Urdu vs English: Are we ashamed of our language?

Most Pakistanis have been brought up speaking national language Urdu and English. Instead of communicating in Urdu, many of us lapse into English during everyday discussion. Even people who do not speak English very well try their best to sneak in a sentence or two, considering it important for their acceptance in the ‘cooler’ group.

We wonder where the trend started, but unknowingly, unconsciously, somehow or the other we all get sucked into the trap. It was not until a few years ago while on a college trip to Turkey that I realized the misgivings of our innocent jabber.

A group of Pakistani students went abroad and stopped at a shop for lunch. After lunch the waiter came with bill and asked Pakistani students:

“Where are you from?”


The waiter looked surprised, and then asked students whether they had been brought up in England. Pakistani students answered in the negative, telling him how Pakistan was where we all had grown up and spent out lives. The waiter genuinely looked confused now. Finally waiter blurted out:

‘Then why don’t you speak in the Pakistani language?’

And then the waiter went on to explain how millions of people of different nationalities from across the globe visit here as tourist. And when French visit here, they speak French. When the Chinese visit, they speak Chinese. Similarly everyone in this country speak local language. Waiter also claimed that he was very proud of his language and culture and failed to understand how someone would not speak the language of their country and choose instead a foreign tongue.

The group of Pakistani students was all at a loss of an answer. They had never thought of it that way. It was just something that we took up because of society. Even when people speak in Urdu, they tend to include a lot of English words in their sentences. Why is that? Is it because we are not proud of our national language?

Are we not proud of our native language?


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4 Responses to Urdu vs English: Are we ashamed of our language?

  1. Usman Waheed says:

    well i dont agree with the question that are we not proud of native language, yes it is debatable. so to give my point of view, i would say that it all depends on a person’s mentality. one should always look him/herself to groom and improve by learning different skills or languages. if all the countries of the world have agreed that English is the international language then there is no shame in getting yourself equipped with this tool so that it is considered your trait but one should not feel proud or superior that he has command over English and likewise also should not be ashamed his/her own native language.
    we should think of it as terms of communication, as my friend has also put this article or post in English and not our “Native Language” bcoz he felt he would be better able to describe point of view and also more people will read it as it is in English. Hope People will agree to my point of view but even if they don’t, I dont mind bcoz everyone has the right to have their own point of view :-)

  2. Shahzad says:

    The point raised here are:

    Point: Agree with the question of being……..
    Answer: Waiter asked if they borned in UK?

    Point: Depends on mentality?
    Answer: Why international people ask us a question that while sitting within our group we’ll speak in english?
    Can we say waiter had a lower mentality?

    Point: Groom & Improve
    Answer:How do we groom internationally while sitting in a local (Native) group by reflecting our culture or else

    Point: Learning different skills or langauges
    Answer: Chinese or french why don’t the speek urdu or English among chinese when they are in pakistan even if it is international language?

    Point: Countries agreed upon english as international language
    Answer: Being international language doesn’t mean that within our group we must speak in international language.

    Point: No shame to equipped with international tool
    Answer: Who is ashmed of international language. Question asked that while sitting within local or native group should we speak local/native language

    Point: Not feel proud or superior if someone have command over English
    Answer: Feels proud when speaking english reflects our culture as well.

    Point: Think as term of communication, as this article is in English not in Native language
    Answer: When we are on international platform and communicating with every one then the best tool to be used is international language.

    Point: And final but not least Don’t Mind as other have their own point of view
    Answer: We must understand the basic point of international person. If any point raised for betterment of us must not be taken as “Attack” or mind it.

  3. Usman Waheed says:

    well all i’ll say is that i dont like to debate like i said, i have put up my own point of view, no one has to agree with it but this is really so funny as in the article it is clearly mentioned
    “A group of Pakistani students went abroad and stopped at a shop for lunch.”
    so they were not at a LOCAL place were they??
    anyways, i dont want any useless debates.

  4. Shahzad says:

    For local means pakistani people within a group of local person and no froeign person in a group. Here local does not means local place.
    The article is not for agreements of views. Just sharing point of view and that might be right or wrong.
    Thanks for reading and sharing concerns.

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