Out of roughly 7,000 languages spoken internationally, over 80% of the languages are estimated to vanish inside the subsequent century. The United Nations Training, Scientific and Cultural Group (UNESCO) atlas of the world’s languages at risk reveals that 2,464 are endangered at present. All Naga languages are listed as “susceptible” that means that almost all youngsters converse the language, however it could be restricted to sure domains. Of the 14 Naga languages listed, EastMojo checked out why preserving the Tenyidie language—a regular language with one of many largest teams of audio system—issues.
What’s Tenyidie, and who makes use of the language?
In line with Ura Academy (UA), a literary society established in 1971, there are 10 tribes—Angami, Chakhesang, Pochury, Zeliangrong, Rengma, Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal, and Impui, that type a group referred to as the Tenyimia. Tenyimia is a bunch of Naga tribes that hint widespread ancestry and have the biggest audio system of a regular language referred to as the Tenyidie language.
The Academy, which works for the preservation and perpetuation of Tenyimia tradition, in its guide “Ura Academy Dze” (which roughly interprets because the story of Ura Academy), mentioned Christian missionary CD King and his spouse, who established a mission faculty in Kohima in 1882, launched Tenyidie as a topic in 1884.
Then, Rev SW Rivenburg and his spouse Hattie, who got here to Kohima in 1887, took up the unfinished literary works left by CD King and literalised the Angami dialect or the Tenyidie language. Rivenburg is credited to have translated three chapters of the Bible.
As per analysis by Riku Khutso, the standardisation of Tenyidie by the missionaries was a major consider taking the literary language to the completely different elements of Tenyimia-inhabited areas. With the fast unfold of Christianity, Tenyidie turned the widespread medium of communication, because the Bible and hymnals had been printed in Tenyidie.
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Diploma of endangerment
The Angami vernacular, together with Kheza, Rengma, Chokri, Pochury, Sumi, Lotha, Yimchunger (now referred to as Yimkhiung), Khiamniungan, Ao, Sangtam, Phom, Konyak and Chang was listed by UNESCO as susceptible among the many endangered languages.
Regardless of Tenyidie being the mom language, a lot of the Tenyimia tribes have their very own dialects— the place audio system of various dialects inside the similar language have very related, little and even no similarity to Tenyidie.
“If we take a look at the inhabitants progress, the variety of Tenyidie audio system is rising. However there’s a risk geographically because the variety of audio system may very well be reducing,” Mhalezolie Kire, Editor and Writer of Capi, a Tenyidie vernacular day by day, tells EastMojo. Capi is the oldest current vernacular day by day in Nagaland, with a large circulation of the newspaper in Kohima, Dimapur and Phek.
He cited how the older era of the Pochury tribe dwelling alongside the Myanmar border nonetheless speaks Tenyidie, however the Pochury dialect is spoken predominantly among the many youthful era, particularly amongst these dwelling within the Meluri subdivision below Phek district. The identical is seen among the many different Tenyimia tribes in Kohima and Dimapur districts.
Following the arrival of Christianity and the introduction of contemporary training, English turned an aspirational language. Within the absence of a regular widespread language for the Nagas, the worldwide language undoubtedly turned the official language of the state and stays the principle medium of training.
“We by no means take into account a language to be superior to the opposite, no matter the variety of audio system. Language is expansive,” says Professor D Kuolie, head of division (HoD) of Linguistics at Nagaland College.
In line with him, all Naga languages are “secure” from endangerment. He believes the variety of audio system, as recognized by UNESCO, shouldn’t be the one issue for classifying the diploma of endangerment. Naga languages are witnessing a progress in literature, which helps save and safe the languages, he provides.
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Of all Naga languages, Tenyidie is the one language taught academically on the PhD stage. The Ao language is taught until the undergraduate stage. The Lotha and Sumi languages are taught until the pre-university stage. As for the remainder of the languages, it’s taught until class 8, he tells EastMojo.
Nonetheless, these languages are taught in some authorities and personal faculties throughout the state in contrast to English, which is obligatory.
Regardless of the Naga languages being “secure” for now, he mentioned there’s a have to develop the native languages for all-round growth. He pointed how the dearth of Naga language writings in humanities, philosophy, science and expertise is endangering the languages. He mentioned there’s a have to develop native literature not confined to a specific discipline of research.
The current state of affairs of Tenyidie language
Capi editor and writer Kire mentioned in an try to protect Tenyidie at current, there must be a stability of the languages. “Regardless of the standardisation of the Tenyidie language, we have now to stability the language together with phrases used day by day. For instance, we use each the English and Tenyidie phrases on the day by day newspaper prints to indicate the months of the 12 months and days of the week, conserving in thoughts our younger readers,” Kire mentioned.
