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Friday, February 20, 2009

21-Feb-09 International Mother Language Day

“I hope, in particular, that governments will introduce, in their formal and non-formal education systems and their own administrations, measures designed to secure the harmonious and fruitful coexistence of the languages of each country. We shall thus succeed in preserving and promoting multilingual environments that show due respect for all expressions of cultural diversity.” said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, in his closing message on the occasion of International Mother Language Day 21 February 2009.

Some questions for Taiwan’s scholars and academics to think about:

What is the ROC government on Taiwan doing for its language policy contrary to the above?

There are many extinct or endangered tribal languages among Taiwan’s indigenous people, where are they being listed under?

Will the UN, contrary to the mission of its sub-organization, UNESCO, facilitate to extinct the Chinese traditional written language soon?

The World Heritage List also has nothing for Taiwan’s natural or cultural sites, why? Obvious!

My comments:

In taking into account all of the following factors, a harmonious society, the preservation of one’s heritage and culture, globalization trend, and job prospect, it is good to equip a child, as much as he likes and can handle:

A mother tongue language (a language of the indigenous people in Taiwan, or Hok-lo, or Hakka), it’s good to be proud of one’s root and to feel confident of oneself, and to be able to tell other people what you know about your own cultural heritage,

A common language (Mandarin),

A global communication language (English),

A language to give your child an added advantage for a job (a second foreign language, for example: Japanese, Spanish, French, German, etc.)

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