GUJRAT: Pakistani universities need to take it as their prime responsibility to provide conducive environment for the promotion of languages and translation skills, says the University of Gujrat vice chancellor.

“Translation activity boosts understanding between various nations and cultures of the world as it is the most effective tool of communication,” Prof Dr Ziaul Qayyum told participants in a two-day national conference titled “Translation and National Languages” which opened here at UoG’s Hafiz Hayat Campus on Thursday to celebrate the ‘World Translation Day’ on Sept 30.

“Our universities need to focus on translation of foreign advanced scientific and intellectual research and other publications in national languages to import knowledge for the benefit of the country,” added the VC who was the chief guest at the conference organised by UoG’s Centre for Languages and Translation Studies (CeLTS) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Columnist Wusatullah Khan said the importance of translation studies as a tool to promote knowledge was clear as day.

“Promotion of local Pakistani languages through translation will definitely go a long way in achieving our goal of national harmony,” he said.

Yasir Peerzada, another columnist, said:” Social sciences prop up nations’ development and status in the world. Translation is also a social activity.”

Anchorperson and columnist Habib Akram said that CeLTS at the UoG could bring about the renaissance of the Muslim Ummah.

Columnist Gull-e-Nokhaiz said that translation was a difficult art. “However, translation should always be in common and easy-to-understand language,” he added.

Dr Ghulam Ali, head of CeLTS, welcomed the guests in his speech. He told the participants that the centre was publishing translation of various research journals. He said that the project of translation of all Punjab laws from English into Urdu was also underway.

Director Media Sheikh Rashid said that translation activity was an integral part of the modern world.

In the second session of the first day, Prof Dr Nasrullah Wazir and Prof. Dr Arfan Baig presented papers in Pushto and Balochi. Professor Sahabzada Ahmad Nadeem also presented a paper on translation in the national perspective.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2016