Translating into Pashto: Some Common Mistakes

July 24, 2009

Some people think that Pashto is a very complicated and hard-to-learn language. The reason behind this perception is a lack of knowledge and inaccessibility to the resources of this ancient yet live and interesting language.

Read more


Afghan Adabi Baheer: The Writers’ Association of Afghanistan

June 30, 2009

 ‘My name is Ameenullah Watanpal. I have just arrived from Kandahar,’ announced the young enthusiastic poet, about 24, after he was invited to the stage to read his poem to the Afghan Adabi Baheer’s weekly gathering at a local school. Afghan Adabi Baheer, or the Writers’ Association of Afghanistan, has been a platform for Afghan poets, writers, and intellectuals to read their poems, short stories and research papers, express their views on national and international issues, and discuss contemporary literary trends since it was established in Peshawar, Pakistan, some 15 years back. Its meetings are held every Friday regularly from the first day of its establishment, but now in Kabul instead of Peshawar.

 The young poet, Mr Watanpal, then read his poem titled ‘Peace’:

 ‘We need peace, O Lord! Yes, we need peace.

My young eyes, from the day they were opened to see this world,

have seen nothing but corpses, wounds, the war.

These eyes have seen their mother dying,

they don’t know how a father loves his child,

and this because of this unending war!

 The war has took away the opportunity of being educated from me.

The war has stolen from me the opportunity of being an engineer.

The war has deprived me of becoming a doctor, a teacher.

So, I am the most affected victim of the war, O Lord!

We beg you, O Lord! We now need peace, stop the war….


 Undoubtedly, peace and security is the major, say the first, demand of all the people of Afghanistan and that is the reason the young poet wanted to condemn war and praise peace, as well as spread the message of love. In the same way, Aman Musherey, or ‘Peace Poetry Gatherings’ are common these days in Afghanistan, mostly held in provinces, in which the poets spread the message of love and peace, and condemn war and conflict in their poems, thus inviting and encouraging youths to embrace peace and reject extremism and militancy.

 In the beginning, the aim of establishing this forum, the Afghan Adabi Baheer, was to give a platform to Afghan writers and poets, who were living as refugees in Pakistan, to express their thoughts and feelings. It was then the only and a respectable source of entertainment for the Afghan youths. After the Taliban government was toppled in Kabul, and when the refugees started returning to their country, Afghan Adabi Baheer also was shifted to Kabul where it turned to be the central forum for Afghan poets and writers across the Afghanistan. Since then, the association has not only directly and indirectly trained and encouraged many young writers and journalists, who now work on top government posts or with different national and international media organizations, but has also inspired the establishment of many more similar institutions such as Merman Kulturiz-Tolaniz Baheer, or The Afghan Women Writers’ Association, which now has branches in some of the provinces where a high number of female writers, poets, and intellectuals take part in its regular weekly meetings. Both the associations have contributed a great deal to the modern Pashto literature and preserve the right to be acknowledged nationally and internationally.

 Unfortunately, the government of Afghanistan,  which has a whole ministry for cultural affairs, has completely ignored this important institution. During the association’s last meeting, in which more than fifty poets read their poems and a short story was read out for general discussion, it was announced in the end that the Baheer had no place for its next meeting. Previously its members used to gather in a hall of a non-governmental organization, but recently the organization told the Baheer that they needed the hall and were no more able to give it for its weekly e can give it for its gathe ral discussion, ssues, ears back.gatherings. The members of the association were so frustrated with the government’s apathy and unresponsiveness that they did not consider to ask it for help. Later, a private university offered its hall on temporary base.

 In the world of literature, there are associations and organizations that charge a membership fee and then provide their members with these and some other facilities. But Baheerwals, as they like to be called, I think that that system would not work in Afghanistan. The reasons are valid:

 1)      Afghanistan is a war-torn country and people are living under the line of poverty. Even in Kabul, the capital, the government is facing several challenges. Besides security, there are no roads, health facilities, electricity, and clean water in areas just outside the main city.

2)      There is no market for Pashto literature. Due to the high ratio of illiteracy in Pashto-speaking areas, and the indifference of both (Afghanistan and Pakistan) governments towards the language, very few people buy Pashto books. You can’t find even one publisher that publish Pashto books and pay the authors royalties. If an author wants to publish his book, he pays the publisher, and then distributes his book free. Only few authors can afford this. Most of the poets and writers just go to the regular weekly gatherings and read their writings there. The gatherings are the major source for them to express their views.

 In this case, who will ask members of a literary association to pay membership fee? But keeping the importance of their role in the society in mind, I think the only way is that the government does provide them a place free of cost.

