Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 7:

Nepal Baram Association (NBA) is preparing to publish a dictionary of Balkura — the mother tongue of Baram community, which is on the verge of extinction. It is estimated that only elderly citizens of some 30 Baram households of Danda Gaun of Gorkha district use the language Even Indra Bahadur Baram, the president of the Gorkha Baram Association, cannot speak or understand his mother language. The language is said to be similar to Magar language. “We have reached to the final stage of the preparation to publish the dictionary,” said Prem Baram, president of NBA adding, “To acquaint ourselves with the language and its usage we have brought Kali Maya Baram, 68, and Dambar Bahadur Baram, 42, who can speak the language fluently, here.”

With the help of these two people, the Baram-Nepali-English dictionary will be published by the National Foundation for Development of Indigenous and Nationalities. Prof Dr Yogendra Prasad Yadav, head of the Central Department of Linguistic of the Tribhuvan University, is coordinating the publication project with the help of a Japanese linguist Suyeshi Toba. Kali Maya Baram, who came from Pandrung Jarang of Gor-kha to help publish the dictionary said, “Only senior citizens of my maternal village Danda Gaun speak this language. The youths do not want to learn. Instead they make fun of it.”“Because the language is on the verge of extinction, we are in a rush to publish the dictionary after a thorough study,” said Purna Baram, secretary, NBA. He said the association would begin to teach the mother language to youths of the Baram community soon after the publication of the dictionary.