Articles / Essays

A Note on Anglicized Wakhi Pamiri Orthography

June 9, 2018

By Fazal Amin Beg

Espousing a valuable suggestion of Noor Muhammad Pamiri (an outstanding and prideful professional youth of Gilgit-Baltistan Region and famously known by his great initiative of Pamir Times blog serving the communities of the entire region), I’m sharing the Anglicized Wakhi writing system, greatly championed by late Dr. BoghshoLashkarbekov of the Pamirs (Wakahn of gorno-Badakshan in the southeastern Tajikistan. He dedicated over forty years of his precious life for the studies of Wakhi, other Pamiri languages and Indo-Iranian languages (within South and Central Asia, china and Middle east and came up with various contributions in line with publications on the respective languages and cultures under his studies though are in Russian. Despite the fact that his full grooming remained in Russian language (up to his PhD in the 1970s), in addition to Farsi/Tajiki, French and English, late Dr. BoghshoLashkarbekov came to a conclusion that Latino-Greek or other system of writing was not effective and productive for the mass education (it means providing education to the common people and children). It was not only his grooming in those respective languages but rather also his and his colleagues/friends exhaustive efforts in various fields to use Latino-Greek writing (which is meant for and is an effective tool of documentation of texts by the international scholars and researchers). By doing so, he thought that they were enriching the intellectualand scholastic elites in their learning and not the common people and the deserving and poor school children in their learning who will get behind in their great pursuance. Dr. Boghsho thus came up with a long vision, strong innovation and conviction about Wakhi writing system based on English (which is also termed as Anglicized) so that Wakhi (his mother tongue) should be effectively learned and promoted by the concerned communities at common level and particularly the school children and upcoming generations , as their requirements and preferences grow and grow fastly in English in all respective countries.

Honoring late Dr. Boghsho’s long view with high logic and innovations on the one hand; and many synonymous challenges in this respect faced by myself within Pakistan for over two decades in the field, I embraced his visions and innovation and thus began materializing it based on gradual experiences in the field since October 2011 even during his presence in Pakistan.Since then I’ve produced literatures comprised on thousands of pages around different topics, which I’ve already mentioned in the earlier posts.

It should be noted that before passing away of late Dr. Boghsho, in Anglicized orthography, an innovation was further brought in 2014 by removing the letter “x” forever and it was replaced by “kh” for the purpose of making the anglicized reading and writing Wakhi further friendly and easy for the common people within and out of the respective Wakhi language communities as everyone understands well and uses “kh” in their written communication. for instance, instead of Latino-greek influenced “x” for xur (donkey) was replaced by khur; as kh and k̃h is near to its family of k within the sound system.

In the posts ahead, I’d be sharing the Wakhi Alphabet based on Anglicized Orthography, which won’t bee in any PDF or other format but rather as a noramal format as is compatible to the Internet. Anglicized orthography never needs any kind of special software or special font. Anglicized Wakhi texts will appear as very normal and in sweet manner on the screen of your computers in the same shape as I’ve written it on my laptop with great enthusiasm. In a sharpt contrast, with latino-greek (as example of this are publications of our respected colleagues and friends particularly Nazir Ahmad Bulbul and Karim Khan shimshali), the written description cannot appear in the same manner as normal rather will show in many places as square bloks, unless you have installed the required fonts and software to run it. next step thus remains to depend on conversion of the texts either in PDF or other image forms or otherwise and thus to show them to the readers. The same holds true for the more and ever complicated , in the words of NurPamiri, SarkariArabic writing system.

Keepin in view the broader audience within and out of my group and common people within the public domain at broader scale, meanings of the Wakhi words within the alphabetical letters I’ve written in English in the parenthesis so that they should also enjoy, if any one is interested among the non-Wakhi speakers.

Moreover, I would humbly request you all (being sober and sensible Wakhi speakers) to kindly do participate and read the Anglicized system of writing, which is your own developed system, based on your own common approaches as you write in many respects on this system already, perhaps except for some of the hard sounds. Hhope you’ll enjoy it and contribute generously and positively your productive comments and reflections.

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