Call to make collaborative efforts to save endangered languages.

MUZAFFARABAD -- A US government-funded project aimed at building capacity of public-sector universities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) in 'Language Documentation' concluded with emphasis on conscious collaborative effortsto save the endangered vernaculars being spoken in the two regions.

The concluding ceremony was held at the city campus of the University of AJK, where earlier the speakers drew attention towards the imminent threat of extinction being faced by dozens of local and regional languages and dialects in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The project was implemented by UAJK in partnership with San Jose State University of California. It was funded by the US government and administered by the US Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP).

AJK's secretary for Kashmir cause, arts and languages Aijaz Lone was the chief guest at the concluding ceremony.

'We must take some solid steps to preserve the dying languages that carry with them the centuries-old history, civilisation and culture of the region,' Mr Lone said on the occasion.

Sharing salient features and success stories, project director Prof Dr Abdul Qadir told the participants that under this programme, training was provided to the faculty members of AJK and GB universities in basic linguistic analysis, language documentation methods, language documentation software (ELAN, FLEX, Audacity), data management, besides providing an opportunity for fieldwork experience.

According to him, as many as 27 participants were chosen for the capacity building training programme to document endangered languages in both territories, who included 21 linguistic faculty from seven public-sector universities of AJK and GB and six language activists from GB.

These participants visited Hunza, Nagar and Skardu districts of GB during the field trip and worked closely with Shina, Khowar, Wakhi, Balti, Burushaski and Domaaki language speakers, he said.

After the...

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