ISLAMABAD: The Maldives is seeking Pakistan’s help to digitise and promote its language and literature apart from the translation of literary books, and writer exchange to each other’s country.
This was discussed as a seven-member delegation of scholars, writers and intellectuals from the Maldives Dhivehi Language Academy visited the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Friday.
The delegation, led by Dhivehi Language Academy (DLA) President Ashraf Ali, discussed details of a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for promoting language, the literature of both countries through the translation of literary books, holding of seminars and exchange of writer’s delegation to each other country.
During a briefing on the academy, Ali talked about the history and script of Dhivehi language. He noted that the only one language is spoken on the different islands of Maldives with only slight variance in dialect. This, he said, was very helpful in promoting the language.
The DLA chief added that their academy and the Maldives government were working to develop the language to make it more digitally accessible apart from complying with modern technology.
He expressed the need for cooperation from concerned institutions and universities of Pakistan in this regard.
Ali particularly mentioned the wide popularity and readership of PAL’s literary Urdu journal “Adbiyat” in the Maldives.
Pakistan Academy of Letters arranged a meeting between the visiting delegation and local language experts, writers and scholars including National Language Promotion Department Director-General Iftikhar Arif, National Book Foundation Managing Director Dr Inamul Haq Javeid, PAL Director-General Dr Rashid Hameed along with other writers and scholars.
They discussed the Urdu language’s comprehensive corpus and how it could be used to help the Maldives. Various aspects of the proposed agreement between PAL and DLA were also discussed.
Arif said that writers and scholars belong to the same family. He added that all the languages are the same and anything being written in any language was a part of literature.
The first rue grammar in the world came from this part of the world and we have rich and tremendous linguistic stock, he added.
Dr Javed gave an overview of NBF’s role and function.
PAL Director-General Dr Hameed briefed the delegation about his organization and its role in promoting literature.
He said that an MoU between DLA and PAL would lead to further strengthening ties between the two South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, particularly in the field of literature.
The Maldives delegation also included DLA Director General Naseema Ahmed, History Assistant Director Shahma Ali, Assistant Director Mohamad Fauzan Ahmed, Writer Ashraf Abdul Raheem, IT Consultant Ahmed Nadeem, and Anas Mohamed.