Forum for Language Initiatives (FLI) held a 5-day orthographic workshop for Ushojo Language Community in Bishigram, Swat, under Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program of USAID to provide the community with a program, comprising of documentation techniques and training for preservation and promotion of their mother tongue.
Up to 16 people including researchers, teachers and writers from the community participated in the workshop. Many of them had not been exposed to such programs earlier, especially concerning to linguistic issues while this workshop was first of its nature to be held in the area. The objectives of the same were, though not limited to discover the existing SOUNDS, peculiar SOUNDS unique to Ushojo language. Bringing out especial Characters from the language was another task and how to articulate that Characters into words and also placing Spelling for them.
Earlier, Ushojo used to be an oral dialect and speakers of this language had never dreamed of their mother tongue to be in written form. This workshop gave them a hope, a confidence and most importantly a way to document their language first then use it as a medium of communication like other languages. They vowed to form an organization for promotion of their mother tongue. The participants were facilitated by Mr. Inamullah, Mr. Naseem Haider and Mr. Farid Ahmad. FLI has plans to hold more programs for this language community in future.