The search for a kurdish alphabet

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Meet Yekgirtú: a program that simply could be the future of the Kurdish language.

Developed by Dilan Rostan at the Kurdish Academy of Language, it attempts to clean Kurdish of Arab, Semitic, Turkic, Persian, and Russian words, all while promoting the standardization and also unification of a Kurdish writing system.

There are an estimated 40 million Kurdish speakers around the globe today. They are commonly divided into four wide linguistic teams, which utilize the leading manuscripts of their locations. North Kurds of Turkey and Armenia make use of Latin-Turkish, Main Kurds of Iraq/Syria make use of Arabic. Kurds spread out throughout the ‘stans’ as well as the former USSR use Cyrillic, and also South-Eastern Kurds of Iran usage Persian. Languages spoken include Kurmanji, Sorani, Badinani, Hawrami, and Zaza-Gorani. The vowel-rich Kurdish includes personalities not found in these alphabets, however, which suggests they need to be changed through the use of diacritics and also harakat.

Otherwise, the software program doesn’t see Kurdish as a collection of language groups, yet rather as one unified language spoken in a selection of languages and also fragmented by Turkish, Arabic, Persian, as well as Cyrillic creating systems. Yekgirtú is also held up in alongside the Arabic MSA system as well as Latinate languages, where the alphabet is standardised however still allows languages as well as vernaculars to grow.

Yekgirtú, then is a mitigative initiative attempting to codify and advertise a Kurdish communication composing system. It is a customized Latin-based manuscript composed of 34 personalities consisting of the uniquely Kurdish jh, ll, as well as rr, as well as 9 vowels (a, e, é, i, í, o, u, ú, ù), in addition to 25 consonants.

The concept for the script was birthed in the very early 90s, a couple of years after the Al Anfal campaign– an ethnic genocide against Kurds as well as various other non-Arabs– and the Ba’athi Arabization of north Iraq. It was a time when emancipation using digital networks was popular in the public creative imagination. Rostan, a computational linguist, utilized technologies like the UNIX OS as well as the NCSA Mosaic web browser to generate some of the earliest Kurdish visibility on the internet. He is in charge of the “Kurdistan” website which later on came to be an encyclopedia called KURDISTANICA. Rostan likewise gave e-lessons on Kurdish heritage, as well as was the owner of a group studying the Southern Kurdish team of dialects.

During this study, he became aware of the diverse Kurdish writing systems, and also put out a require an unification motion.

His recommended script has been specifically well received in diasporic circles, generating children such as the Yekgirtú Initiative. The Effort sees the modified alphabet as a step towards ‘detoxifying’ Kurdish. They perceive the talked language as a mutilated ‘creole,’ where unusual words and expressions from close-by hegemonic identities (Arab, Iranian, and so on) pollute the even more timeless kind of composing and also talking Kurdish. Nonetheless, other diasporic Kurds like linguist Newzad Hirorî, Director of the Kurdish Library in Stockholm, defame the merged alphabet, punningly calling it as “character assassination,” and also use Rostan’s Southern Kurdish history to reject his work.

Possibly unsurprisingly, Rostan sees the worldwide Kurdish neighborhood as communicatively useless. His debate is not about sectarianism, advocacy or nation structure; rather, he sees it as a typographic trouble. Because the language does not presently have a main ISO-recognised code for internet usage, interacting online in Kurdish is challenging. Essentially, the Kurdish side of the internet operates virtually as part of the Deep Web, challenging to browse and accessibility. The result has been a casual, if careless use changed Arabic, Turkish, or Persian scripts; the latter, infamously hard to electronically provide, offers its own collection of problems.

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