Sonia Mukhtar

Sonia Mukhtar

Counseling Psychologist, Naturalist, Bibliophile, Yogi and in essence an Author
Sonia Mukhtar

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Everyone may want you to speak English to look like a “sophisticated” or “worldwide”. But why should you resist the urge to forge The Language? Because you have a mother tongue, preserve Your language then.

We speak Urdu or Punjabi mostly; our native tongues (so does Sindhi, Pashto and others) and expects our fellow speakers to respond in kind. Though our daily conversation drifts between English, Urdu, and Punjabi but Urdu often gets left behind.   This trend is most practiced among our nation’s elites and disseminates the ‘working classes as well where the habit of speaking English in schools (particularly private schools) hardens into a fashion long enough that it’s hard to trace back the origin. Using your mother tongue, suffice to say, is nothing less than a privilege and might be a civic calling. All we need to do is to build pride in our own language.

Conformism may kill civilizations.  Confrontation, on the other hand, might not. Social pressure to speak in English has getting stronger day by day. There are many people who would give up everything just to look modern and civilized and apparently giving up our language is our first priority to get in line of modernism. Should we forget all our culture, views, intellect and all memories bound to our language?  Being conscious of it is the best way to restore the cultural balance.

Once translated, fervently charged words lose their heart touching impact, does it not?

Never let culture get corrosion. “I am sorry” is very convenient than saying “mujhay maaf kr do, mujh se ghalati ho gae aor ainda aisa nahi ho ga”. Can you distinguish between “I love you” and “love ya”? Language isn’t just for conversing, but it’s an expression and reflection of our lives and terminologies that are associated with our emotions. Would “Hail Pakistan” be that effective as “Pakistan ka matlab kia: La Illaha Illalah”? Once translated, words lost their emotional impact. Imagine someday if a young person asked a person who has lived through all: ‘Granny, have you lived the period of the ‘Go Pakistan’ slogan? How would they feel? The point is this: it is not just about language but about the preservation of culture, societal experiences, memories and community holding.

Oh drop the cringe already! Speaking your language won’t make you unfashionable. To build momentum, talk to others who don’t cringe when speaking in their language and take pride in their mother tongue. When that cringe begins to arose, if we imagine ourselves as if no one recall us or doesn’t comment on our social media status, forget to Whatsapp your message or won’t like your Instagram photo. Hmm, must have been hard! So does for the language after few years or a decade from now on.

Get the coveralls of your creativity. Every one of us is made as a creative project; we just need to lead us forward. If you can be bilingual or multilingual, then you are a creative person who can explore and experiment creatively in languages. Like Khalil Gibran who wrote in English after mastering his native language, when you read his writings in English then you smell the same smell and sense the same feelings. As long as we are tied up to our language, we can experiment in any language.