 Just to remind, Afghan Adabi Baheer holds its weekly literary meetings in Kabul, and poets and writers attend these meetings from provinces as far as Kandahar, Zabul, Nangrahar, Helmand, Kanduz, Mazar-e-Shari, though they have similar gatherings in their provinces as well.

Learn Pashto Writing and Speaking

March 4, 2008

As a language learner need so much and different resources to learn fleunt writing and speaking, unfortunately, there is a lack of these much resources on the internet to learn Pashto. Some websites and softwares are available as I have written about in my previous posts, yet a learner, beginner and advance level, needs real practice.

I have started to teach Pashto through regular lessons by email, chat on skype and  phone conversations for low fees. For those who want to improve their reading and writing skill want to practice their speaking skills can contact anytime.

Also contact for translating books, phmaplets, documents, ads, etc from English into Pashto and Urdu and vice versa. And other information on Pashto, Pashtoons, Pashto books and Pashto literature.

For more details please contact on

Beer and friendship

August 1, 2007

A man always went to the same bar at the same time every day and asked for tow glasses of beer. He drank them and then asked for tow more.

One day the man behind the bar said to him, ‘Why do you always ask for two glasses of beer? Why don’t you get one big glass instead?’

The man answered, ‘Because I do not like to drink alone. I drink with my friend.’

But a few days later the man came in and asked for only one beer.

‘Oh,’ said the barman, ‘has your friend died?’

‘Oh, no,’ said the man. ‘He is very well. This beer is for him. But I have stopped drinking beer. My doctor doesn’t want me to drink any more because it is dangerous for me.’

بير او ملگرتوب

يو سړي به هره ورځ د شرابو يوه پلورنځي ته په يو وخت ورته او دوه گيلاسه بير به يې راغوښته او د هغو د څښلو نه وروسته به يې د دوه نورو گيلاسونو غوښتنه کوله.

يوه ورځ شراب پلورونکي د هغه څخه وپوښتل، “ته ولې هره ورځ دوه گيلاسه بير غواړې؟ ولې د هغې پر ځاى يو غټ گيلاس نه اخلې؟”.

سړي ورته په ځواب کې وويل، “دا ځکه چې زه يې يواځې نه څښم. زما سره مې ملگرى هم څښي”.

خو څو ورځې وروسته دغه سړى شراب خانې ته راغى او د يوه گيلاس غوښتنه يې وکړه.

“اوه” شراب پلورونکي وويل، “ولې انډيوال دې مړ شو؟”

“نه” سړي ځواب ورکړ، “هغه روغ رمټ دى. دا بير د هغه لپاره څښم. ما بير څښل پريښي دي. زما ډاکټر نه غواړي چې زه نور بير وڅښم دا ځکه چې بير څښل ماته خطرناک دي.”

Mullah Naseruddin And The Fork

July 19, 2007

ملا نصرالدين او ښاخۍ

ملا نصرالدين يوه زړه څپره درلوده. څپرې هيڅ کړکۍ نه درلودې او له همدې کبله هغه ډېره تياره او د زړو شيانو نه ډکه وه. يوه ورځ هغه خپلې څپرې ته دننه ورغى تر څو يوه زينه راواخلي خو غريب په څه شي باندې دننه وښويېده او په يوه غټه ښاخۍ ورولوېده. ښاخۍ يې پر سر وربرابره شوه او بيا يې په چپه پښه غرزنده راوغورځېده. او د ښاخۍ لاستى يې په اوږده ږيره کې ونښتو.

ملا نصرالدين هغې ښاخۍ ته په سخت عکس العمل ښودلو سره ښاخۍ ايسته وارتوله او په چټکۍ سره د څپرې نه راووت.

ملا نصرالدين ډېر په غوسه و. خپلې هغې زړې تورې پسې يې ورمنډه کړه او راوايې خيسته چې د خپلې بسترې لاندې يې ساتلې وه. څپرې ته يې بېرته ورمنډۀ کړه او ناڅاپه يې دروازه ورخلاصه کړه. په يوه هېبتناک اواز يې چيغه کړه، “ډېره ښه ده اوس نو ته او د دنيا ټولې ښاخۍ جگړې ته راووځئ. زه له تاسو څخه نه ډارېږم.”

Mullah Naseruddin And The Fork

Mullah Naseruddin had an old shed. It had no windows. So it was very dark, and it was full of old things.

One day Naseruddin went into his shed to get a ladder, but slipped on something and fell against a big garden fork. The fork hit him on the head and knocked him down. Then it fell on top of him and hit him hard on the left leg. The ends of the fork then went into his long beard. He fought with the fork fiercely, and at last threw it off him, jumped up and ran out of the shed.

