Archive for Language policy and planning

Pro-Mandarin, anti-topolect movement in Singapore

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A hidden minority revealed

From S. Robert Ramsey:


Zhuang women posed for a photograph

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Saving a critically endangered language one child at a time

A recent blog on Miao/Hmong posted on Language Log reminded Chau Wu of an earlier news report from Taiwan about a 5th grade girl from Hla'alua (Lā'ālǔwa zú 拉阿魯哇族) who won a speech competition using her native language (article in Chinese).

"With fewer than 10 native speakers and an ethnic population of 400 people, Saaroa (= Hla'alua) is considered critically endangered," according to the article on Saaroa language in Wikipedia.

Here is a 4min-33sec YouTube video as a brief refresher on the small Austronesian tribe.

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Support for non-Mandarin languages and topolects in Taiwan

Judging from this article and other news I've been receiving on this subject in recent days, this is one more piece of evidence that Taiwan is serious about supporting languages and topolects other than MSM (Modern Standard Mandarin):

Taiwan university offers raises to encourage faculty to teach in native tongues

Instructors eligible for 50% hourly wage hike for conducting classes in Indigenous languages, Taiwanese, Hakka, Taiwan Sign Language, or Matsu dialect

By George Liao, Taiwan News (1/3/22)

The article is short but sweet:

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) recently passed a national language development measure that encourages full-time faculty to teach courses in the country's native languages by raising their pay.

These languages include Taiwanese, Hakka, Indigenous tongues, the Matsu dialect, and Taiwan Sign Language, CNA reported.

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Diametrically opposed language policies

On one side of the Taiwan Strait, yesterday the PRC announced its draconian language policy for the coming decades:

"Important new policies on language and script in the PRC" (11/30/21)

Meanwhile, on the other side, Taiwan proclaimed a very different aspiration:

"2030 bilingual policy to help Taiwan connect with the world: NDC head", Focus Taiwan (12/1/21)

The policies are nothing new for either side, simply an intensification of their goals in recent years, the PRC more toward language standardization and monolingualism, and Taiwan more toward linguistic diversification and multilingualism.

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