Kurdish Academy of Language [KAL]

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The Kurdish Academy of Language [KAL] is an Open Global Kurdish Linguistic Network dedicated to Kurdish language research. From its birth in late 1992, KAL has raised issues relating to all aspects of the Kurdish language, in particular the Kurdish Writing systems.

KAL is an ELECTRONIC NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (e-NGO) and has been initiated on independent volunteering bases as a global open network. Members with skills in linguistic, and information technology are sharing their thoughts around Kurdish linguistic issues. They seek information, solutions and focus on a future for better understanding of the Kurdish language with a Pluricentric character but a single Orthographic system only. The experts of KAL network are full of resources such as project management for implementation, computer programming and linguistic skills, lexicographer, teachers, artist and new learners. KAL is a community of people who has responded to this crucial question of our society.

The Kurdish scripting system is not represented in any Instructional standard code under Kurdish Language code. According to ISO the Kurdish language classifies as KUR for ISO 639-2/B or bibliographic code, KUR for ISO 639-2/T or terminology code and KU for ISO 639-1 which is an alphabetic code. Today as the result of fast growing electronic communication and archiving system and advance Information Technology many Computer software are developed with bases for existing pre-defined International Scripting codes. Because the Kurdish language remains un-coded and for other reasons like multi scripting coding system representing Kurdish Language, an indirect consumer market for Kurdish has developed which relies on modified Arabic, Turkish, and/or Persian software to write and archive in Kurdish. Writing in Kurdish has become an adult, computer literate, and elite educated privilege practice only.

KAL highlights these limitations and brings into focus a global plan for developing a writing system which can serve all dialects of Kurdish language with no limitations in the fast growing online computing world. Kurdish has to become as popular as possible for native Kurds in order to become the primary language in Kurdish households, even though education in the Kurdish language remains a criminal offense in countries that divide Kurdish lands, namely Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The level of illiteracy in official languages (Turkish, Persian, Arabic), and mother tongue among Kurds is very high. But this can turn out to be an opportunity for Kurds in media IT revaluation by creating a nation wide accepted scripting system which can be used for a national education of the Kurdish language with bases on more solid ground. Whatever the political resolution of Kurdish issues in Middle East, Kurdish language and literature can help provide a common foundation for nearly 40 million Kurds to practice their ancient culture.

The lack of the fundamental bases of Kurdish language to play a wider role among all Kurdish speakers has been pointed out clearly by Kurdish linguists pioneer, like Prince Jeladet Bedir Xan who stated in his paper Hawar no 9, 1933 that

As I have noted before, the Kurdish nation will converge via a unified Kurdish language. The prerequisite of a unified Kurdish language is a unified Kurdish alphabet. This means that the Kurdish scholars and the literati need to develop a writing system that allows all speakers hailing from every Kurdish dialect to use that writing system.

The Kurdish linguistic scholar of the modern time Prof. Jemal Nebez also says that

“As a student, I was already of the conviction – which I have held to this day (2002)- that the lack of a single, unified alphabet constitutes a great calamity for the Kurdish people. The introduction of a mutual alphabet would lead to better communication amongst Kurds and contribute to a convergence of the various dialects and modes of expression. I am talking here of convergence and not of absolute unification.”

The KAL is an initiative to lead discussion of a Kurdish language scripting system. By creating a unified Kurdish scripting system KAL will test the ability of the Kurdish language to serve the Kurdish community through the Internet and any media. Now Kurdish can be practiced on Internet without any limitation no matter the geographical position. An scripting system which prevents a community from practicing their culture significantly complicates the bond between generation, and loses focus over time in the rapid growth era of media and IT. For more details, please browse the site via the left hand side menu.

Note: The logo emblem of Kurdish Academy of Language [KAL] is a donation by Kurdish Artist Mr Rébwar Saeed

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