Languages with Few Speakers Burushaski

About the language Burushaski spoken in Kashmir, history and example of the unique spoken language.



I shall tell the story of a man called Faqir Ali.

He had a son, his name was Derbesho. He was staying at the Shishper grazing ground. One day he took the goats off to graze in the direction of Hunumun Mun. Leaving the goats off in the pasture, he laid himself down. When he had lain down and had gone to sleep, a call came: "Derbesho! Derbesho!" He woke up. On waking up he saw that a beautiful maiden had come up to his head.

She said to him: "My father is calling you." When she said this, he followed the girl and came to the foot of Hunumun Mun. On approaching it, a door opened in the mountain. When he went in, a man with a golden mustache was sitting there, and seven beautiful women were sitting there with sitars. Derbesho entered and salaamed. The man responded to his salaam. Having done so, he said to his daughters: "Play a tune for Derbesho on the sitar." The seven took their sitars and while singing with sweet voices played a tune.

Burushaski is spoken by a mere 40,000 people living in the mountainous regions of northwestern Kashmir. It is of special interest to philologists in that it appears to be completely unrelated to any other language in the area, or for that matter to any other language of the world. It is probably a remnant of some prehistoric language community, all but obliterated by successive Dravidian and Indo-European invasions. Burushaski has never been committed to writing. The text above is merely a phonetic transcription of the spoken language.

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