Lan­guage Lim­its

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

peo­ple of Khost have urged the au­thor­i­ties to re­move bill­boards, sign­boards and ban­ners writ­ten in for­eign lan­guages in the prov­ince as

peo­ple can hardly un­der­stand them. Sign­boards in Urdu and English are common in the prov­ince but only a small num­ber of peo­ple can read them. Sign­boards such as ‘Aryana Mon­ey­changer’ in English or ‘Tele Link: in­vestor in In­dia, in a long-run­ning trans­fer pric­ing dis­pute with the lo­cal tax depart­ment. in Afghanistan over the omis­sion of a cat­e­gory for eth­nic­ity – a rather sen­si­tive is­sue for the Afghan na­tion, es­pe­cially the eth­nic mi­nori­ties, which saw the move as a con­spir­acy to de­prive them of their iden­tity. The re­vised card does not men­tion the name of the tribe or eth­nic­ity of the card holder but this in­for­ma­tion is saved in the gov­ern­ment’s data­bank. Be­hta­reen and Ma­yari Mo­bile Phone Se­ries’ in Urdu are a common sight in Khost City. “All sign­boards writ­ten in English and Urdu should be changed to Pashtu be­cause the majority of Khost dwellers are Pash­tuns,” a res­i­dent said.

Res­i­dents be­lieve that the gov­ern­ment, par­tic­u­larly the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Cul­ture, should take steps to re­move all sign­boards writ­ten in for­eign lan­guages to pro­mote Pashtu and also en­able lo­cal res­i­dents to un­der­stand them. Khost In­for­ma­tion and Cul­ture Di­rec­tor Mo­ham­mad Amin Shah Ul­fat also agrees that this is a se­ri­ous prob­lem. “We had re­moved many such sign­boards last year, but they reap­peared over the past few months,” he said.

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