May 23, 2022

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Iranian diplomat calls for promotion of Persian language to preserve common heritage

Hamaneh Karimi-Kia expressed the views during a conference on Mother Tongue Day at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Representatives from various countries, including the Iranian embassy, ​​university professors and students, attended the conference.

Karimi-Kia during the lecture said Persian is a Western Iranian language from the Iranian subgroup of the Indo-Iranian branch and from the Indo-European family of languages spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

She said Persian is also the fifth most widely used language in web content.

The diplomat said the official language of Iran is Persian, but many people have two mother tongues. Almost all people speak Persian as a national language. There is no clear border between speakers of different languages in Iran and Persian is the mediating language and the official language in all parts of Iran where native languages are common.

Hamaneh Karimi-Kia went on to say the literacy rate in Iran is above 90.5 percent. The language of instruction in all educational levels is Persian. Tehran is the most literate city in the country with a literacy rate of 99.4 percent, in which only 2 people per 1000 are illiterate.

She said at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, only 47 percent of Iranians were literate. But Imam Khomeini issued a decree that created a large literacy movement called the “Literacy Movement”. Then an organization of the same name was established in 1980, which is still active and aims to eradicate illiteracy in Iran.

The diplomat said Persian has been the inspiration of many other languages throughout history. The Persian is the mother language of Urdu and has many influences on other local languages of Pakistan, including Punjabi, Saraiki, Pashto, Sindhi, Baluchi and Balti.

The head of public diplomacy and media wing of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran noted that the languages are part of the culture and identity of any society.

Iranian diplomat calls for promotion of Persian language to preserve common heritage

“I am very upset that foreign and Western words are used a lot in today’s Urdu,” she said.

Hamaneh Karimi-Kia in her remarks said mother tongue is an important part of your identity and the reason for your difference and specification in the world. So you have to be diligent in maintaining and expanding it.

“Know and teach your children: Learning a foreign language is a good skill, but speaking a foreign language is not a reason for your superiority and high-class, but a sign of poor cognition, underestimation of your language and even an identity crisis,” she said.

The diplomat said a governmental or semi-governmental organization can be set up in Pakistan for the preservation and promotion of the national language and local languages, which receives a specific budget from the government for this purpose annually and has a specific agenda and is accountable to the government and the National Assembly. Non-governmental organizations can also help fulfill the important mission of this organization.

“Establish a good institution or organization with the mission of replacing an appropriate equivalent in your language for every external phenomenon and teach it to people in schools and the media,” she suggested.

Karimi Kia said there should be a national language and literature course in all major universities. Allocate seats and scholarships for international students.

She said national and local languages should be promoted in public places. For example, in Iran, the installation of shop signs in languages other than Persian or local languages is prohibited. It is better to use the names and words of the national language in naming the streets and other public places.

“Local and National media should publish and broadcast news in national and local languages,” she proposed.


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