With the incorporation of vocabulary, grammar, and idiomatic expressions, the influence of its indigenous languages is visible and vibrant in English language used in Pakistan
Pakistani English is a dynamic and evolving variety of English that has emerged as a significant linguistic phenomenon in Pakistan. It is influenced by the rich linguistic diversity of the country, incorporating elements from various Pakistani languages. Let’s explore the concept of Pakistani English, its linguistic influences, examples from newspapers and literature, everyday usage in different domains, and the perspectives of Pakistani English language experts on its peculiarities.
Understanding Pakistani English
Pakistani English refers to the variant of the English language spoken and written in Pakistan. It is influenced by the country’s multilingual environment, with Urdu being the national language and English serving as an official language. Pakistani English has distinct features in pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and idiomatic expressions, distinguishing it from other varieties of English.
Influence of Pakistani Languages upon English
The influence of Pakistani languages on English is evident in various aspects. Vocabulary assimilation is a prominent feature, with words borrowed from Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, and other regional languages. For instance, words like “chai” (tea), “bazaar” (marketplace), and “dost” (friend) have become part of the everyday lexicon of Pakistani English.
Grammar patterns and sentence structures are also influenced by Pakistani languages. Speakers of Pakistani English may use sentence structures that resemble those in Urdu, such as “I am going market” instead of “I am going to the market.” Additionally, certain idiomatic expressions and proverbs from local languages find their way into Pakistani English, adding a distinct flavor to the language.
Influence Examples from Newspapers and Literature
Newspapers and literature in Pakistan provide a rich source of examples showcasing the influence of Pakistani languages on English. Newspapers often include Urdu words and phrases, as well as local cultural references, to cater to the diverse readership. Literary works by Pakistani authors also demonstrate the integration of local languages, customs, and traditions into English storytelling, enriching the overall narrative.
Everyday Use of English in Different Domains
Pakistani English is widely used in various domains, including banking, the judicial system, and educational institutions. In banks, English is the primary language for official communication, while Urdu and regional languages are used to cater to customers’ needs. Similarly, the judicial system employs a mix of English and Urdu, with legal terminology often borrowing from both languages.
In educational institutions, English serves as the medium of instruction in many private schools and universities. However, code-switching and the use of mixed varieties are common, allowing students to express themselves comfortably in their native languages while using English for academic purposes.
Views of Pakistani English Language Experts
Pakistani English language experts have offered insights into the peculiarities of Pakistani English. They acknowledge that Pakistani English is a distinct variety with its own set of rules and conventions. While some view it as a valid expression of cultural identity, others emphasize the need for maintaining Standard English while incorporating local influences.
Experts also highlight the importance of intelligibility and effective communication in Pakistani English. They advocate for language learners to be exposed to both Standard English and Pakistani English, enabling them to navigate various linguistic contexts and communicate effectively in both formal and informal settings.
Pakistani English is an emerging variety that reflects the linguistic influences of Pakistani languages on the English language. With the incorporation of vocabulary, grammar, and idiomatic expressions, the influence of its indigenous languages is visible and vibrant in English language used in Pakistan.
Shoukat Lohar is Assistant professor in English at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro. He can be reached at Shoukat.firstname.lastname@example.org