DEHRADUN, Nov 13: Twenty-four-year old Shivani Rana loves to learn correct Nepali. For this, the resident of Ranjhawala, Dehradun regularly goes through both ´Hamro Ekata´ and ´Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha´ the two monthly newspapers published from the city.
Interestingly, unaware that the papers in her hand may not contain typical Nepali used in Nepal, Thapa however, boasts of being one of the ardent readers of Nepali articles and hence pretty good in the language, a rare quality among the Nepali community in Dehradun.
“We try to do our best, particularly in using typical Nepali words, but due to the lack of an expert we end up presenting somewhat the same hybrid language as spoken here,” Narendra Singh Karki, editor of 25-year-old newspaper Hamro Ekata tells Republica. “To the people born and brought up here, the language in the newspaper is great, but for those who come from Nepal, plenty of errors might be visible. Here people think they are speaking good Nepali but if you listen carefully, its almost 50 percent mix of Hindi,” he analyzed.
Indeed, the most striking errors are the use of the typical Hindi words such as ´bakaya´ (banki in Nepali, which means remaining), ´bajifa´ (for chhatrabriti or scholarship), Naun (naam, name) and so on. Similarly, the language reads closer to Hindi rather than Nepali regarding the use of singular and plurals and prepositions.
Karki responds that though the aim of the paper is to give pure taste of Nepali language to the readers, that has not been achieved. “We are aware that the language is actually largely based on rather Hindi grammar than Nepali. Here we hardly ever read newspapers or books from Nepal as these are not easily available except when some friends from Nepal bring it for us. So while working on the language, even the news editors take little notice where they are slipping.”
On the other hand, Bijaya Gurung, assistant editor of Gorkha Sudhar Sabha believes that even if there were experts who could edit the language correctly, it would not be of much use as the readers would find it hard to understand the correct Nepali. “It would be better if we could make fewer mistakes. However, in that case, the readers would find it taxing to go through the texts.”
Agrees Arun Thapa from Nehrugram, Dehradun. According to him despite huge number of Gorkhalis here, there has been no proper development of the language and that is why they have let their language be largely influenced by Hindi. “We should however be grateful that at least two monthly newspapers are published from here to make the people aware of their own language.”
Thapa might be right in a way. However, the lack of standard language and literature in her town is not fair for the enthusiasts like Rana who actually is serious about preserving her language and culture. And sad part is that she does not doubt the language accuracy of the local publications.
“My parents have always told me that we should feel proud about our language and culture for that is our identity,” smiles the student of DAV College in Dehradun. “I feel that I am quite good at speaking and writing Nepali. I go through the newspapers which keep me informed about our community and help me learn better Nepali.”