Professor Kuolie, who has authored 17 books in Tenyidie, mentioned “Our Naga intellectuals or the educated class have grow to be illiterate io their mom tongue. It isn’t their fault. It’s the fault of the scenario and the progress of the society.”
As all Naga languages are non-scheduled languages, he mentioned that the affect of Christianity and trendy training has caused a social change, straight affecting the native languages. The strategy of the Christian-majority state in creating a secular language, in response to him, is “completely nil” as there isn’t a concrete and constructive strategy to counterpoint the native literature.
With the development and competency of the English language, he mentioned that the information acquired by means of English could be taken as uncooked materials to develop the respective languages and revive the indigenous languages.
Nagamese: A risk to Naga languages together with Tenyidie
In line with Professor Kuolie, Nagamese—the ‘language of the road’ is a pure risk to the Naga languages. Nagamese is alleged to be a mixture of Assamese, Hindi and Bengali. “Though Nagamese isn’t of Naga origin, it has grow to be the viable medium of communication and we can’t keep away from it. It’s a direct risk for the Naga languages and so the individuals should realise that their languages will probably be forgotten if the road language is commonly used,” he mentioned.
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Saying that languages ought to by no means be legislated, Kuolie, who can also be the Normal Secretary of Ura Academy, mentioned that language should be utilized by audio system as a pure evolution. He mentioned that because the UA is making an attempt to save lots of the Tenyidie language, it doesn’t pay any consideration to the event of Nagamese.
“Nagamese is killing our language,” Vizonyü Liezietsu, Rtd Agriculture joint director, advised the Tenyidie Kephrünuoko Krotho (TKK), a company comprising of school college students majoring in Tenyidie topic, throughout a seminar held in Kohima lately. He mentioned that the residents of the state ought to moderately study Hindi as a substitute of talking Nagamese.
Why preserving Tenyidie issues
“The worth of the various levels one earns in life is diminished with out information of 1’s language,” Liezietsu mentioned. He urged the necessity to protect the language as some phrases from the Tenyidie language at the moment are disappearing. He mentioned that if the standard practices are not adopted by individuals, it contributes to the lack of the languages.
As for Kire, he’s of the view that if the Tenyidie language is used, spoken and preserved by the current era, there needs to be no fear of its extinction within the subsequent few a long time.
As a former chief of the Angami College students’ Union (ASU), he recounted how in 1995, the scholar physique had made it obligatory for faculties inside its jurisdiction to introduce Tenyidie as a language research within the faculties. “It was for the primary time that such a call was made, as we felt the necessity to protect the language,” he mentioned.
At current, there are just a few faculties and schools that supply Tenyidie as an elective topic. “Language can’t be imposed. So, now it has grow to be actually necessary for the youthful era to grasp what’s their first language and their second language,” he added.
It could be secure to notice that the youth at current are multilingual as they’re uncovered to English by means of trendy training, Nagamese—the default avenue language and the native dialect which is commonly spoken at residence. Regardless of being multilingual, most individuals could also be inclined in direction of the English language—the language which is taught at a really tender age.
Kire mentioned that the youthful era needs to be inspired to study Tenyidie.
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“The native audio system ought to settle for and respect their language. They need to attempt to converse and write it even when it could be as much as the usual,” he expressed with concern.
Nonetheless, it is usually fascinating to see how the current era of individuals is connecting with the older era over social networking websites to study the language. An occasion is the WhatsApp group referred to as “Educate and study Tenyidie”, comprising of native Tenyidie Audio system of all ages, who use the platform to speak and study concerning the language.
The group which was created in 2020 offers a platform for the members to share information concerning the language the place members can train and in addition study by exchanging textual content messages, graphics and even audio messages. Liezietsu is one lively member of the group who shares his information concerning the language by means of the cell software.
Vilhoukhoü Solo, an elder from the Angami tribe, mentioned that the current era could be the bridge to attach the older era and the long run era. “Preserving the language requires collective effort. To strengthen and go on our language is our duty,” she mentioned.
Dr Khrüvolü Keyho, the primary scholar to be conferred with a PhD in Tenyidie, mentioned that at current, the Tenyidie language is standard among the many Naga languages as there are a sure algorithm/requirements which can be used to keep up the language.
The lecturer mentioned that regardless of the introduction of the Tenyidie language in faculties, schools and on the college stage, the language isn’t given due respect even by these instructing the language. To protect and defend the language, she urged the necessity to use and converse the language at widespread gatherings.
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