Foreign Words Banned in Iran

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At a time when the world is more linked and inter-dependent than ever, Iranian President is trying to seclude Iran in terms of language usage. Now, officials in Iran aren’t allowed to use the words like “Pizzas” which have become too common in the general life. Reportedly, an agency which looks after the language issues is creating words to replace these so-called “foreign” words.

Imagine the same in Nepal. Tomorrow, some freaks advocating proper national language might force us to say “karna fus fus yantra” for phones, “sauchalaya” for toilet, “bidhyalaya” for schools, “kalam” for pen, and you cannot call “TV” as tv anymore. Is it justifiable? Are we to create weird names to save our so-called national language? Is it not to evolve over time by itself?

Whatever be the reason, we need to let people use the words they prefer. Life has to be made easy and if we try to change language rather than allowing it to change by itself, we are up for a difficult life. Times change and so do the languages. And, many a times, we borrow words from other languages and the language which is politically and socio-economically significant will prevail at the end. Are we not after that world where we can understand everyone else in this world?

The declaration made by the Iranian president is an imposition of his ideas on people. It is a direct attack on personal freedom. Nytimes writes:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as ”pizzas” which will now be known as ”elastic loaves,” state media reported Saturday…Among other changes, a ”chat” will become a ”short talk” and a ”cabin” will be renamed a ”small room,” according to official Web site of the academy.

I do not see a point of these changes. Reportedly, Persian Academy, the official language watchdog has created more than 2000 words for these so-called “foreign words” which I feel is ridiculous. It is no different to the creation of “karna fus fus yantra” for phones in Nepal. What a job these people have at the academy!!

Some people might argue that we have to preserve our language and culture but hey, what is the point of creating new “difficult” words which did not even exist in our language? Why cannot we align ourselves with those foreign words which have found a ground in our society? Moreover, I feel like we should learn the languages which are popular as it makes it easy for us to reach a large audience. What do you people think? Do share your views.

source:Iranian President Bans Usage of Foreign words, www.nytimes.com , July 29,06

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