Interview with

Mohammad Javad

Rare Language Specialist - Gilak (Indo-Iranian)

Name: Mohammad Javad
Nationality or Ethnicity: Iran/ Gilak-Caucasian
Where do you live?: Tehran
Representative of rare language: Gilak

1. What’s your story? How did you get exposed to this rare language?
I am a native speaker of Gilak, from rural villages in Gilan province in  northern Iran. The old culture and the interesting forms of speech by  Gilak people (like my own family) motivated me to learn it.

2. How would you describe the efforts being made, at the civil, social, and governmental languages, to preserve this language?
For many years, Gilaki was considered a great dialect/language as one of  the main keys in northern Iranian culture. It is connected with old  rural songs, particularly the romantic ones. Besides, since Gilan  cooking is the no.1 in Iranian cuisine, Gilak language/dialect has come  in calling many foods all over the country.

3. How often do you get the chance to use this language in your daily life?
As a native speaker, I always use this language. Although we speak Farsi  as the main language of Iran in our family, we always use Gilak during  our conversations, too.

4. Are you satisfied with the response of students in your department and your
university to the available offerings in your language?

Unfortunately, the importance of Gilak is not considered by many in  Iran. Some people try to use jokes about this dialect. Therefore, there  are even Gilak people who avoid to use it when there are other people  around. I hope people like me can introduce this great language/dialect  to the world.

5. What is your message to young people who wish to learn this language?
Gilak deserves to learn. Gilan has a long history, and it is rich in  culture, costumes, traditions, and many other great things.

The International Association of Hyperpolyglots - HYPIA. (c) 2020

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