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Kurdish language need an alphabet reform toward creating a unified writing system

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The following question has been put forward for opinion research by our community. It is very much appreciated if you could spare some time to answer these question. You may answer in Any language you prefer,

In your opinion, does Kurdish language need an alphabet reform toward creating a unified writing system to allow for the writing of all dialectal variations in Kurdish?

If the answer is yes, what writing system do you prefer?

You may become member of KAL web site to be able to reply to one or another on this discussion or any other topics.

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Correspondence between the Latin, Arabic, and Cyrillic

Dear Kurdish Academy-
Please look at the Standard Kurdish Orthography Table that I have introduced at the Library of Congress:
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/kurdish.pdf

This is basically the orthography table which appears in my Kurmanji-English dictionary, and which Kurdoev published in 1957.

There is a simple one-to-one correspondence between the Latin, Arabic, and Cyrillic orthographies for Kurdish. In my Kurmanji-English dictionary and in Dr. Shafiq Qazzaz's Sharezoor (Sorani-English) dictionary, each headword appears in Latin and Arabic script, side by side, which demonstrates the one-to-one correspondence. Moreover, the fact that Dr. Qazzaz independently came up with the same system that I use also is a strong indicator that this one-to-one correspondence already exists. It would be nice if the Kurdish Academy would recognize that and become an instrument for its propagation.

Best wishes,
Michael L. Chyet

DRoshani
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A reform in such a time is inevitable!

Dear Dr Chyet,

Although I personally appreciate what Dr Qazzas and yourself has done for promoting your dictionaries and make them more useful for your readers, but the whole concept of KAL project is to overcome an era of one-to-one pairing of letters and words. KAL aims to promote the Kurdish dialects with one single standard writing system. The Kurdish and its learning process needs to target the children on school benches rather than middle age mathematicians, computer literates/programmers or lexicographers. As you may noticed KAL have also provided conversion tools that in one click can convert any Kurdish writing system to the unified one. This is useful for literate adult users. This is available at the following link:

http://www.kurdishacademy.org/?q=node/192

We need to be realistic that Kurdish language can not survive in a jungle of non standard writing systems. Kurdish is not the language of a small tribe but the prime communication tools for over 30 million people. It needs to play its role cross all generations and areas. What KAL offers here is an internationally recognized standard writing system for Kurdish which has put in practice the Kurdish language usability to much wider readers/users. Here you are not bound to specific software, keyboard, and system but a flexible and workable writing system. The children of this deprived nation can sit by a computer and play with Kurdish alphabet and words rather than be forced to choose a second language for communication.

We need more than any time to realise the limitation of our writing practices and using available technologies to solve these issue. KAL has become a voice for this necessity and evolved into a global community. A reform in such a time is inevitable. Kurdish with a Pluricentric character is sharing the same issues as Spanish and Portuguese languages therefore Kurdish should be able to choose similar approach as its sister languages with a unified Orthographic system to meet its enormous shortcomings.

Kind regards
Dr Dilan Roshani

§-------------------------------------------
- Alfabéygí Yekgirig/Yekgirtú careseri bineyíg erra girifteyli zuwani Kurdí ye!
- "We must become the change we want to see" [quote: Mahatma Gandhi]

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No need to re-invent the wheel

Dear Dr. Roshani-

Perhaps I did not make it clear, but the Latin orthography on the Kurdish Standard Orthography Table (as I mentioned in my response above) is the orthography that is already in use, and is intended for use by children as well as adults. No need to re-invent the wheel when it already exists.

It saddens me that apparently many Kurds are not aware that this already exists.

Best
MLC

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We need to challenge Kurdish capability in a global term

Dear Dr Cheyt

It sounds that you have not studied KAL web site with care and are not familiar with justification KAL makes for its reform. I suggest that you study the case in particular the FAQ section. I understand this justification can be difficult for non-IT/ none aware of ISO Codification people. What do you think exist already? Is it your table presented to Library of Congress in USA or the Latin Based Alphabet introduced by Prince J.A. Bedir Xan in 1931?

