Workshop held for Gawarbati language community

CHITRAL, Aug 28: The Forum for Language Initiatives (FLI) held a five-day orthographic workshop from August 24 to 28 on the Gawarbati Language community in Drosh. The event was held under Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme of USAID to provide the community with a programme, comprising of documentation techniques and training for preservation and promotion of their mother tongue.
workshop picAs many as 10 people, including researchers, teachers and writers, from the community participated in the workshop. The workshop was first of its kind for this language community and most of the participants had not been exposed to such programmes earlier, especially concerning to linguistic issues. The objectives of the event were though not limited to discover the existing SOUNDS, peculiar SOUNDS unique to Gawarbati language. Bringing out especial characters from the language was another task and how to articulate that characters into words and also placing spelling for them.
Gawarbati is spoken in Arandu, Arandu Gol (Ramram) in Lower Chitral and in some hamlets on Afghan side bordering Chitral. Gawarbati language is called in Chitral “Aranaduiwar” and “Kohistani” as well. Earlier, Gawarbati used to be an oral dialect and speakers of this language had never dreamed of their mother tongue to be in written form.
The workshop gave them a hope, a confidence and most importantly a way to document their language first then use it as a medium of communication like other languages. The participants were facilitated by Mr. Naseem Haider and Mr. Farid Ahmad Raza. The FLI has plans to hold more training programmes on this language community in future.

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