From Nepal, with Love

The poem below, composed in Nepalese and translated into English by Nepalese writer Aditya Pokharel, was written shortly after a screening of “The Linguists” at Kathmandu University in January 2012, hosted by Dr. K. David Harrison. The event was also followed by a language preservation workshop. Aditya was struck by the loss of the world’s languages, and composed this beautiful poem about his experience.

The day I heard languages were dying,
I wondered, What else were being killed with it?
Millions of of words mutilated,
Thousands of songs unsung,
hundreds of stories untold.
I wondered,
which language,
would answer this.
How long will it take for humanity,
to be humane?
The day I heard languages were dying,
I didn’t feel so alive myself.

जुन दिन मैले सूने भाषाहरू मरिरहेका छन्
मैले सोचेँ, भाषासँगै अरू के-के मारिइरहेका होलान्।
क्षतविछ्त् पारिएका लाखौँ शब्दहरू
नगाइएका हजारौँ गीतहरू
नभनिएका सयौँ कथाहरू।
अनि सोचेँ,
कुन भाषाले यो प्रश्नको उतर देला:
मानवतालाई मानविय हुन अझू कति लाग्ला?
जुन दिन मैले सुने भाषाहरू मरिरहेका छन्,
त्यो दिन मैले आफै पनि त्यति जिउँदो महशूश गरिन।

2 thoughts on “From Nepal, with Love

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