Each language has its own appeal and importance. In addition, we must admit the fact that a language survives only when it is spoken, written, read and heard on an extensive basis, especially by the family members of that language. In this regard, the role of the parents becomes paramount, as they are the ones who speak their inherited/original language(s) with their children.

Parents should speak their inherited/original language(s) with their children right from their birth so that they are also able to understand and speak the same, accordingly, after reaching to a certain speaking age. Nowadays, I have been witnessing a very strange trend within many parents (especially those living in big cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, etc.) that they do not speak with their children in their inherited/original language(s). Rather, they take it pride in speaking with them either in English or in some other language.

For example, many of my known Sindhi families speak with their children either in English or in Urdu. I am not against these languages, but I am dead against this type of approach of such parents. By not speaking with their children in their actual language(s), they not only deprive their children of the importance of their language but also add to the extinction of that language for their future generations within the family. In other words, their attitude towards that language threatens the very survival/existence of that language, especially for the future generations in the family.

With the grace of Almighty Allah, I have three children with one daughter and two sons. Daughter is seventeen years old, whereas my sons are fifteen and ten years old. My mother tongue is Sindhi and my wife is Siraiki speaking.

The positive aspect here is the combination perhaps. We both speak with our children in our own languages. My wife speaks with them in Siraiki, whereas I speak with them in Sindhi. This combination is working so beautifully that the children talk to their mother and father in Siraiki and Sindhi, respectively.

I think this is the best method to keep one’s language alive. I would request all the parents that they should speak with their children in their inherited language(s). This will help in the nourishment of such language(s) for their coming generations, as well.

ABDUL SAMAD SAMO,

Karachi, March 25.