پنجشنبه ۷ دی ۱۳۸۵ ه‍.ش.

 

Balochi, English and mother tongue


بلوچی چه پت و ماتان نشان انت
Baloci ca pet o maataan neshaan ent

This is a very good article originally published in the Baloch Academic Jounrnal of Humanities, an interesting weblog http://www.balochacademist.blogfa.com/
owned by Wj. Ahmad Raza Taheri.


Shastuni Baloch

http://balochinames.blogspot.com


How to Revive our Pride in our Mother Tongue: with reference to Balochi Language


Sarala Jagan

An Indian Teacher

The Balochi language is spoken by the people of Balochistan, a land which was splinted into three segments and then attached to Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan during a course of history.

The tall, proud, and brave men of the hills find themselves without a cohesive point of referral history or language so necessary to inculcate the principle of nationhood or self-esteem.

The Balochi language has tones similar to the Sindhi and Punjabi languages of India --- earthy, vibrant, joyous, yet full of pathos. The people of these regions are sturdy tribesmen with fierce pride in family, honor, and brotherhood, whose bonds of kinship are strong. In the era of globalization, on account of their strategic location in the present scheme of international affairs, the Baloch find themselves at a disadvantage. They would become bit players in the global scheme on account of:

  1. An inability of comprehend or articulate in the global language ---- English.

  1. A deep-rooted faith in dogmas that seem almost irrelevant and impractical in modern times.

The young generation, in general, find themselves as misfits in their own community, for they acquired new modes of dress and behavior and manners. Most of them find themselves living double lives: one as an erudite gentleman and the other as a practicing gentleman of Islam. The divide between the two almost creates an exile in their minds. Most of them live in angst. Being apologetic about following the faith that they acquired at birth with all its allied compulsions or being considered rebels for discarding what education has taught them to discern as redundant. In the complexities of their rebellion they forget their innate pride in their mother tongue.

Most teachers of English when they encounter a Balochi almost without expectation believe that they have been called upon to educate an anti-social element. This is a grave injustice to the student. Every Baloch student must understand this handicap and set to work in earnest to set the teacher’s fears at rest. It must also realize that the emotional quotient of English language is inadequate to capture the nuances of all that his vibrant mother tongue with its sense of obligation, respect, and regard has taught him. Simple words like: ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ are rather incompetent and pale against blessings of Allah sought not only for the teacher but for all the future generations of the teacher.

So, a word of advice to the Balochi student --- You are doubly blessed, coming as you do from a sturdy race, with a sturdy and voracious language. Don’t put it away. Use it as a tool to acquire the new language. Its myths, tales, and poetry can be translated.

Since the mother tongue is a part of your psyche use it to connect to the new language, its nuances, its idioms, and its phraseology. Learn to listen, learn to read, and learn also to do instantaneous translations in your mind. This requires hours of practice, fervor, and dedication.

Learning a language other than the mother tongue means understanding the history, the geography, and the culture and civilization of a race other than yours. However, please, do understand that learning English does not put on you the burden of becoming an Englishman, nor do you have to behave like one. The best practitioners of English in India are the inscrutable south Indians. They hold their traditions and values while being fluent in English, which is not their mother tongue.

Most Balochi students pick up accents and modes of speech which can impress fellow Balochis, but their ability to express a range of thoughts and ideas remain very shallow and limited. Even attempts to research or comprehend rare ideas and modes of thinking become a handicap because most of them use methods like cassettes, listening devices which have limited scope. Instead of trying to understand structures of English and comparing and contrasting them with structures in their own language, most of them use “rote learning” which is detrimental to fluent thought process. Rote learning makes the process of comprehension and retention tedious. Recall of ideas or thoughts too becomes tough.

All learners of English are told that they must leave behind the baggage of mother tongue when they start learning English, but it is advised here that the mother tongue can be used as a reference point to understand the new language.

Apply logical thinking, an aptitude to grasp new vocabulary and also the methods of pronunciation, and the journey becomes much easier.

Some one who understands the basics of English structure thoroughly will find that learning French and Spanish are easy too. So, while learning to think in a totally new language is an uphill task, it is not altogether impossible. The mother tongue can be an effective tool to overcome the initial difference.

After overcoming the first handicap, next step is to start communicating, however, reluctantly and then to start the thought process in English itself. Soon the mind files away new experiences in English. The process of reading, writing, and reckoning taught as a child can also acquire a new language.

If one wants to employ both head and heart in the acquisition of a new language, then mother tongue is the portal. One must use both head and heart to learn a new language. For heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of. Learning English is like wooing a pretty maiden; the romance can last a life time… The mother tongue is the tool-kit to its success.


Source: http://www.balochacademist.blogfa.com/

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