Shekhani language; the 20th language FLI takes up

FLI reaches another milestone by taking up the Kataviri language, the 20th language the organization has targeted to preserve and promote. FLI conducted a survey during the second week of October in Shekhandeh, Bamburet- Chitral to find out what was the exact status of orality, identity and literacy of the language among the community by using of its famous tools, the Sustainable Use Model (SUM). Six to eight people including young, aged and learned people from the Kati community attended the sessions throughout the six days. The Kataviri language was found vigorous in orality with strong position on identity scale but lagging behind in literacy. Currently, the language lacks a writing system.

The Kataviri language is spoken in hilly peripheries of Chitral valley, sharing the borders with Afghanistan from where the speakers immigrated to the area some 130 years back. The areas the language is spoken include Shekhandeh, Gobor, Langorbat, Badugal, Urtsun etc. in Chitral. The language is called Shekhani by locals which is a group name of Nooristani languages spoken in Chitral; Kataviri and Kamviri, however the native speakers like to be identified as Kati speakers.

Based on the survey outcomes, FLI is planning to strengthen the language in literacy area by helping the community in placing a writing system for their language. For the purpose the basic orthography and writers’ workshop for the community people will be held who will be turning their purely oral language into a written one. FLI has so far enabled hundreds of people from 19 language communities in northern Pakistan to document and develop their native languages and Shekhani is the 20th language FLI has started to develop by enabling its speakers in language documentation.     

Shekhani language; the 20th language FLI takes up FLI reaches another

FLI reaches another milestone by taking up the Kataviri language, the 20th language the organization has targeted to preserve and promote. FLI conducted a survey during the second week of October in Shekhandeh, Bamburet- Chitral to find out what was the exact status of orality, identity and literacy of the language among the community by using of its famous tools, the Sustainable Use Model (SUM). Six to eight people including young, aged and learned people from the Kati community attended the sessions throughout the six days. The Kataviri language was found vigorous in orality with strong position on identity scale but lagging behind in literacy. Currently, the language lacks a writing system.

The Kataviri language is spoken in hilly peripheries of Chitral valley, sharing the borders with Afghanistan from where the speakers immigrated to the area some 130 years back. The areas the language is spoken include Shekhandeh, Gobor, Langorbat, Badugal, Urtsun etc. in Chitral. The language is called Shekhani by locals which is a group name of Nooristani languages spoken in Chitral; Kataviri and Kamviri, however the native speakers like to be identified as Kati speakers.

Based on the survey outcomes, FLI is planning to strengthen the language in literacy area by helping the community in placing a writing system for their language. For the purpose the basic orthography and writers’ workshop for the community people will be held who will be turning their purely oral language into a written one. FLI has so far enabled hundreds of people from 19 language communities in northern Pakistan to document and develop their native languages and Shekhani is the 20th language FLI has started to develop by enabling its speakers in language documentation.     

Literacy Day Observed in N.Pakistan

UNESCO has been celebrating September 8 every year as International Literacy Day to draw the world’s attention towards eradication of illiteracy from the world. FLI has been observing this day together with its partner organizations in their respective areas. This year the event was sponsored by FLI in three language communities of northern Pakistan; Palula in Chitral, and Gawri and Torwali in Swat. The respective community organizations invited community elders, opinion makers, influencers, prayer leaders, students and parents to the event and used the opportunity for awareness raising. Speakers shed light on the importance of literacy, especially among women focusing on literacy in the mother tongue. The community elders were also provided chance to speak on the occasion who pledged to support FLI’s and its partner organizations’ vision to empower our communities by equipping them with education. This event has become a regular part of our literacy ventures in our target area which provides our partners the opportunity to meet maximum community people and cement their relationship with them.

Language Documentation Workshop in Chitral

Mother Tongue Initiative for Education and Research (MIER), a local language development organization in Chitral held a Language Documentation workshop in collaboration with FLI in Chitral yesterday. The chairperson of linguistic department of the University of North Texas, Ms Sadaf Munshi facilitated the training. More that twenty participants who represented seven languages, spoken in Chitral benefited from the event.

The detailed news, published in a local online newspaper can be read by CLICKING HERE

FLI builds the capacity of Textbook developers/ reviewers

Four languages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province are being covered this year under the capacity building training by FLI. These languages have been taken up by the KP Govt to include in govt school curriculum. First training took place in Chitral in the last week of June 2019, for Khowar speaking government school teachers. Next training will be for Hindko, then for Pashto and lastly for Seraiki language will be held in their respective areas. The participants will be reviewing the textbooks to be developed in their languages.

