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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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FYI: Bridging the Great Hindi-Urdu Divide: The Hamari Boli Initiative

Author: Azad Qalamdar

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Language Family: Hindustani

FYI Body: Hello Linguists!

This is Azad, CEO of Aazaad Media Foundation, writing to introduce the Hamari Boli Initiative, an open source people-to-people collaboration and language planning enterprise aimed at Hindi-Urdu (the erstwhile Hindustani lingua franca of South Asia and second most spoken language in the world) script, style, status, and lexical reform and modernization.

A full-scale Language Planning initiative, HBI's primary objective is to enable--impossible otherwise--and spur open source content production in Hindi-Urdu by resolving the 200 year old Devanagari-Nastaliq digraphia. Strictly phonetic, the ''Aazaad Standard for Hindi-Urdu'' categorically rejects the ongoing arabization of Roman Urdu (as in Ramadan instead of Ramzan).

We debuted our Project Wiki recently with 30,000 words and a petition to UN and SAARC governments for adoption of Hindi-Urdu as the seventh official language in collaboration with Stanford Peace Innovation Lab. Essentially, the approach is a global, wiki-based, open source collaboration in areas involving Hamari Boli, i.e. literature, education, Bollywood, digital corpus, software/web-based language tools, etc. People-to-people communication and confidence-building will be bonus effects.

Currently in the alpha stage, we're setting up the space and inviting academia, industry, and civil societyfor formal/informal collaboration on various activities and projects under the larger Hamari Boli Initiative.

We'll be most obliged and honoured if LINGUIST List readers could consider collaborating on HBI, and we extend a most cordial invitation to grace our Partners' Board.

Eagerly looking forward.




हमारी बोली + ہماری بولی

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