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Bilingual Creativity In Pakistani English Newspaper English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 5352 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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It is a fact that English is known as lingua franca all over the world. Most of the People communicate in English all over the world. Through this process, it is a natural phenomenon that many words of the local languages become part of the variety of English that is spoken in a specific region. This research aims at finding Urdu and other local words that have become part of the English language spoken in Pakistani culture. It is a study of Urdu and other local words that have become the part of English in everyday communication. For this study we have selected the language of newspaper as it represents the language in use. English daily the Dawn and the news were selected for this purpose as they are the most recognized and reliable newspaper in Pakistan. The paper elucidates that there are a large number of local words which are part of English due to many factors.

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Newspapers have become the necessity of modern man. Most of the people start their day by reading the newspaper they cannot make up their morning without newspaper. This is the reason that newspapers have got their way all over the world. They are available in every language all over the world that even a common man can get benefit of them. Newspapers reveal and expose that what is happening around you and keep us in contact with the society. Usually, they reflect all the fields of life whether they are general, public, local, social, political, cultural etc.

English newspaper is a major source of language learning for English language learners. By reading newspaper they can improve their skill of reading. But it never means that they have to read the newspaper thoroughly, they can usually find out their interested topics and scan it if it is interested they read it thoroughly. When they read the newspaper on daily basis they may absorb a lot of information and have a good storage of vocabulary.

Newspaper is a great tool for language teachers to demonstrate the skills of reading and writing and it also helps to form the structure of English. By reading the newspaper the student will be able to comprehend the concepts of grammar and its application. It is the beneficial for the learners to learn English inside or outside the classroom. By using the newspaper the students may also update their current knowledge with learning English.

It is a common analysis in Pakistan that when we observe the content of English newspaper we usually find such words that are emerged from English into Urdu or other local languages due to culture association and bilingualism. One must have command on English language to describe the ideas in an effective way because the news profession is associated with proper usage of words and phrases.

English plays a vital role in every field of life, it is necessary for news editors and reporters of Pakistan to play an effective role in news editing. This research is an analysis of language conversion in Pakistani English newspaper due culture association or bilingualism. Based on the data gathered from Pakistani English newspaper, this research shows the English words that have been converted into Urdu or other local languages of Pakistan. This research demonstrates how the English language is used in anon-native context. This also indicates that different verities and changing are associated with bilingualism and multilingualism.

This research aims to show the different verities of English due to language conversion in Pakistan and indicates the vital role of Urdu and other local languages to form the Pakistani English. We have discussed those specific features that have been occurred as a result of conversion. We have analyzed the data which is concerned with Urdu words and phrases. This research describes the various causes due to which language changes occur in Pakistani context.

English is a global language that has a unique status all over the world. It is the language of millions of people around the world. It is an observation that the amount of non-native speakers of English is more than the native speakers. English is an international language and it used widely all over the world because the trend of speaking English is increasing day by day and the people have started using English in their daily conversation. When they use it in a non-native context it expands as a replaced and reoriented language.

English has acquired a dominant position in Pakistan. It is not only useful for being professional but it is considered the sign of victory, authority, and social supremacy. This kind of authority is clearly seen in Pakistan and the people swap from their local languages to English to be dominant member of the society. On the other hand, Urdu is also considered an official language as English. It is the language of literacy in Pakistan. The educated people of Pakistan consider it an ordinary thing to use Urdu feature into English. When two or more languages exchange or get in touch with each other it causes conversion.

English has its own social and cultural status that is distinguished from the other languages at the word and phrase level. It is natural phenomenon that when English language gets in touch with Urdu it borrows a lot of words from Urdu and other local languages. A large amount of Urdu and other loan words have been entered in Pakistani English. They may at word, phrase or clause level. This research is to see through the conversion data in Pakistani English newspapers.

The data has been collected from the following printed Pakistani English newspaper and magazines:

1. Dawn (daily) (Lahore)

2. The news

Statement of the Problem

This research is based on the analysis of English newspaper and to check the frequency of words occurred in Urdu or other local languages.

