Monday, 02 July 2012, 08:16 GMT
Homar Dizayee: The concept of creating a standard Kurdish language for all Kurdistan is unscientific and illogical


Renowned Kurdish artist, Homer Dizayee, delivers a seminar at the Kurdish Writers' Union in Erbil, June 26, 2012./GLOBE PHOTO/Shorsh Ghafuri

The Kurdish Globe

The Erbil branch of the Kurdish Writers Union held a seminar for Homer Dizayee, a renowned Kurdish singer and artist about the standard of Kurdish language in southern Kurdistan.

As Dizayee explained, this seminar was part of the master thesis he wrote in the United States, but he could not work further on it, hence "I tried to have a second look amid this language conflict."

Dizayee said that recently experts are talking about the creation of a standard language from all the dialects across the parts of Kurdistan, with a language that can be understood by all the Kurds in all the parts of Kurdistan. He argued that this is not an easy task and will lead to disappointment.

"We have been trying, out of enthusiasm and emotion, to argue that all of Kurdistan is one part and that only artificial borders have divided it into several parts, and hence it should have one language," explained Dizayee. "This is only easy in talking, but unfortunately it is very far from being realistic."

"We are busy with developing a standard language in dreams and like Donkey Shot for a unified Kurdistan, which is again a dream."

He then compared the earth and sky of the Kurds and Arabs and mentioned numerous reasons for why such efforts for a unified language and state are bound to fail.

Addressing the kinds of languages and the notion of language as a living organism, Dizayee said "it comes into being, lives, and dies even."

He also compared the differences in a language as differences among human beings in height, color and other differences and argued that it is very normal.

"Hence, the existence of dialects is normal and the most successful languages have passed through these differences in the past, since any current nation that is united, has been full of immigrants, urban people, tribes and nations and due to their separateness , it has been natural if they had different languages or dialects."

Later in his speech, Dizayee started to address the Kurdish language and explained to attendants that Kurdish linguists, both ancient and modern, and foreign linguists, have made some different classifications for Kurdish dialects, but that most of them have agreed that there are three major Kurdish dialects, the northern Kurdish (Kurmanji), middle Kurdish, which is mistakenly called "Sorani" and the Gorani dialect.

"It is true that these three dialects are used all over Kurdistan, but the Suleimaniya sub-dialect in the south-east and the Kurmanji in Syria and Turkey have become the dominant dialects," explained Dizayee. "Hence, we should divide Kurdistan into two Kurdistan's in terms of language, and forget, for the time being, the idea of one standard Kurdish language and state, as both Sorani and Kurmaji have proved themselves via a historical process."

Then Dizayee discussed the superiority of the dialects and reiterated that no dialect is superior or "more Kurdish" than the other, and he compared different dialects of a language as the children of a parent and said that no child is superior to the other in the eyes of the parents.

"However, there might by one child who has developed and proved himself more than the others, but this child is not necessarily the first child, a male or a female one, but sometimes the youngest in the family. Hence the dialects are exactly like this, grow and prove themselves in the same way."