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Rojhí Kurd (2)

Rojhí Kurd (2)

Page 12 and 13 of Issue 2, Vol. 1, 18 July 1913's original copy of Kurdish Paper Rojh Kurd (Rojhí Kurd) published by The Kurdish Student Hope Society. These pages are of particular interest  to Kurdish Orthography. Although this short article can not be classified as a systematic codification attempt but some elements are important here, 

  1. The choice of representing some of Kurdish vowels (a, e, i, o, u) with Latin characters which appear 18 years later in 1931's Prince Jeladet Bedir Xan's codified North Kurdish alphabet.
  2. The rules of reading and writing which were the same of Ottoman Turkish language.
  3. The Arabic representation of /w/, /u/ and /ú/ was adopted again in 1929 version of Tawfiq Wahbi's Kurdish codification based on Perso-Arabic alphabet
  4. In the case of /a/, /e/. /é/ and /i/ the author has been influenced by Armenian and Hebrew alphabet for his creation of new letters

As the Kurdish elite intelecttuals were all literate in Ottoman and Persian languages any other options than Arabic based codification appeared unrealistic. 

The translation of the text reads:

Our letters and facilitating the reading

There is a problem which concerns me, and this is to develop  a form of  orthography which facilitates reading and writing. While I was overwhelmed  with this idea, I was able to see the new set of alphabet presented by “The Kurdish Student Hope Society. This new alphabet more than any others suits us as Kurds. As I am convinced about this issue, I decided to pen down my views. Whether we start now or we are going to begin with it in future, we should contemplate on more efforts any how in order not go back to the same point that we started from. I think if we start to work on the issue it will be more beneficial to us. As a matter of fact the respectful scholar Mas’ud  Efendi from Silémaní has already started to show us the way. I hope “Rojhí Kurd” will allocate a page of itself to us in order to discuss our letters and how we will be able to facilitate our reading. I hope my Kurdish brothers will take part in this discussion by putting forward their ideas.

The letters Reform Society accepts our main characters. As far as I know they have added 8 letters to our present 32 characters.

Here are their forms:

Let us write something with this  forms of the letters:

ساقی تو ژ بو خدی كرمكه

یك جرعه می د جام جم كه

Saqí te jhi bo xudé  kerem ke

Yék jura'e mi di jamé jem  ke 

I don’t know, possibly this kind of writing will be agreeable and I guess a total illiterate person will be able to write and read in that in the duration of  3-4 months. I am not saying we should accept that right away. I am just expressing my views. The right approach is to think about the issue and work on it day and night. If some of the respectful members of “Héví Association” will be in constant contact with “Letter Reform Society” in order to reach a concrete outcome I guess that will make the path closer. After achieving that,  efforts should be made to compile grammar books. Naturally in order we succeed in this effort surely the willingness of our experts to work on it is expected. When we have lied down the foundation of how to read and write, another great task as the respectful Kurdish scholar  Dr. Abdullah Jawdat has indicated will be the writing of Kurdish history. This is the most effective and the most important factor of life.

M.S. Azízí