Arunachal man scripts new tribal alphabet to preserve language
Losu who was enlisted in the US-based Unicode Consortium for online use said, "It took me almost 12 years to script the Wancho language
Linguist student Banwang Losu developed an independent Wancho script in order to preserve 'Wancho language' which is spoken in several northeastern states. Wancho is one of the tribes in Arunachal Pradesh which lacked a script.
Losu who was enlisted in the US-based Unicode Consortium for online use said, "It took me almost 12 years to script the Wancho language. It is not only confined to Arunachal Pradesh but is also spoken in Nagaland, Assam and other countries like Myanmar and Bhutan."
The language has also found a place in the Unicode which means that it can be used on the internet as well. "We are responsible to preserve our culture and languages ourselves or it will disappear from this world. There is no superior or inferior language; every language is equally important," he said.
While developing the script, Losu faced various problems. Losu is pursuing his Masters in linguistics at Deccan College Post Graduation and Research Institute in Pune. "I found out that it was not possible to translate the language as it did not capture all of its sounds. So I started researching on phonetics of the language," Losu said.
A book which was published in 2013, titled, 'Wancho script' carries basic application of letters into words and sentences. It is now being used as a textbook in around 20 government-run schools. "Other tribes are also welcome to use the script of our script. I can also help them document the script of their own language if they want," Losu added.
Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Here's how Narendra Modi celebrated his birthday after becoming the PM