The biggest literary organisation of Jammu and Kashmir -Adbi Markaz Kamraz- has sent an online petition to Google for adding Kashmiri language’s approved script Nastaliq to its translation services.
AMK president Amin Bhat said that they got tremendous response for the online petition after the launch.
“We now expect Google will consider our request for adding Kashmiri language to its translation services,” he said.
Bhat, also an acclaimed playwright, said language preservation is dependent on technology now.
“…Our constitution drafted in 1971 said we will strive for introduction of Kashmiri language at University and college level, and to make it the official language of Jammu and Kashmir .People termed it as day dreaming but with our tireless efforts it is a reality today. Similarly, language preservation is dependent on technology now. The initiative is to connect our young technology savvy generation with language preservation. That is why we coined a new Kashmiri slogan today .Yus Kari Google sui Kari kraw (the one who will google will have the yield) ,” the AMK president said.
The online petition to Google said more than 7.1 million people speak Kashmiri globally.
“As per records available on different google platforms, Kashmiri is a 5000-year-old language with strong literary traditions of about eight centuries. Few languages in the contemporary times enjoy the history of being so old. It is older to many languages of the Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan origin.
“This language has a strong vocabulary system and can cater to the demands of technological era. Besides Jammu and Kashmir, it is spoken in many parts of the sub-continent and different parts of the world by Kashmiri diaspora. With rich literary traditions and strong cultural bonds this language has played a vital role in promoting human values ,peace ,interfaith harmony and high standards of literature writing,” the online petition said.
It added that Kashmiri is deeply rooted in the rich cultural tapestry of the region.
“The absence of Kashmiri in Google’s translation services, including vocal support, poses a significant linguistic and cultural barrier,” it said.
The petition said that Kashmir is not only a region with a rich linguistic and cultural heritage but is also an officially recognised tourist destination.
“The inclusion of Kashmiri in Google Translate will enhance the tourist experience, foster better communication, and promote economic growth in the region. Tourists visiting Kashmir will have a more immersive experience, locals will be better able to cater to their needs, and this, in turn, will stimulate economic conditions in the area,” it said.
The petition said they were eager to collaborate with Google in this endeavor and were prepared to provide any necessary linguistic resources, documentation, and expert support to expedite the process of adding Kashmiri in Nastaliq script to Google Translate.
“Furthermore, Kashmiri plays a vital role as a currency language in Jammu and Kashmir. Its inclusion in Google Translate, supported by vocal capabilities, will facilitate trade, commerce, and everyday transactions, contributing to the economic empowerment of millions of individuals who rely on this language for their livelihoods,” the petition said.
The literary organisation said they were excited to help Google add Kashmiri to translate, offering linguistic resources, expert support, and a prescribed grammar.
“Our dedicated community, with thousands of books, dictionaries, and a running newspaper, is enthusiastic about contributing to this effort. In our pursuit of this goal, we aim to garner support from the broader linguistic and language professional community. We kindly request Google to initiate a dialogue with our community and these experts to discuss the process of adding Kashmiri in Nastaliq script to Google Translate, complete with vocal support,” the petition said.