Islamabad: President Mamnoon Hussain Wednesday said that cultural invasion can do no harm to the organised civilisations. He further said that Pakistan has an honour that it has preserved the thousand-year-old cultural traditions of Urdu dictionary. “In the future, it will be beneficial for the followers of Urdu according to modern requirements”, he added.
Addressing at the launch of web edition of Urdu language dictionary at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, president said the step was a way forward in promotion of Urdu and had made the language make its presence in the international comity with sheer finesse and sophistication. He said languages are the source of identity for literature and culture and expressed satisfaction that digitalization of Urdu dictionary would help the new generation get a detailed know-how about the language. He lauded Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui under whose patronage Editor-in-chief of Urdu Dictionary Board Aqeel Abbas Jaffery accomplished the strenuous project of digitalization of 22 editions of the dictionary.
He said those languages get immortalized whose historic background, vocabulary, forms and usage of words in different ages and lingual experiences are compiled in form of a proper and scientific glossary. He said the nations that document their cultural history have nothing to fear from the foreign cultural invasion. He emphasized preservation of rare books; literature and research material used in preparation of Urdu dictionary as a national asset and added that the government would fulfill the requirements of related institutions in their efforts.
He said maintaining a dictionary was not only an academic activity but a technical matter as well. He said though the overall expression and style of dictionaries worldwide was more or less the same, however in Pakistan, it required further advancement. He said languages were subject to change by absorbing new words with time and called upon the Urdu Dictionary Board to prepare itself as a vibrant institution to address these challenges of future. He recalled presenting a set of Urdu dictionary to the Urdu department at Baku University during his visit to Azerbaijan, which was highly appreciated by the students who termed it a great source of knowledge for the coming generations.
Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui said the Urdu dictionary was the effort of great names from Baba-e-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq to Josh Maleeh Abadi, Naseem Amrohvi, Shan ul Haq Haqqi, Dr Farman Fatahpuri, John Elia, Qudrutullah Shahab and several others. He said in view of making the dictionary highly accessible to common man and students, he envisioned the project named ’Computerization of Urdu Dictionary, Software Development for Mobile Phones, Web hosting and Establishment of Server Room’, which was completed with a cost of Rs13,200,000.
Irfan Siddiqui said the dictionary comprised 22 editions and having 264,000 words typed in Naskh font. He said the price of complete set of dictionary, which took 52 long years to complete, was Rs 50,400, which was now available free at internet and in shape of two Compact Discs at nominal price.
He said the work on recording of first ‘Digital Urdu Sound Dictionary’ was in progress, which would offer proper pronunciation of the words. He said the projects of launching a tri-lingual Chinese-Urdu-English dictionary and separate dictionaries of great poets Iqbal and Ghalib were in pipeline.
President launched the online edition of Urdu dictionary by clicking the computer key. Later, he gave away shields of appreciation to Advisor Irfan Siddiqui and Editor-in-Chief Urdu Dictionary Board Aqeel Abbas Jaffery.