Persian facing challenge from, Chinese, Korean languages in Pakistan: Academician
In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in Islamabad, Ali Reza Shaad-aram said that people in Pakistan believe that learning Chinese or Korean would guarantee them better job opportunities.
It is pertinent to mention that Persian has been the official language of the sub-continent for centuries and the Urdu language was originated from Persian.
The Persian language was replaced by English when British took over the control of the area in the 18th century.
Pakistan society has deep roots in Persian language and culture and there is a strong bond between Iran and Pakistan due to same language and culture.
People in Pakistan speak in Urdu, but they are fully aware that their language originated from Persian language and no doubt Persian is the mother of Urdu.
Persian cannot be separated from Urdu literature and poetry as most of writers and authors of Pakistan have published their works in Persian language.
About 70 percent of the work of Pakistan's national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal is in Persian language.
Even the national anthem of Pakistan is written in Persian.
When Pakistan came into being in 1947, Persian and Arabic languages were taught in schools and colleges. When former Pakistani ruler General Zia ul Haq took over the government the Persian language level as a compulsory subject was reduced to eight class.
Now Persian has been ignored in all educational institutions of Pakistan even the Urdu language is facing lot of difficulty. The Urdu used in Pakistan right now is full of English words and could become an extinct language if proper steps are not taken to save the language.
There was a time when teaching Persian language was a matter of great honor and all the writers, poets and authors have strong grip on Persian language.
Expressing his views, Dr. Ali Reza Shaad-aram said that right now there are 60 students enrolled in Persian department at NUML as there are 500 students in Chinese department and 200 in Korean department, respectively.
He added that people in Pakistan believe that learning Chinese or Korean language would help them find a better job.
“Most of the products available in the world today are produced in China or Korea that is why people prefer to learn these languages to get a good job,” he said.
The professor went on to say that unfortunately private sector of Iran and Pakistan have not played an effective role in promotion of Persian language in Pakistan.
He said that traders of Iran and Pakistan can be better connected to each other through Persian language and that could also play an important role in enhancing trade and economic ties between the two friendly states.
Dr. Ali Reza Shaad-aram demanded formation of special translation centers to keep the literature of Persian and Urdu alive.
The Iranian Professor added that modern technology should be utilized for promotion of Persian language in Pakistan and online dialogue and e-library should also be established which can be easily accessed by Pakistan teachers and students.