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Sunday, February 11

Language Digest - 5 (Articles/Editorials)

This is the long promised article only edition.

This one comes from Pakistan, lamenting the bad condition of Madarsa education.

Pakistan again, this time a view in favor of the recent step of making English compulsory. Sounds very much like the recent argument of Prasad about English for Dalits.

Continuing on the common thread of Urdu, condition of Urdu press in India is not something to brag about. There is hardly a Urdu news paper that commands a voice at national level or even in a sufficiently big region. Moreover, it works both ways. While Urdu papers carry mostly Muslim centric perspective of problems, Hindi press lacks it to a large extent. Here is an attempt to start a Hindi paper with a Muslim perspective.

Not sure why this article is called "Hegemony of Hindi" and it is not even well written but it notes an interesting point about mother tongue reporting in census data. Read with a grain of salt.

Marathi or Kokani? As the article says ;
India is home to extraordinary diversity- cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic. All such differences ought to be harmonized in a spirit of mutual accommodation rather than through coercive methods of homogenization which may only lead to agitations and revolt.
Here is an interesting reading of the role of English in the rise of Indian nationalism.

The half full glass of an optimist never fails to cheers me up. Here is Mrinal Pandey on the state of Hindi.

Lack of scientific and new vocabulary is a major problem plaguing Indian languages and in fact lot of other languages. This piece reiterates the importance of lexicographical work in a language and makes a case for its active pursuit in our universities.It is said that history is written by winners and languages are no exception.

Now for some heavy reading. Historical linguistics has developed as a discipline in last couple of centuries. One of the major accomplishments of the discipline has been a organization of languages in a genetic tree, showing their mutual relations. But this organization also makes strong claims about history in general and in particular about population diffusion in the yore. A. ananth Kumar questions this view.

And to end, here is a question. While a lot of ads appearing on TV are in Hindi and in other regional languages, why is the packaging often only in English? Why o why?

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