Objective of the Study

This study aims to find out the words of Pakistani languages that have been occurred in English newspaper, in Daily Dawn and The news and to compare the common words occurred in both newspapers.

Research Questions

How the Pakistani languages affect the English of newspaper and to what extent the words of Pakistani languages have been used in “The News” and “The Dawn”?

Significance of Study

This study of newspaper provides us a thorough survey to what extent the Urdu words have been used in English newspapers. This is a beneficial research for language improvement of policy makers, teachers, students and assessment institutions.


We have studied ten newspapers of both “Daily Dawn” and “The News” on daily basis due to the time cost constraints and because they are the oldest source of information.



What is Language?

When we discuss about what is language? It can be defined in different aspects. A language may be related to a specific field it can be language of humanity, science and news. Human language has a dominant position than all the languages because it’s a natural language. Language is one of the major source through which the people organize their thoughts and expresses the feelings. (Adebeyo, 1995). It means that its only human language by which a man can arrange or express his thoughts in a better way. This supports the different senses of language. If the language will not be there no one will be able to express his thoughts and share his experiences with others. As a result people will not able to learn from them.

Communication is a great tool that links the people of the world and makes the world a global village. There are some evidences that prove that communication is the most important factor of the society. It is proved by media, internet among others. Ormrod (1995) suggests that language may be described as an essential form of communication. According to behaviorist, language is learned through behavior like thinking, acting and feelings.

Origin of language

The interesting facts of living and human evolution are discussed in the origin of language. If we talk about written language it leaves some traces but spoken language has no traces. At the beginning, different system of verbal language emerged from non-linguistic and proto-linguistic source of communication. Before 4 million years human beings and chimpanzees had common ancestor. So, since the last centuries human beings have not found any signs how actually language developed because verbal communication leaves no trace.

All human beings are born with the same linguistic ability, and no one has a biological ability to adapt a specific language. Any child learns the language from his social surroundings, if a child is left in a non-native context he will not be able to learn his native language and adapt the language of the society in which he is living. From this we can say that language is not an inborn ability. It is learned by the family, people living around you. Language is the only factor that discriminates the human beings from the animal.

Changing in Languages

If we talk about language changing, varieties of languages are spoken all over the world. In this part of study we will focus that when language gets in touch with other language it causes language change. When the speakers of a language use varieties of languages in a situation the language comes in contact. Traditionally language change due to contact has been described into three categories.





Thomason and Kaufman (1988) describes that borrowing is the involvement of the characteristics of other language into the native language of a speaker. The language of native speaker does not change but the change occurs due to adding incorporated characteristics. Coetsem’s (1988) defines the borrowing as when the language speaker is using the language in any other context, it incorporates the features of other languages. If Urdu speaker is speaking English language the transfer of the English language into Urdu is called borrowings.

According to Bloomfield (1933), who was the first who attempted this study and classified the lexical borrowing into dialect borrowing and cultural borrowing. Dialect borrowing is where the borrowings are from the same speech and cultural borrowing is where the borrowings are from different languages. In cultural borrowing the words from the other cultures are borrowed. The word “spaghetti” is an Italian word which is used in the culture of language from where it is borrowed. Certainly, it is an essential phenomenon especially when we talk about the effect of different languages on English.

Researchers are in the view that borrowing is a different phenomenon than the other language contacts such as emergence, code-Switching, and transfer. Poplack and associates (Poplack, 1980) and (Meechan,1995) are in the opinion that the phenomenon of code-switching and borrowing vary from each other.


Code-Switching is a crucial consequence of bilingual or multilingual speaker. A person who is bilingual or multilingual selects the language according to his/her context. The language that is selected by the speaker must be comprehensible for the addressee and the participant must understand it. (Hudson 1996). In communities where the people speak more than one language, they use different languages in different situations. The language is selected according to the rules of society in which he/she is living. Languages are varied according to situation. There is the difference between the language used in home and the language that is used in other places for various purposes.

Switching refers overlapping between two or more than two languages. It is the interchanging between two languages or more than two languages. Code-switching refers to single word interference while switching refers to constant use of such language by a bilingual speaker. According to Di pietro (1982) code-switching is when the communicants communicate in more than one language in the implementation of speech act. Falhis in (1982) refers that the code-switching is the interchanging of more than one language.