Prince J.A. Bedir Xan codified a writing system for Kurdish as a pioneer in early 1930s. He lived less than 20 years after introducing his Latin based (Turko-Kurdish) writing system. He could not see any practical wide usage of his invention due to unfortunate circumstances. It was a desperate time and Kurdish pioneers did not have any resources. He mentioned in his own words that we need to modify what he has created when time is right. KAL's community believes that this particular time has been long over due. Nevertheless, your presented version contains many elements that are not in the J.A. Bedir Xan's Latin based Alphabet (Please view here)..

The KAL project is a call for meeting many new frontiers for Kurdish language in an age when communication is in e-medium. The project will focus on new generation and modern education system. Your represented table of one-to-one correspondence for Kurdish alphabets contains many discrepancies compare to the J.A. Bedir Xan's Latin based Alphabet. I class the table as a reinvention which you will need many specialise program to write those extra characters. I am not quit sure why you found it necessary to introduce those new characters. Did the J.A. Bedir Xan's version fall short in any particular aspect for your work? After years of practice in writing Kurdish we have now realised that Kurdish writing systems have many obvious problems. As Prince J.A. Bedir Xan predicted we will need to take lesson of our experience and reform the writing system to respond to our needs. We deserve better and we need to use our language in a more feasible way and challenge its capability in a global term.

Kind regards
DR

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A Roman script system

As a scholar of Kurdish language I strongly believe

1. Yes.

2. A Roman script system.

Regards
Newzad Hirori

Rawaz_S
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Most importance for Kurds to be able to communicate

As a research student on Kurdish language and literature I believe

1. Yes, it is of the out most importance for Kurds to be able to communicate with each other in script with a unified alphabet adapted to all Kurdish dialects, to preserve the richness of the Kurdish language and culture.

2. The most practical thing is to use a modified form of Latin script that can easily be adapted to the needs of the Kurdish language and its dialects. Constructing an entirely new Kurdish alphabet that can be totally be adapted to the Kurdish language would be preferable where considerations would be taken to the different sounds in the Kurdish language and also things like ease of writing and functionality. However the Latin script is more practical in the current situation, even though it is not flawless.

Kind regards
Rawaz Shanagar

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Standardized Kurdish language needs to be created

You may keep my answers anonymous:

1. Yes, absolutely. However, it is not just a standardized alphabet that is needed in my opinion. A standardized Kurdish language needs to be created (perhaps based off the two largest and most similar dialects, Kurmanji and Sorani) so that the social and cultural barriers can be broken between Kurds that speak different dialects and in order to make it easier for non-Kurdish-speakers to learn the language in a uniform and easy manner. And to address critics that say that a standardized Kurdish language would eliminate the diversity of dialects: This is an invalid argument. There are countries around the world (one example, Italy) that standardized their language long ago and the regional dialects are still existing in the regions, which they are spoken. The standardized language has simply allowed them to communicate with each other on the national level.

2. I prefer any variation of the Latin writing system. This is because it enables the thousands of Kurds in Diaspora to read and write and also because it creates inclusiveness for the millions of Kurds in Turkey who are not familiar with the Arabic script.

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It is critically important and needs to be dealt with

Thank you for putting this question to me. As a professional Translator who is dealing with Kurdish language in a professional level I think:

1. Alphabetic reform and using unified alphabet for Kurdish is critically important and needs to be dealt with at the current stage.

2. Latin alphabet is better and currently Yekgirtu Alphabet is the best of the existing Kurdish alphabets.

Kind regards

Kurosh Abdi (www.kurdglobal.com)

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The Kurdish language DOES have a unified alphabet

Dear Kal

The Kurdish language DOES have a unified alphabet but you seem to be trying to reinvent the Wheel all the time.

I think it is more productive to move onto some real constructive work on the language and its grammar by enriching it with an updated dictionary; finding scientific and literary word equivallents, translating scientific and great works and famous books using the Latin alphabet which I have referred to. The alphabet makes it very easy to translate scientific works because of the compatibility with the most common languages known to have been used in writing them.

If you still have not come across it then get a copy of Sorany Kurdish for English Speakers by myself (http://www.newhopepublishing.net). It enables all dialects to write in it and does not split the south from the north as you seem to be desperately trying to do!

Sincerely

Dr Fereydun Rafiq Hilmi