The language of federalism: developing an English-Nepali glossary of federalism terms

Participants at the workshop debate definitions of federalism terms in Nepali and English.

The Forum recently co-organized a three-day workshop in Dhulikhel, Nepal, to fine-tune a draft English-Nepali glossary of federalism terms prepared by a drafting team of national experts, Mr. C.K. Lal, Prof. Gunanidhi Sharma and Ms. Ranju Thakur.

Nepal will be adopting a new constitution along federal lines and the workshop is part of the Forum’s efforts to help increase public understanding about federalism, its principles and mechanisms.

The workshop titled "The Language of Federalism: Developing an English-Nepali Glossary of Federalism Terms” was organized by the Forum and International IDEA with support from the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).

The purpose of the workshop was to review, analyze and fine-tune the draft English-Nepali glossary of federalism terms. About 25 participants including federalism experts, politicians, civil society workers, and journalists took part in the event.

International experts from India (Prof. Harihar Bhattacharyya, University of Burdwan), Sri Lanka (Prof. Rohan Edrisinha, University of Colombo and Head of Legal Unit, Centre for Policy Alternatives) and Switzerland (Dr. Nicole Toepperwien) shared their countries’ experiences with "language and federalism” during the workshop. National experts, Prof. Krishna Khanal (Tribhuvan University) and Prof. Bal Krishna Mabuhang (Tribhuvan University), spoke about the current state of debate on federalism in Nepal and the existing language situation. The members of the drafting team spoke about their experience and challenges in translating federalism terms and concepts.

After the expert presentations, the participants were divided into three working groups to discuss and agree on the English-Nepali definitions in the draft Glossary of Federalism Terms. Observations and suggestions for improvements were presented by each group at the plenary sessions. Comments proposed by the participants will be incorporated in the draft Glossary for consideration and further revisions by the editorial committee that will finalize the publication. The English-Nepali Glossary of Federalism terms is expected to be published and launched in November 2008.

The event, held from August 26-28, 2008, in Dhulikhel, Nepal, was managed by Sanjeev Pokharel, the Forum’s recently-hired Program Consultant for Nepal and Irina Shmakova, the Forum’s Program Officer for Asia-Pacific.

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