For detailed news, published in a local online newspaper CLICK here

Language Vitality Survey for Burushaski language concludes

A language vitality survey for Burushaki speech community of Taus, Yasin valley in Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan was conducted from June 12 to 17, 2019 under Sustainable Use Model (SUM) workshops. The aim was to see how much the language was sustainable in areas of Orality, Identity and Literature in the above said speech community. The Burushaski, considered as an i[i]solate language by the linguists, spoken by more than [ii]70,000 people in the Hunza and Ghizer areas of GB is one of the literary languages of this country as good amount of religious literature for Ismaili sect of Islam has been developed by some local preachers. According to www.ethnolongue.com the total speakers of this language are estimated to be more than 110,000 people. However, the language faces some issues regarding the standardization of orthography in GB. Different groups use different writing systems to document their heritage language which hinders the promotional work within the community. In addition, the Burushaski language has been surrounded by the Khowar language and Burushaski speaking children are found to be simultaneous [iii]bilingual which pose great threat of language shift.

The workshop was attended by five participants who later on conducted the survey in the community. This was first ever intervention of FLI for Burushaski language. The GB government has started initiatives to make the local languages including Burushaski as part of the primary school curriculum and FLI is optimistic to support this initiative. The need of holding a Writers’ Workshop was felt during the workshop which was also demanded by the participants. FLI will proceed with this demand once the GB government resolves the issues relating to this language’s writing system.


[i] www.ethnolongue.com

[ii] Participants of the workshop

[iii] Participants’ community survey

Third book of the year published

Cover of recently published book


Printing books in the indigenous languages of Northern Pakistan is one of the activities of a great significance FLI has been regularly pursuing by encouraging its trainees from various language communities. These books serve well the purpose of language documentation. The latest poetry book, in Ormuri language, written by Mr. Rozi Khan Burki is the third book FLI published in the current year. Earlier a book was printed this year in Gawarbati, a language spoken in Arandu valley, Chitral. The second book FLI published was in the Indus Kohistani language, spoken in the Kohistan area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Yidgha and Kohistani languages get Android Keyboard

FLI has achieved another landmark in the promotion of endangered languages of Pakistan. It has developed Android keyboards for two more endangered languages of its target area, northern Pakistan. With the development of this milestone the Yidgha, spoken in the Lotkuh valley of district Chitral and Indus-Kohistani, spoken in the Indus Valley of Kohistan, KP have joined Shina and Khowar languages for which FLI has already developed keyboards and that are being used by their community people.  These keyboards which are ads free and very simple to use, have been made available, like earlier one, on Google Play Store for those in the community who use cell phone. The keyboard for Khowar has got green ticket on the Store for been heavily downloaded and used. Below are the links of the keyboards

  1. Yidgha keyboard link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fli.yidghakeyboard
  2. Indus-Kohistani keyboard link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fli.induskohistanikeyboard
  3. Khowar keyboard link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fli.jalaluddin.flikhowarkeyboard
  4. Shina keyboard link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fli.jalaluddin.shinakeyboard

keyboard2

 

New book published in an indigenous language

FLI printed another book in another indigenous language of northern Pakistan,, Kohistani, also called Indus Kohistani (IK). The launching ceremony of this proverb book, collected and translated into Urdu and English by Talib Jan was held on April 10, 2019 in Islamabad. Talib Jan has been working for the promotion of his native language for more than a decade.   Indus Kohistani is the major language of the west bank of the Indus River.  There are two main dialects of Indus Kohistani – one that is spoken along the Indus River, in settlements such as Seo, Pattan and Jijal. The other is spoken in the Duber and Kandia Valleys, which are more remote.  FLI has been working with this community for a long time and many interventions to develop and promote this language are underway. FLI also support a mother tongue based pre-school system in this community. The printing of proverb book in Indus Kohistani will serve the language and community in long future. 57129680_2317603271610926_7450056915956006912_n

Mother Language Literature Festival in Islamabad

The Mother Language Literature Festival has been a regular component of cultural activities in Islamabad since 2016. The event becomes more popular among literary people each year. What more important is the venue the two day yearly event takes place in, is what people call the heart of Islamabad, the Lok Virsa, one of the few cultural premises owned by the federal government. Hundreds of mother tongue activists, researchers, teachers, students, writers, poets and language lovers gather in this place every second weekend of February relating the event with International Mother Language Day. Literature in minor languages are put on display, the new writers’ compilations are launched and local languages are discussed and new promises are made to strengthen them are some of the regular activities of the event. FLI’s people also take part in the event. Muhammad Zaman, the Senior Advocacy Officer of FLI participated in a panel discussion took place on Feb 16. 2019. The event lasted for two days. This session was moderated by the head of one of FLI’s partner organizations and there was another lady panelist who has been part of FLI’s training activities. IMG_8591