He was very angry. He had an old sword under his bed, and he now ran and got that. Then he ran back to the shed, opened the door suddenly and shouted in a terrible voice, ‘All right, come out and fight, you and all the other forks in the world! I’m not afraid of you!’

Mr. George in the court جارج په محکمه کې

July 17, 2007

George had stolen some money, but the police had caught him and he had been put in prison. Now his trial was about to begin, and he felt sure that he would be found guilty and sent to prison for a long time.

Then he discovered that an old friend of his was one of the members of the jury at his trial. Of course, he did not tell anybody, but he managed to see his friend secretly one day. He said to him, ‘Jim, I know that the jury will find me guilty of having stolen the money. I cannot hope to be found not guilty of taking it – that would be too much to expect. But I should be grateful to you for the rest of my life if you could persuade the other members of the jury to add a strong recommendation for mercy to their statement that they consider me guilty.’

‘Well, George,’ answered Jim, ‘I shall certainly try to do what I can for you as an old friend, but of course I cannot promise anything. The other eleven people on the jury look terribly strong-minded to me.’

George said that he would quite understand if Jim was nor able to do anything for him, and thanked him warmly for agreeing to help.

The trial went on, and at last the time came for the jury to decide whether George was guilty or not. It took them five hours, but in the end they found George guilty, with a strong recommendation for mercy.

Of course, George was very pleased, but he did not have a chance to see Jim for some time after trial. At last, however, Jim visited him in prison, and George thanked him warmly and asked him how he had managed to persuade the other members of the jury to recommend mercy.

‘Well, George,’ Jim answered, ‘as I thought, those eleven men were very difficult to persuade, but I managed it in the end by tiring them out. Do you know, those fools had all wanted to find you not guilty!’

جارج په محکمه کې
جارج څه اندازه روپۍ غلا کړې وې. له همدې کبله پوليسو نيولى و او په محبس کې يې اچولى و. د هغه محکمه رانږدې وه او هغه باور درلوده چې مجرم به ثابتېږي او د اوږدې مودې لپاره به زندان ته ځي. بيا هغه ته پته ولگېده چې دده په محاکمه کې يې يو د زړو ملگرو نه د قضا د غړو نه و. هغه هيچا ته غږ ونه کړ خو يوه ورځ په دې وتوانېده چې خپل ملگري سره پټ وگوري. هغه ملگري ته وويل، “جېم، زه ښه پوهېږم چې محکمه به ما د پېسو د غلا په جرم محکوموي. زه دا امېد نه شم کولاى چې مجرم دې ثابت نه شم. دا به د اندازې نه زياته توقع وي. خو زه به ستا احسان ټول عمر ياد ساتم، که ته مهرباني وکړې خپل ملگري دې ته وهڅوې چې زما د جرمي دوسيې د ليکلو په وخت زما په حق کې ښې سپارښتنې وکړي.”

“گوره جارجه،” جېم ځواب ورکړ، “زه به د خپل وسه کوښښ وکړم چې د خپل زاړه ملگري لپاره يو څه وکړم، خو تا سره څه وعده نشم کولى. د محکمې نور يوولس غړي ماته ډېر سخت ښکاري.”

جارج ورته وويل چې دى به په دې پخپله پوهه شي کچېرې جېم ورسره په څه مرسته کولو ونه توانېده. هغه د جېم د مرستې د وعدې ډېره مننه وکړه. محکمه په کار لگيا شوه. او په آخر کې د قضا د پرېکړې وخت راغى چې وښيي جارج مجرم دى او کنه. محکمې پنځه ساعته ونيول او جارج بالاخره د زړه سوي د ټينګې سپارښتنې سره مجرم ثابت شو. جارج ډېره خوشحاله و خو هغه ته د خپلې محاکمې نه وروسته د جېم د ليدلو موقع په لاس ورنغله.

آخرکار يوه ورځ جېم هغه سره په جېل کې وليدل. جارج ترېنه ډېره ګرمه مننه وکړه او پوښتنه يې ترېنه وکړه چې څرنگه بريالى شو چې خپل ملگري د زړه سوي سپارښتنې ته اماده کړي.

“جارجه،” جېم ځواب کې ورته وويل، “ما خو فکر کاوه چې د هغو نورو يوولسو تشويقول به ډېر گران کار وي، خو بالاخره زه د هغو په ستړي کولو بريالى شوم. تاته پته ده، هغوى ټولو بېړاګانو غوښتل چې تا بې ګناه ثابت کړي.”

(ژباړن: محمد ياسين شريفزى. د کتاب “انگليسي-پښتو لنډې گټورې کيسې” څخه په مننه)