LANGUAGE IS POLITICS – NOT ONLY JUST “MOTHER TONGUE” !
“Linguistics professor Dr. Sudad Rasul agreed, saying:
“There is a political agenda behind the issue of a Kurdish standard language. That is why an organization like the Kurdish Academia avoids projects and plans for a standard Kurdish language.”
24/12/2012 RUDAW – By SALIH QADIR – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – This month’s three-day conference in Erbil on the Kurdish language ended without any concrete results, amid accusations of official disinterest by some participants and disagreements over dialects and standardizing the language, participants said.The second Kurdish Language Scientific Conference (KLSC) was “as futile as the previous year’s conference,” was the feeling among many of the participants, some of whom even refused to deliver their presentations.
Dr Sherko Qadir, a professor of Kurdish at Sulaimani University, said that he refused to present his paper because neither attendants nor officials were interested in listening. “First, I decided not to proceed with the scheduled presentation… (because) the attendants looked not interested in listening to the presentations and were awfully disappointed by the conference. And second, I saw a lack of attention from the Kurdistan government authorities to the issue of language,” Qadir told Rudaw.
“I think presentations in such conferences do not carry any values,” he said.
Eighteen researches attended the conference and – unlike last year – none addressed the issue of a standardized Kurdish language.
“There are worries that addressing the issue of a standard language will bring disunity,” said Professor Abdulwahab Khalid. “But we can no longer escape from addressing this issue. We currently have two standard dialects, but in 25 years’ time they may disappear and be replaced by something else. Therefore, we have to face the reality and look for a solution instead of running away from the problem,” he said. Qadir said that the issue of a standard language is suppressed because, “A particular political party does not want the issue discussed.”
Linguistics professor Dr. Sudad Rasul agreed, saying, “There is a political agenda behind the issue of a Kurdish standard language. That is why an organization like the Kurdish Academia avoids projects and plans for a standard Kurdish language.”
But Dr. Azad Ahmed, deputy head of Kurdish Academia believes it is not time for addressing standardization. “Language problems have to be solved from the bottom up. Now, we have issues in the language used in the media and education, we cannot talk about a standard Kurdish language unless these problems are solved,” he said.
On the last day of the meeting Dr. Rojan Hazim, head of the Kurdistan Education and Kurdish Language Congress in Europe — which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party — berated the conference for issuing a communique without issuing any recommendations for preserving the various Kurdish dialects.
“The organizing committee, without consulting the members of the conference and very undemocratically, wrote the final communique: this is unacceptable. Therefore, I can certainly say the conference was not successful,” Hazim said.