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Importance of mother tongue


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COUNTRIES like China, the US and many others have made compulsory their own mother tongue in their respective educational institutions.

As a result, they are at the peak of success and prosperity. In other words, everyone wants to speak and write his or her own mother tongue, but unfortunately our own beloved languages have been neglected by our own people.

Most of us feel proud to speak English rather than our native languages.

It hurts me to say that our own language is neither being taught nor spoken in our own educational institutions. Every parent loves to send their children to English tuitions, but not for learning their own language.

The mother tongue is the identity of a nation and if it does not exist, how can a nation survive?

In addition, according to linguistics, after 50 years more than half of the world’s languages will be finished if they are not practised.


Comments (5) Closed

Kris Dec 12, 2012 09:26pm
I guess the author has one language as a mother tongue in mind and it is Urdu. The prior Dawn articles on the subject mentioned that Urdu is spoken or mother tongue of 8% population of Pakistan. My city of growing in 1950's has Sindhi Schools. None of students spoke or understood Urdu at that time. I went college with English as medium of instructions. I learned Urdu only with interactions in our life I refer to as radio, cinema etc. I can speak and understand Urdu a little but I can not call it as my mother tongue. Pakistan has too many languages and dilects that are mother tongues of people of Pakistan. Some of the mother tongues of Pakistan are: Sindhi, Urdu, Seraike, Pushto, Punjabi, Balochi, Brohi, Makrani, Gujrati, Thari, Kashmiri etc. I request Dawn to write a feature article on Mother Tongues of Pakistan. I also want to ask: Can Pakistan afford to adopt and define one language as a mother tongue of All Pakistan?
Agha Ata Dec 13, 2012 01:51am
Let's not be emotional when making important decisions. First, our linguists or scholars have done nothing to improve our language. Urdu is not ready to be a national language as a medium of knowledge. Second, it is not advisable to do so when we have to learn everything from other countries in their language. Thirdly, even Chinese are learning English feverishly, they know the importance. Our language is not developed as French, Russian or German. The usage of Arabic to translate English vocabulary makes it even more difficult. We should do what they are doing in India; they have made it easy to learn through English.
Sandeep Dec 12, 2012 10:13pm
In the present competition people look for the future. If you are proficient in Hindi or Urdu and no nothing other than that you would end up being professor or teacher which are very very low paid jobs in India or Pakistan. If you go the other way(English) then you can end up in any field with good pay and respect. But people still keep communicating in Hindi or Urdu with their native friends.
Cynical Dec 12, 2012 05:09am
Nothing is permanent in the universe. If some languages die a natural death, then so be it. As long as a language is not deliberately discriminated against, I see no problem in its reducing utility and influence in the face of competition from other languages. It has happened many times before in the past thousand of years and it will happen in future.
chandra Dec 12, 2012 09:40am
Well Said Sageer. True that we all feel great using English in our day-2-day conversation. In our offices/society and other places, everyone use English for show-off but then with very close friends/family, they use mother tongue (Hindi etc). I do not understand this love for English...