ISLAMABAD, Sept 7: Though the whole Pakistani nation seems disdainful of learning and speaking their national language and is desperate to excel in English, many people here on Friday were stunned to see four Japanese nationals speaking Urdu with much better accent.
Japanese Urdu expert Professor So Yam Ane and his three students Nori Yuki Kubo, Nori Ko Sasaoki and Kanako Azuma (doing master’s in Urdu Language), were participating in a dialogue on Urdu language and literature organised by the National Language Authority (NLA).
People from different walks of life attended the informative dialogue/sitting where renowned scholars Dr Anwar Ahmad, Dr Anwar Naseem, Fiaz Baqir, Firogh Naveed, Riazul Haq, Syed Sardar Ahmad Pirzada, Mohammad Islam Nishtar, Mohammad Ahmad Gonda and Ali Akbar Natiq were also present.
Dr Anwar Ahmad, the chairman of NLA, presided over the dialogue and paid tribute to the work and services rendered by Japan and its universities for promotion of Urdu language and literature. For the last about 105 years, Urdu language has been taught in both Osaka and Tokyo universities and a separate department of Urdu also exists in one of the institutions. Speaking on the occasion, Professor So Yam Ane said a great work on Islamic studies had been done in both Arabic and Persian languages. But work on Islamic studies is lacking in the South Asian countries.
He said there were very rare sources from where Japanese nation could get information pertaining to Islam as they did not know the Urdu language.
He added: “We are trying our level best to draw a list of books written about Islamic studies in a bid to extract information that how much work has been done so far in this regard and also which areas/topics needed further work.
“We are trying our best to make it sure that the Japanese nation should directly seek information from Urdu text only to have better understanding of the spirit of the subject,” he said. Sharing the details of his recent visit to the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Professor Ane added that on behalf of Osaka University he had signed a memorandum of understanding with the BZU to initiate joint educational projects.
He said for the first time a Japanese pictorial dictionary of technical terminologies used in Urdu was being compiled in Japan with the help and guidance of both Pakistani and Japanese Urdu experts.
He said the dictionary would help the Japanese students engaged in getting technical education in Urdu anywhere in the world.
Kanako Azuma in her address said she was conducting a research on Islamic thinker Syed Abulala Maududi and her work was in the final stage.—A Reporter