Karachi: Though the futuristic project of the Pak-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been actively in its implementing phase, but a distressingly huge ‘language barrier’ is there to frustrate deeper people-to-people relations between the two friendly countries and tapping full potential of the CPEC. However, Pakistani nation has been waiting for the start of a China-Pak Language Corridor to bridge this language barrier, effectively.
For last several years, difference announcements are made by successive governments to introduce the Mandarin language in Pakistan from school level but these announcements are yet to be implemented, as the local bureaucracy does not like the idea of ending the dominance of English, which was made official language of this region by the then British colonial rulers.
However, considering the importance of Pak-China neighborhood and very deep friendly relations at the governmental level it is imperative that our people know the respective national languages of both great nations and communicate freely without the help of an interpreter, as they say that you cannot become true friends if your communication is dependent on a third person: interpreter.
It is high time to replace English in Pakistan with Mandarin Chinese, which is most widely spoken and fastest growing language of the world. It is also Asia’s future lingua franca (common language). For Pakistanis, the English is a distant foreign language, but the Chinese is the language of a very close neighbor and friend.
Though presently English is still the most commonly used language for business communication in Asia including Pakistan, but this is slowly but surely changing as more and more business communication in Asia is turning to the Mandarin Chinese and there is no doubt that this language will play an increasingly important role as a language for business communication in near future.
The full potential of the CPEC idea could not be tapped unless making the Mandarin Chinese ‘the second language’ of Pakistani citizens. However, to materialize this dream, the governments, think tanks, academicians, educationalists, writers, journalists and thought leaders of both Pakistan and People’s Republic of China (PRC) would have to play their due role.
The Pakistani nation hopes that the idea of China-Pak Language Corridor would be discussed at an appropriate level during the visit of Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to China, who has been invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend a two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, beginning in Beijing on Sunday.