Another definition that is proposed by Scotton and Ury (n.d.) say that the use of different linguistic varieties in the same discourse is called code-switching. But according to Weinreich (1953) definition, the people exchange a language to other because they want to change the situation of speech. When we observe the above definitions, it is very obvious that nobody can define the code-switching terminology. We have found divergence among the sociologists and linguists because the writers admit that there is uncertainty in this term.

Types of Code-switching.

Code-Switching have been classified by the scholars in diverse types. They have given different names to these types after observing the various cases. Poplack (1989) illustrates these types as: Tag-switching, inter-sentential and intra-sentential.

Tag switching: Tag switching means to connect one language into the other language and to switch a mark of a language into the other language. It can be at word or phrase level or both.

Inter-Sentential switching: Its means the occurrence of switching outside the boundaries at clause or sentence level. This type of switching can also take place between the conversations of the speakers (Romaine, 1989; Myer-Scotton, 1993; Hoffman, 1991).

Intra-Sentential switching: This type of code switching includes the various types of switching that take place within the phrase, sentence or clause.

There are different styles of the language so we cannot say that code-switching only occurs in the speaking of bilinguals. It can also occur among the monolinguals because of the styles of the language.


Bilingualism refers to a person who can speak two different languages. In defining the term of bilingualism we have found the disagreement among linguists. Some linguists emphasizes that a person who is bilingual must have the command on two different languages. He/she should be fluent and accurate as native speaker in both languages. A bilingual person has a feature to develop the knowledge of second language and the ability to speak it.

Types of Bilingualism.

Here are discussed three major types of bilinguals.

Monocultural-Co-ordinate Bilingual is type of bilingual learns the other language or second language to fulfill his requirements and to access the information related to his needs, to research the academic subject matter. He becomes bilingual but not bi-culture because he develops his language within a culture.

Bicultural-Co-ordinate Bilingual is a bilingual person learns the second language within the speech community of second language for many reasons such as studied literature of their culture, history and tourism purposes.

Bicultural-compound Bilingual is type of bilingual learns two cultures and two languages. One at home and the other of the society in which he is living. The only way to tackle with these various definitions is to know that bilingualism is an individual feature and one can learn more than one language if he is competent enough, he can get the complete mastery of two languages.


Pidgins are one of the major aspects of language change.

Pidgin Languages.

Pidgins languages developed from the distinguish language varieties. They are created by the efforts of different people who speak varieties of languages. We cannot say that pidgin is the native language of some person. It is learned when people get in touch with the people who speak their language in their own context.

The people who do not have the common language to exchange their ideas, pidgins develop as a source of communication between them. Holmes (2001) states that when two groups having different languages communicate with each other in such situation where a third language has dominant position, this may called pidgins. When the people from various language contexts come in contact with each other pidgins languages are needed for their survival. For the slaves, the only way to communicate with their masters and with one another was pidgin that was their master’s language.

Cultural Impact on Language

Language changes with the time and there are a lot of features that causes that change. As a person grows a lot of factors like family, region and culture can influence the language development of a person. A culture can introduce different words which gradually become part of the language. Human beings can express thoughts and communicate with each other through language. Simply the word that is uttered by a person carrying some meaning is known as language, whereas, the culture may be referred to the activities and doings of people. Every culture has its own identity. Culture includes religion, dress, art, games, music, rituals and law.

Language policy, multilingualism and language vitality in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country with multilingual speaker. Urdu is its national language and it is the mother tongue of almost 7.57 percent people of Pakistan, although it is used at a wide range in the urban areas of Pakistan. English is still official language of Pakistan as it was when British ruled in the subcontinent. There are some other major languages of Pakistan that are:

Pakistani languages


Percentage of speakers













Source: Census 2001: 107

English is the official language of Pakistan. It is government language, military language, language of business contracts, signs of shops, many street signs and other enterprises use English. It is the language of law also. In most of Pakistani schools, medium of instruction is English and it is taught to all Pakistani students at school level, while at university and college level medium of instruction is English. English is boasted by the media and press of Pakistan at large scale. All the major newspapers of Pakistan are published in English. A major news channel of Pakistan is Dawn news.

