Social awareness needed to check language distortion

Monwarul Islam | Published: 21:43, Feb 20,2018 | Updated: 00:26, Feb 21,2018


Language distortion in television and radio programmes is a concern for parents, senior artistes and educationists, who argue that such distortion has adverse impact on linguistic skills of young generation.
Use of imposed dialects, unnecessary mixing of words from different languages, and strange pronunciations and expressions have appeared to be a trend these days in radio and TV programmes, they said.
And the youths follow the weird pronunciations of radio jockeys, TV commercials and characters of teleplays considering those the current trend, which does not, however, represent the age-old tradition, they said.
‘I have found a significant change in language of my college-going son recently. He and his friends speak in same style’, said the 50-year public servant Rabiul Karim. ‘I notice similar accents and dictions among the youths in radio and TV programmes.’
Dhaka University’s emeritus professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury said, ‘Television and radio are powerful media which can reach to a wider range of audience. If programmes using distorted Bangla dialects are aired, it will have serious consequences in the long run.’
Media personalities and experts opine that such distortion was introduced to the local mass-media at the beginning of the 21st century aiming at attracting the urban youths.
‘The language that is used in many radio and TV programmes these days is imposed and does not represent any dialect of any region of the country,’ said president of Television Playwrights Council Masum Reza.
‘The youths, however, are enthusiastically accepting it, which, on the other hand is creating demand for making more programmes like this,’ said Reza adding that that such practice was not present even a decade ago.
On February 16, 2012, the High Court gave a suo moto rule asking private television channels and radio stations to stop broadcast of distorted Bangla expressions.
The rule was passed following an article styled ‘Bhasha Dushon Nadi Dushoner Motoi Biddhongshi (language distortion is as devastating as river pollution) written by Dhaka University professor Syed Manzoorul Islam in a Bangla daily.
HC also asked the government to form a committee to recommend measures to prevent distortion of Bangla in radio and TV programmes.
Following the HC order, a six-member committee headed by Dhaka University professor emeritus Anisuzzaman was formed and the committee gave its suggestions to stop language distortion.
The committee suggested that use of dialects can be allowed if the characters and the programmes demand. The committee even recommended not using any dialect that might appear imposed and belittle people of any region.
The committee also recommended not to allow irrelevant and unnecessary mix of words from different languages and also suggested that standard Bangla should be used in all programmes.
‘We gave suggestions to stop use of distorted Bangla in Television and radio programmes. But the suggestions have not yet been followed’, Anisuzzaman told New Age.
Another committee member Serajul Islam Choudhury said irrelevant mixing of English and Hindi with Bangla in television and radio programmes is upsetting.
Dhaka University English professor Syed Manzoorul Islam regrets seeing continuation of such distortion in radio and TV programmes ignoring the High Court directives.
‘It seems some of the young television and radio anchors have a strange knack for speaking in Bangla in foreign accents or mixing English words irrelevantly or unnecessarily in their sentences’, Manzoorul Islam said.
It indicates that they have no expertise in Bangla or English, he said. He also calls for generating social awareness to face the problem.
‘Many developed countries have language policies for mass media and they closely monitor whether the policies are executed or not,’ said Dhaka University mass communication and journalism department teacher Robaet Ferdous.
Giving example of Canada, Robaet said, independent language commission monitors language distortion in radio and television programmes, courts and even in billboards in the country.
Of late, information ministry gave directives to radio stations and TV channels to stop irrelevant mixing of Bangla-English on January 19.
‘We issued directives to stop the “Banglish” (Bangla-English mixed words and expressions), which is very common in TV and radio programmes’, said state minister for information Tarana Halim.
Following the directives, the ministry monitors language styles of the radio and TV programmes, said Md Mazibur Rahman, a deputy secretary of the ministry.
If the directives are not followed, the ministry will take necessary steps, he added.

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