Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

1/27/09

Urdu is an alien language

Have you ever observed how the pronunciation of Kashmiri words is deliberately changed when they are mentioned in Urdu or even Hindi. The most common form is to end the Kashmiri words with an extended vowel. As if our Kashmiri language doesnt deserve the respect to leave the pronunciation intact. Take for instance the names of places when mentioning them to non-Kashmiri speakers. Every hot-blooded Kashmiri knows that it is Navvyut, and not the alien sounding 'Nowhatta' as the pronunication is changed in Urdu. Or even when the pronunciation of the names of things is changed such as 'Goor' becomes 'Gooroo' (milkman). These are the formally used names. What is even more foolish sounding is the variation perpetrated by non-speakers of the urdu language. They attempt to add an "oo" on every Kashmiri word to make it sound as though it were an urdu word; for instance, "csott" becomes "csottoo" (bread), csochworr (bagel) becomes csochworroo or even "thool" becomes "thooloo" (eggs). I have no clue how suffixing an "oo" at the end of a Kashmiri word will transform that word into an Urdu word or how it will make the slayer of the Kashmiri language sound more sophisticated.



32 comments:

  1. The first reaction, very humorous!
    A pretty important issue you have touched here. All this shows a shade of inferiority complex hidden somewhere, if anything. If a person speaking Kashmiri does not alter the pronunciation of a Hindi word, mother tongue influence aside, why does he do it with a Kashmiri word. It`s outrageous. We have to learn fast to be what we are - nothing more, nothing less!

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  2. Very true Basim. I think the inferiority complex keeps building right from the school days. In school, kids are instructed not to chat with each other in Kashmiri. 90% of the teenagers I come across in Srinagar only speak in Urdu, and perhaps couldnt engage in an intelligent conversation in Kashmiri, their mother tongue, unless they squeeze in mangled words of urdu into their speech. This is a shame.

    To be honest, when I want to know who is a proud Kashmiri, proud of their heritage, culture and language, I simply observe whether they prefer to speak in Kashmiri or not.

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  3. We dont even have a script for our language. Its probably the only language which is spoken but not written. In Kashmir everything has a deceitful past and a gloomy present. Our language is no exception.

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  4. And then there is this misplaced notion that kids talking fluent Urdu are better off. It`s all crap. I mean I never spoke Urdu at my home. Nor did my parents ever make an effort towards it. Masha Allah I don`t see an deficiencies in myself today. However the kids that do prefer Urdu as their primary language do suffer with a serious problem - they seldom become proficient with Kashmiri. Hence the age old torn up sentences...
    'Upar se neeche se daddy aaya'
    'Koot ko pawar hai, hum ko nahi'
    'Us ne ghar ke uppar se shadi ki'

    !!!!

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  5. How to say "hello", "goodbye" (between friends) and "i love you" in Kashmiri ?

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  6. @basim
    koot ko pawar hay hum ko nahi

    Priceless!!

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  7. LOL!!!!!
    With no offense to anyone, it all started with younger generation migrating from villages to Srinagar.People from rural areas have had lot of inferiority complex while speaking in Kashmiri with a different dialect than pervalent in Srinagar.To avoid being identified as from rural areas, they promoted wholesale usage of Urdu......But does not mean that people of urban areas are not to be blamed..I am not here for Gam vs Sheher....I have 18 months old son and trust me I have made a resolve to encourage him speak in English and Kashmiris as the prefered languages.........

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  8. Dear Ray.....Hello and Hi have no meanings.....Muslims greete by saying Salaamualykum.....Peace be on you....

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  9. @ray
    thats true, even youth greet each other with salamalaikum
    i guess that would be standard in all muslim countries

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  10. How do you say "i love you" in Kashmiri ?

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  11. ray I can't think of a phrase in Kashmiri that would fit saying "I love you" without the phrase sounding awkward. I think there isnt a phrase like that in Kashmiri. Maybe others can help..

    For the word love, it's 'Mohbatt' (as opposed to Mohabbat in urdu)

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  12. Koshur, it is the same thing in my language Telugu. One cannot say "i love you" without sounding very awkward. But one can say "i like you" and it is not that bad.

    I think "mohabbat" is Persian. "Salaamualykum" is Arabic.

    Can you tell me some nice phrases in pure Kashmiri ?

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  13. Ray......bago Nava...in kashmiri..Warai chhukhu......How are you......it is tough for you as Kashmiri is a very very different from any Indian language....Our language, georgraphy, climate, culture,..everything is different from India.At least Malyalam, Kanadda and Tamil has got some similarities....but even then, that should not stop us from being friends...

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  14. warai chhukhu ? :) cool.. Can you tell me more phrases..

    Also, thanks for asking me in Telugu..

    I think Telugu is much more distant to Hindi or Urdu than Kashmiri is. I think it is closer to the other South Indian languages. But seriously as a layman, I don't understand a word in Tamil or Malayalam.

    Is there a Kashmiri bloggers community to edit the Kashmiri wikipedia ? It currently looks very sorry :(

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  15. hi ray
    it gets complicated. That's why Kashmiri is hard to learn.
    For instance Aijaz correctly mentioned "Waray Chhuka" as How are you; but you can only use it for a male buddy of yours.

    For female sister or little girls it would be changed to "Waray Chhakhai"

    For elderly people and with respect "Waray Chiwhaz" ; or "tuhei chiwaz waray" or if you want to sound sophisticated you can say "sehte muqaddas os wuaz theek"

    And it gets even more complicated when some Kashmiris have to add "Maara" at end when.....ok lets not go there.

    all these mean how are you!

