Despite perks and privileges of being able to speak English in Pakistan, Urdu remains to be our first language.No matter how much we eat, speak and wear English, Urdu remains a language that we mourn in. With everything being contaminated by ‘English Vinglish’ trends, our language too is facing some serious threat not only in the way we speak but is also affecting our choices while we read.Despite the sprouting nature of Pakistani English literature, it indeed seems ironic that most of our people prefer to read the translated versions of even our Urdu poets and writers in a language that is foreign. Let us not forget that despite its familiarity English remains an outsider. Being a reader, we need to be clear of the sole purpose of reading Translated books that is to disseminate knowledge of foreign books by providing a way to travel across cultures. One should be clear of the distinction between Pakistani English and Urdu Literature which cannot be misunderstood for one another.One of the writers explains the core purpose of translations, “Translation services providers are not just translating documents. They provide a complete service to make your written documents in the targeted language understandable in a manner that is acceptable in the culture where it is being introduced. One of the major aspects of translation services is bringing different cultures together and helping each other understand the other. Today’s world is shrinking more and more.”Whenever I happen to visit a nearby bookstore, it amazes me the way people gather around the section of New Arrivals and Pakistani English Literature. It really brings joy seeing our people reading our own English writers, making an effort to read between the lines. However, what is upsetting is seeing them reading translations of our own Urdu writers like Saadat Hasan Manto and Intizar HussainMany years ago, there was a time, when foreign books were translated in Urdu to make them palpable for the native audience with an aim to disseminate knowledge. Interestingly, now translations in Urdu have been majorly replaced by English however the credibility of intention and meaning of the text remains the same. Reading Dante, Albert Camus and Anton Chekhov in English or Urdu is a matter of choice regardless of the fact that one language is not an exact imprint of another. The syntactic structure of words are poles apart and so there always exists a list of words that loses its essence when is translated and so remains untranslatable. Despite this option, choosing to read our own Urdu literature in English is not a choice but a dilemma that cannot and should not be ignored.Whenever I happen to visit a bookstore, it amazes me the way people gather around the section of New Arrivals and Pakistani English Literature. It really brings joy seeing our people reading our own English writers, making an effort to read between the lines. However, what is upsetting is seeing them reading translations of our own Urdu writers like Saadat Hasan Manto and Intizar HussainNo matter how much we inhale English, our heart shall always beat for Urdu, bleed Urdu and breathe Urdu. Urdu is a tapestry that is weaved with elegance, maturity, romance and style. Those who have read Bano Qudsia, Ashfaq Ahmed, Intizar Hussain and Patras know how beautifully the words touch our soul when are written in khalis Urdu; for they have the power, unlike English, to jolt us and give us chills down our spines. I have seen people preferring to read English translations of the holy Quran with an aim to better understand what is said. However, reading holy Quran in our first language can help us better understand the text instead of reading it in English that is indeed a formal language. I feel, reading it in Urdu can give you the goosebumps that you can hardly experience otherwise.National University of Modern Languages Translation Department Head Dr Khalid Iqbal said, “Part of the reason the Japanese were able to progress was because they translated important books from English to Japanese in the 19th Century. A number of institutions for translation do exist in Pakistan, but they do not do anything,”Meanwhile, here we are reading English translations of our own writers and poets. And if you are trying to justify your inclination for reading English translations of Urdu on the basis that your Urdu reading is comparatively shaky, then dear reader, it’s time to embrace Urdu from the scratch and stop running around in a language that is borrowed!The writer can be reached at email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, February 19th 2019.