Status of English in Pakistan

English language performs various functions in Pakistan.

English is Politics language.

It is the medium of instruction in Pakistani schools and colleges.

It is the source of education for the people because all scientific theories are in English.

English is the language of press and media.

It is the lingua franca.

This indicates if someone has not the knowledge of English language, it is impossible for him to get a high status in society. Most of the people in Pakistan speak English just to communicate. They don’t know the standard version of English. There are some people who are given the duty to use standard version of English. Some people say that English is not their mother language even then they can understand and speak the language. Some people in Pakistan like language teachers, policy makers, broad casters, and other institutions try to follow the standard version of language but some people just goof by the communication is affected in a bad way.

Non-native Varieties of English

According to Kachru (1978) who first introduced the nativized English variety in South Asia and he calls it English of South Asian people. In Kachru’s point of view South Asia English is another linguistic phenomenon that helps in the identity of culture. He states that nativization should be considered the result of innovative trend in linguistics. These innovations are determined through the localized form of second language. After this development the new and non-native varieties of English were gradually recognized like Indian English, Sri Lankan English, Singaporean English, Nigerian English and Pakistani English. New varieties of English are termed as “there are many recognizable varieties of written and spoken by a large number of people”. No new variety of language is developed in isolation but it is dependent on the people’s communication needs who speak and write it. This kind of variety is known as interference variety because there is interference of culture and language in the culture and first language of the user.

Several changes occur when the people of a language use it in various cultural situation or social context. When the non-native speakers use second language, they develop totally new version of expressions according to the communication requirements. If the bilingual person is the user of non-native variety then the different kinds switching transcription of codes, mixing and alteration are manifested in creativity. When two or more languages get in touch with another it causes the innovation. One of the major means of creativity in language is bilingualism (Talaat, 2003). The non-native verities are widely spread and have stable position that they are regarded as native like English. (Quirk, 1983).

Bilingual Creativity in Pakistani English Newspaper

The stylistics innovation and experimentation has found its peak in literature and journalism. English writing tradition is old before the partition. But in present decades writing is a recognized at a national level. A national award is awarded by a national academy of letters for literature and journalists every year. English press has a large influence in the sub-continent, the reason is that the educated class which is involved in the policy making reads and utilizes it. One can find at least a recognized English newspaper in an average-sized city.

English has become a medium of communication and to convey the message for many years but the cultural aspects are not conveyed in English language. This term is adopted by the news reporter to report the news items. These trends are used for various purposes like irony, cultural meaning and satire. Urdu symbols and metaphors are used regularly and frequently in Pakistani English. These kinds of symbols and metaphors represent the localized behaviours and attitudes and Pakistan social traditions. It is necessary the reader/listener to be familiar with the situation and cultural background to understand the metaphor and the meaning carried by speaker/listener. According to Littlemore (2001) the metaphors are inferred through the knowledge that is shared to a culture because these metaphors are culturally associated.

Rationale of the Study

This study shows that a lot of Urdu and other local words are used in English newspapers. This kind of conversion is introducing a new variety of English in Pakistan and even the vocabulary is changing. The major cause of this changing in vocabulary is the switching of English with local languages of Pakistan. An intensive and detailed study of newspapers indicates that in Pakistani English columns especially in news section localized words are found to a great extent. The comparison of “the News” and “The Dawn” shows the difference between the local and standard variety of English. This research indicates that the emerging trends in English newspaper have a great influence on Pakistani English at words and phrase level. This research shows the varieties of English when it is used by non-native speakers of English. Newspaper is a great source of language learning for students but if the language will not be comprehensible they may get confused and will not be able to learn language properly. So the language of newspaper must be clear and free from slang expressions that are used by Pakistani press.