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  16. Thanks koshur. I think I am diverting your blog. Will be nice if you maintain a small page for non-native speakers to learn some phrases in Kashmiri :)

    I am very interested in languages. I was earlier working in automatic translation between languages by a computer. I have background in linguistics as well.

    Shall I tell you how to say hello, goodbye and i love you in the Basque language ? (Basque people are divided in between France and Spain).

    Caishow = hello, agur = goodbye, maita saitoot = I love you. You don't know when you might come across a Basque. So remember these words :))

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  17. yes never know when I might meet a like-minded female basque separatist to use maita saitoot. But i'll refer here when i do.

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  18. Did anyone check this website?
    www.kashmirilanguage.com

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  19. excellent!
    thankyou for suggesting that site
    i will be visiting that often

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  20. Do you Know that kashmiri's in US have authentic kashmiri language classes for their kids especially in bay area - thank God at least someone is trying to preserve the language and culture. I find people in kashmir ashamed when kids speak kashmiri whereas they are fine with hindi, urdu and proud with english.

    Value your own language

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  21. Hi All¨
    Some useful inputs as I see you all talking something besides politics.
    Kashmiri has had its own script called SHARDA. As the ancient culture was being decimated, the script too had a similar fate. Only a few priests amongst KPs know this now.
    After this, the script has been that of the ruling classes, mainly Urdu. Outside Kashmir, this language is also written down in Hindi.
    To translate 'I love you', one of them is 'Mye chhu chuon maay', besides 'Mye chhu tzye pyeth dyil aamut'.
    Regarding culture, all cultures brought together make it India. So the kashmiris who keep saying that Kashmiri is different from Indian culture are not aware, for example, that Sanskrit is much closer to Kashmiri than Tamil, and there are striking similarities between Kashmiri and Bengali. You have to look at the right places for answers without being embarrased.
    The second big influence has been Persian, no doubt and that makes the rest of Kashmiri of current times. SO either we dig down to 1000A.D. which really doesn't help, or being practical, promote urdu as the main script for kashmiri - as it bridges kashmir with the rest of subcontinent, and also smoothens understanding of Arabic and Persian.
    I am a KP but see no problems with that. Kashmiri should definitely be the preferred first spoken language. But let us not discourage kids from learning Hindi &/or Urdu (besides English) as these are extremely rich languages and would help them in their future career prospects.

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  22. kashmiri is a sweet language go ahead

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  23. dis s quite an interesting blog cum discussion ..and evrybdy i think is rt in their own place..lets take the balanced view of being versatile in learning all the languages and never 2 shy away from our own mother tounge..n dese days the mother tounge is compeletely replaced by english..whc is nt incorrect bt at the same time one has to hv mother tounge as one of the compulsory subject in schools coz kids start thinking in a language they are born into and schools usualy tend to bring in dis divide in dere psychology..the education system shd also take notice of dis..
    I hv been to srinagar..luvd it .. its simply unique and the language ..its musical... :)

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  24. hmmmm i don't want point of view you really wanted to express.. .anyways, urdu is very tough language to learn , for sure, every language is tough if you ask me, but as urdu is my native language, so i can say, urdu is really simple to speak, write but very tough to teach :)

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  25. hmmmmm no doubt urdu is a very tough languange to speak, or understand.

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  26. urdu should be eradicated from kashmir and there should be only two languages ie kashmiri and english

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  27. Sadly this phenomenon is true for almost all Indian languages, not just Kashmiri. You find native Hindi speakers that can't count to hundred or say such things as 'telephone', 'carpenter' or 'engineer' in their own language. Often they do know the proper words but still resort to English for some yet unknown reason. 'Kitaab' becomes 'book', 'thali' becomes 'plate', 'pratiyogita' becomes 'competition'.
    I think the primary education system in most Indian states is to blame for this, primary education MUST be in one's native language, it doesn't make any sense to teach elementary math and environment studies to a Kashmiri kid in Urdu or to a Haryanvi girl in English.
    Languages define a culture, they are representative of the shared identity, history, and society of a group of people. It's pathetic that more and more people these days enjoy Khaled Hosseini and PG Wodehouse but don't know anything of the literary essence of Indian languages. They've never read the compositions of Rabindranath Tagore, Premchand, or Mirza Ghalib. The death or suppression of a language is the death or suppression of the culture it withholds.
    I think you should all start action at the personal level by introducing your children to Kashmiri children's literature as early as possible, read to them in your language, sing to them in your language, and try to maintain a Kashmiri linguistic environment in your homes to whichever extent possible. The only reason why today I'm much better at Hindi than you would generally expect a Delhite teenager to be is because of my grandmother's early efforts in giving me a firm grounding in Hindi literature and poetry in the early stages. It saddens me how my language is today dying and giving way to an ugly pidgin hybrid of English and Urdu, but I know that I'll for sure do my best in not letting that happen to my own future generations at least.
    Chany taraz tay many taraz, ik vat bani yi sany taraz! (that's all the Kasmiri I know, from 'mile sur mera tumhara'! Kashmiri's a very unique language!)

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  28. can anyone tell me the meaning of the kashmiri word - variyia aasul............. pls its urgent

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  29. can anyone tell me the meaning of the kashmiri word - kusturi and koshniv

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  30. Nice blog..with unique discussion..I have taken translation services for our business few days back from delhi situated company tnsvalue.com It was great experience with them.

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  31. what does this means, Trath pdhe tujhe
    and. Khav akalai. in english

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