Iranian branch of Indo-European
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.