Need to standardize spelling of Khasi language: Khasi Authors’ Society

Shillong, Feb 23: The Khasi Authors’ Society (KAS) will soon write to the Meghalaya government and the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) on the need to standardize the spelling of the Khasi language.

The KAS announced this at the release of a book “La donkam ban pynbeit noh ïa ka jingspel dak ïa ka ktien Khasi (Need to standardize spelling of Khasi language).”

The 27 pages book published by the Editor of SP News Agency, Starfing JL Pdahkasiej was released by the Director of Arts & Culture, W Nongsiej in the presence of KAS president, Dr DRL Nonglait at the Shillong Press Club here on Saturday.

In his speech, Dr Nonglait admitted that the issue highlighted in the book is important as there is a need to ensure that Khasi spelling is consistent.

“The Khasi Authors’ Society will write to the Department of Arts & Culture and NEHU to start a project to standardize the spelling of the Khasi language. For this, we need to come up with Khasi pronouncing dictionary which also involves phonetic symbols,” Dr Nonglait said.

Emphasizing the need to have a body to take up this issue, Dr Nonglait said the KAS and the Achik Literature Society (ALS) have been made as autonomous literary bodies in the state through a resolution adopted by the State Assembly last year.

The resolution passed was passed in connection with the demand to include both Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

“Till today the state government is yet to frame rules for the autonomous literary body. Therefore, we will soon take up this matter with the state government for speeding up this process,” he said.

Dr Nonglait also said that the objective of standardizing the Khasi spelling can be achieved only if the KAS, NEHU, education department down to the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE) work together.

“Steps have been taken at the level of the NEHU, but unfortunately at present, there is no coordination between the university and the state education department,” Dr Nonglait said.

The Arts & Culture director, W Nongsiej assured to give the issue a top priority of the department.

“We are ready to extend support to this issue through funding. There is a need to have a body which will look into this matter of importance,” Nongsiej said while lauding the effort of the agency in publishing the book.

In introductory remark, Pdahkasiej, who has been associating with many vernacular dailies for past 25 years, said that the book aims at highlighting the importance of using correct spelling while writing in Khasi language.

According to him, at present there is no consistency in Khasi spellings.

“Though people are speaking the same language, but yet they spell the Khasi words differently,” Pdahkasiej pointed out.

Dr Nonglait however said there are different schools of thought on this matter but are not based on language theory.

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