Research Design

This study is qualitative in nature. It is based on the Meta analysis of newspaper. The use of this method is appropriate with the purpose of this study. Research is conducted while using qualitative approach. Because the result of the data analyze is in the descriptive phenomenon such as words and sentences. This research is based on content analysis methodology. Content analysis is described as an organized analysis of content. With the mid of 20th century content analysis started to be used as a method with other research method like participant observation, surveys, experiments, qualitative research and types of data.


In this research, data is qualitative in nature and based on the content analysis methodology. Instrument that is used for data gathering is newspapers. The two most circulated newspaper of Pakistan “The News” and “Dawn” are selected as an instrument as the study is based to find out the loan words of Pakistani languages in English. Newspaper is selected for the study because the language of newspaper is considered a simple language of communication and it is read at a wide range by the people of Pakistan. It includes a large amount of local words that are used for culture association or to create thrill among the people. On the other hand, other written documents like books, transcriptions do not involve such material at wide range. We have analyzed the whole content of twenty newspapers to gather the data.

Procedure of Data


Population in this research was all newspapers daily, weekly, monthly, annually. This defined population is pretty suitable for this research as it is designed to seek the effects of local languages on English Newspapers.


Sampling is a process of drawing representative elements forms the larger population or universe is called sampling. Obvious advantages of sampling are especially saving in time and money.

Steps taken for sampling.

Identification of the problem

Determination of required sample size

Required sample size

Selection of sample

Required sample size.

We have randomly selected twenty newspapers “The Dawn” from May 31, 2012 to June 9, 2012 and “The News” from May 12, 2012 to May 21, 2012.

Data Collection

Pakistani English daily “Dawn” and “The News” were selected for the research. Founded in 1941 by the Quaid-e-Azam, “Dawn News” and “The News” are Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper. The newspapers for the ten days were selected for the analysis. The borrowed words were isolated from the paper and their frequency of use was also recorded. The words then were put into a table according to their frequency of occurrence. Data was collected using a corpus of twenty English newspapers. The newspapers were scanned carefully and all Urdu and local language items were taken out.

Data Analysis

Data of this research was analyzed by using simple percentage and comparing the words of both newspapers “The News” and “Dawn”. At first the frequency of the words taken from the newspapers was compared and checked in parts then the highlighted items from all the newspapers were compared at the end.



This chapter presents an analysis of the data that is gathered from English newspapers. In this chapter the result of reading ten newspapers are discussed i.e. “The News” and “The Dawn”. For this purpose, the findings are clearly presented in tables. These findings are also divided into different sections and frequency of the findings is also mentioned.

Table 4.1

Content Analysis of “The News” May 12, 2012 and “Dawn” May 31, 2012

News Section

the News




























Jo muhajir suby ka ghaddar hai wo maut ka haqdar hai.



Seth Sahib

Qaumi Aman Jirga

Sasti Roti




Fard Malkiat











Sports Section

the news






In this table, the most frequently used word is “ghee” and after it “tolas” is used. The words in the table have their equivalents in English language like “shariat” is the Arabic translation of Islamic decree and “haj” has its equivalent in English. All the words like “pehlwan” “lashkar” “jirga” have their translation in English but they are used in local languages in the newspaper due to culture association. In the table above “The news” has more words as compare to “Dawn”.

Table 4.2

Content Analysis of “The News” May 13, 2012 and “Dawn” June 1, 2012.

News Section






Posh Area



Kuch khas






Dahi baras

Shalwar kameez














Shalwar Qameez

Muttahida Mahaz







Naqis-ul aqal





Darul Amman




















Showbiz Section





Awami suit

Yahan log sirf dou wajah sy

nahin rokta bara gaari aur bara darhi


Boy girl scene he nahin khatam hota

No bank ki naukri, No denting painting ka kam


Naughty toh hamari Veena Malik ya Nargis lagti hain.

Aurat doshmany namanzoor

Janubi Punjab













In this table the most frequent word is “hudood”. This word is translated as “limitation” in English language but that is used in the newspaper as an Islamic term that relates to the culture of Pakistan. In the table above “The News” has more words than “Dawn”.

Table 4.3

Content Analysis of “The News” May 14, 2012 and Dawn” June 2, 2012

News Section


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