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Discuss about language(s) in English

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PostAuthor: ideas » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:27 pm

While I agree on some parts of the article, the writer has missed out one important factor. The lack of a unified Kurdish language has created gaps between the unity of the Kurds. That can be illustrated not only back home but even on this forum. Most Kurds today are bilingual so there is no reason for us not to learn our respective dialects and a unified Kurdish language. I'm not suggesting that we scrap the wonderful Kurdish dialects, no, I'm simply asking the Kurdish nation to work on a unified language and alphabet to further enhance the communication and brotherhood between all the segments of the Kurdish nation and thus prosper together as one. While this approach is a humble one I don't believe it will look at the core of the problem; I speak from experience when I say that I can't understand Northern Kurds, which upsets me. We all refer to ourselves as Kurds and we have a right to communicate with each other as Kurds, and to achieve that we need a unified language.

Here is the article.

Note: the title of this thread is a South Kurdish expression which means "Know what you do not, and know what you do "

No nation needs to have a standard language in order to exist as a nation. This includes the Kurds. The Kurdish nation with all it diversity in culture, history, environment, literature and dialects has existed as long as the history has been recorded.

Kurdish nation includes those who call themselves Kurds whether or not they can presently speak Kurdish language in one or more of its rich dialects. Thanks to various coercive measures employed by the states that presently administer Kurdish homeland, a large portion of the Kurds can no longer speak the language. But, language being a one of the most important defining factors in the life of any nation, requires a preservation and foster of the Kurdish language and its dialects.

In the meantime, those maintaining a anti- and pro nation-state building sentiments are politicising the Kurdish language issue too far and unjustifiably so. The aspiration of building a nation-state needs to be addressed by a popular referendum, by a body of laws, by the composition of a constitution and an enactment of the people's will, not a never-ending political discourse and squabble. Whether the reform of Kurdish language to better server its speakers helps the disparate segments of Kurdish nation converge, is independent from the logistics of physically constructing and legitimately establishing the geographical boundaries for a country named Kurdistan.

Kurdish language needs having a defined mission and time to develop it. This includes the establishment of certain standards in writing the language and expressing it in its rich cluster of dialects. One way to achieve this is by promoting all dialects of Kurdish but using one single alphabet to write them all. A strong, workable, feasible and popular one will naturally find its way to become a link for all of them. This is the way it worked for Spanish, Italian and many other sister languages of Kurdish, but they created an environment for it. Many of the dual standard languages mentioned in the appealing letter have one thing in common and that is their "Unified Alphabet System."

This is the first time in modern history that Kurds are running their own affairs. KRG needs to take time, debate and establish a strong and capable institute to workout all the practical aspects. One shall not be afraid to reform and undo the past mistake found in the relatively short time of experience in Kurdish writing systems. With a relatively low literacy rates among Kurds in their national tongue and all the modern world experiences available to us, we can only be the winners by planing our future. I refer to Prince Jeladet Bedir Xan who beautifully put this in word in 1932:

"As I have noted before, the Kurdish nation will converge via a unified Kurdish language. The prerequisite of a unified Kurdish language is a unified Kurdish alphabet. This means that the Kurdish scholars and the literati need to develop a writing system that allows all speakers hailing from every Kurdish dialect to use that writing system."

We need responsible media to choose words wisely and make an effort to not alienate other Kurdish dialects. The media at this stage of Kurdistan's history plays a great role in public education. We shall work towards a more flexible usage of language for a better common understanding rather than isolated dialectal based.

I stand for a Multi-dialectal but Unified Alphabet language policy.

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