Ameer Ali, Maya Khemlani David, Syed Abdul Manan


This study examines translanguaging as a political tool in Pakistan used to exploit ethnic sensitivities of speech communities. Building upon the grounded theory, concept of translanguaging was reconsidered to examine the politicized use of codes. The modified concept has been used to analyse the discourse of politicians and to demonstrate that such a mixed code has generated three tactical outcomes: politicization of language use, manipulation of general will, and exploitation of electoral support. The data comes from speeches of Pakistani politicians in Sindh, Pakistan between 2018 to 2020. This study demonstrates the politics of translanguaging, that is, the exploitation of language use for political purposes and argues that language policy experts should be made aware of such ramifications of the use of translanguaging as a political tool.
Keywords: ethnic sensitivities; exploitation; language policy; Pakistan; Sindh; translanguaging.

Full Text:



News HD. (2020). Nusrat Abbasi Hard-Hitting Speech in Sindh Assembly [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 26 January 2021.

Ali, A. (2021). Understanding the role of translanguaging in L2 acquisition: Applying Cummins’ cup model. Journal of Cultura and Lingua, 2(1), 15-25. Accessed 27 January 2021.

Ali, A., & David, Maya K. (2021). A Historical Institutionalist Approach to Politics of Languages of Pakistan. JHSSR, 3(1).

ARY News. (2020). Maryam Nawaz Speech in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Larkana Jalsa [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 28 January 2021.

Beiler, I. R. (2020). "Marked and unmarked translanguaging in accelerated, mainstream, and sheltered English classrooms." Multilingua, 40(1), 107-138. doi:10.1515/multi-2020-0022.

Blommaert, J., Kelly-Holmes, H., Lane, P., Leppänen, S., Moriarty, M., Pietikäinen, S., & Piirainen-Marsh, A. (2009). Media, multilingualism, and language policing: An introduction. Language Policy, 8(3), 203-207.

Cardinal, L., Sonntag, S. (2015). State traditions and language regimes: A historical institutionalism approach to language policy. De Gruyter Open (8)1. 5-21. doi: Accessed 11 September 2020.

Charalambous, P., Charalambous, C., & Zembylas, M. (2013). Old and new policies in dialogue: Greek-Cypriot teachers' interpretations of a peace-related initiative through existing policy discourses. British Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 79-101.

Charsadda Journalist. (2020). BNP Akhtar Jan Mengal Speech in Sindhi [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 28 January 2021.

Conteh, J. (2019). Translanguaging. ELT Journal, 72(4), 445–447. Accessed 28 January 2021.

De Meulder, M., Kusters, A., Moriarty, E., & Murray, J. (2019). Describe, don't prescribe. The practice and politics of translanguaging in the context of deaf signers. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40(10), 892-906. Accessed 29 January 2021.

Erdocia, I. (2020). The politics of plurilingualism: Immersion, translanguaging, and school autonomy in Catalonia. Linguistics and Education, 60, 100865. Accessed 25 January 2021.

García, O. (2009). Education, multilingualism and translanguaging in the 21st century. In: Ajit Mohanty, Minati Panda, Robert Phillipson, and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (eds). Multilingual Education for Social Justice: Globalising the local. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, pp. 128-145.

Giles, H. (2016). Communication Accommodation Theory: Negotiating Personal Relationships and Social Identities Across Contexts. Cambridge University Press.

Gordon, R. (ed) (2005). Ethnologue: languages of the World 15th edition Dallas, Tx: SIL International. Online version:

Government of Sindh. (1972). The Sindh Government Gazette. Accessed 24 January 2021.

Kennedy, C. (1991). The politics of ethnicity in Sindh. Asian Survey, 31(10), 938-955.

Lewis, G., Jones, B., & Baker, C. (2012). Translanguaging: Origins and development from school to street and beyond. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(7), 641–654. doi:10.1080/13803611.2012.718488 Accessed 28 January 2021.

Malik, I. (1997). Sindh: The politics of authority and ethnicity. State and Civil Society in Pakistan, 190-222.

Manan, S. A., & Tul-Kubra, K. (2020). Beyond ‘two-solitudes’ assumption and monolingual idealism: generating spaces for multilingual turn in Pakistan. International Journal of Multilingualism, 1-22. doi: 10.1080/14790718.2020.1742722

Manan, S. A., David, M. K., & Dumanig, F. P. (2017). Ethnolinguistic dilemma and static maintenance syndrome: A study of languages policies and language perceptions in Pakistan. Language Problems and Language Planning, 41(1), 66–86. doi:

Mukherjee, S. (2020). (PDF) Sindhi language and its history. Retrieved from Accessed 1st January 2021.

Naya Daur TV. (2020). PDM Jalsa LIVE [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 29 January 2021.

News Line. (2019). Sardar Shah Speech in Sindh Assembly [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 29 January 2021.

Pathan, M. H. (1978). History of Sindh Series, Vol 3. Hyderabad: Sindhi Adabi Board.

Rahman, T. (1996). Language and Politics in Pakistan. Karachi: Oxford University Press.

Rahman, T. (1999). Language, Politics and Power in Pakistan: The Case of Sindh and Sindhi. Ethnic Studies Report, 17(1), 1730-1848.

Rahman, T. (2002). Language, ideology, and power: Language learning among the Muslims of Pakistan and North India. Karachi; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rassool, N., & Mansoor, S. (2007). Contemporary issues in language, education, and development in Pakistan. In Rassool, Naz (Ed.), Global Issues in Language, Education, and Development: Perspectives from Postcolonial Countries (pp. 218-244). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Romanowski, P. (2019). (PDF) Translanguaging as a norm in multilingual education: An example from Poland. ResearchGate. Retrieved January 28, 2021, from Accessed 21 January 2021.

SAMAA TV. (2018). CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah speech at Jalsa in Ghotki [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 29 January 2021.

SAMAA TV. (2020). Murad Ali Shah Speech in Sindh Assembly. YouTube. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

Sindh TV News. (2019). Syed Qaim Ali Shah Speech in Nawabshah Jalsa [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 29 January 2021.

Smith, C. (2009). Contemporary political speech writing. Southern Speech Communication Journal, 42(1), 52-67. Accessed 29 January 2021.

Smith, H. J., Robertson, L. H., Auger, N., & Wysocki, L. (2020). Translanguaging as a political act with Roma: Carving a path between pluralism and collectivism for transformation. ePrints - Newcastle University. Accessed 28 January 2021.

Solangi, F., Laghari, M. A., & Kabooro, N. (2016). A Glimpse in to the Conditions of Sindh before Arab Conquest. Retrieved from Accessed 24th December 2020.

Syed, G. M. (2010). Sindhudesh (1st ed.). Karachi, Pakistan: Indus Academy.

Syed Sardar Ali Shah-Official. (2020). Sardar Shah's historical speech on Sindh islands issue in Provincial Assembly of Sindh. YouTube. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

United TV. (2020). "Karachi is Sindh" Clarifies Tahaffuz-e-Sindh Rally of JSM [Video]. YouTube. Accessed 21 January 2021.

Vogel, S., & García, O. (2017). Translanguaging. CUNY Academic Works. Accessed 28 January 2021.

Wei, L. (2018). Translanguaging and co-learning: beyond empowering the learner. EAL Journal Spring 2018, (5), 32–33.

Williams, Quentin Emmanuel., & Stroud, Christopher. (2013). Multilingualism in transformative spaces: Contact and conviviality. Language Policy, 12(4), 289-311.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

View My Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.