the reader comments, the perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes expressed through this blog are those of individuals and participating users, and are not necessarily aligned with the views, policies, standards, and practices of Mountain TV.

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