Pakistan

The Evolution of Pakistani English language

Pakistani English

Pakistani English is the dialect of the English language which is spoken in Pakistan and also spoken by Pakistani expatriates, Pakistani migrants, and Pakistani tourists. It is also called Pinglish or Paklish and was selected and designated in the 1970s and 1980s.

As the English language has many dialects, the country prefers to speak and write British English. British English then got mixed into Pakistani languages, created another form of dialect with respect to syntax, accent, vocabulary, spellings, and many other features too. English is neither widely spoken nor used as a native language but it is mostly used in education or commerce and the legal and judicial systems.

British ruled in India for almost 200 years. It ruled the whole of India and due to this fact many areas in Pakistan like Sindh, Baluchistan, etc were under British rule and the British empire had less time to be part of local culture. But, it became part of an elite culture that started to be used in elite schools and in higher education.

That is how the English language became the marker of elite status by the colonial policies, also it became the powerful language that was started being used as the officer corps of the armed forces, power as the civil services, prestigious newspapers, the higher judiciary, radio or entertainment, and universities, it all happened due to British policies and these policies kept continued by government of Pakistan also.

Just after the inception of the country in 1947, the English language became the de facto official language. It was positioned and formalized in the 1973 constitution of Pakistan. Now, the country has two official languages concurrently; Urdu and English. The English language is now the language of power. This language is also with the maximum cultural capital of any language which is used in the country and it has a high demand in the higher education system of Pakistan.

Pakistani English has many similarities with Indian English but after the independence of the country, there have been some other differences due to the differences of regional or provincial languages in Pakistan like Pakistani English has several interference varieties of English that created by the use of the feature of Urdu, Pashto, Punjab, and Sindhi, these are only provincial languages although Pakistan has almost 50 languages or more spoken in the country. These language differences that are created after the interference of the first language cause the real difference between Pakistani English and Indian English.

Moreover, English being the international and official language of Pakistan, street signs, business contracts, government documents, shop signs, even court procedures, and as such many other activities are inscribed in the English language. This language is taught in all educational institutions, probably all courses are taught in the English language and English separately is a subject.

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