Why is Our Language Important?

Last Friday during the lunch hour we had an exciting conversation on “Why is Nepali Langauge Important?” A senior colleague of mine said that the Nepali language is not important because everyone speaks the English language these days. None of us agreed with his argument completely and then the conversation became interesting.

I voluntarily do the Langauge Translation of different Open Source Softwares like Ubuntu, LibreOffice, DHIS2. I also edit articles at Wikipedia and add Nepali Articles whenever possible. Today as I was doing the Language Translation of LibreOffice Software, I remembered our last week’s conversation and thought about writing something about the importance of Nepali language in daily life.

My senior asked why is Nepali Language important. Then I said Nepali is our native language and it is everywhere throughout the country. 45% of the total population of Nepal speaks Nepali language. Many out of these population don’t know to read, write or speak English language. So Nepali language is important.

The boards, road signs all are written in Nepali Language. Every organization’s official constitution is written in Nepali language. While registering a business/company the government only accepts document written in Nepali Language. The constitution of our country is written in Nepali Language and hence further translated in other languages.

In our family, the first language that a child learns is to call their parents in Nepali Language. Language identifies our identity and we are unique due to our language, culture, tradition, geography, history and many other aspects. Today the literacy of English language has increased somehow. But every information about Nepal, the archives, history of all different categories are still in paper forms stored in libraries and mediums. Those scriptures are written in Nepali Language. When we want to know about our family line it is somewhere recorded in Nepali Language. Likewise, the historical timeline of our culture and tradition are recorded in Nepali Language.

That was all I knew about the importance of Nepali Language for me. I also added that I do language translation for Free and Open Source Software. That software is installed in different E-Libraries of Nepal. This bridges the language barrier to the teachers and students and lets them use the software. Wikipedia in Nepali version is installed in those machines so now students, faculties and community can take advantage of it.

After saying these things, my senior again said that someday people will use only English. Then why do we need Nepali Language? Then another friend of mine said, nobody, speaks Sanskrit here in Nepal. Only the Brahmins who do the rituals know those slokas. But still, it’s not extinct. People are learning this language in many different universities in Europe and America.

I concluded the conversation saying that, okay someday everyone will speak English, fine. Every document that we read in our daily life will be in English Language, that’s fine too. But when someone gets curious and wants to know about our background, cultural and historical. Or say when our future generation will ask us about our past, then in the archives, there will be this same documents of history written in Nepali Language. And to explore them we will need to learn Nepali Language. Because language is the basic medium of communication and out of hundreds of language, we Nepali people happen to speak “Nepali Language”

I’m not sure if I answered it well with enough reasoning. But I leave it up to the readers and request you to emphasize the importance of our language and reasons to preserve it.

PS: Image Credit: Sumit Shrestha. This article is a part of my Daily Writing Commitment. Please find my articles on my site: sigdelsanjog.com.np. It is my eleventh blog post that is here out of the commitment. Also, provide your valuable feedback such that I can feel motivated and also improve myself at the same time.