TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Media OutReach – 23 February
2021 – In response to UN’s call for the preservation of mother languages,
International Mother Language Day — Indigenous Language Revitalization Award
Ceremony and Forum on Taiwan Indigenous Language Development was held in Taiwan
on February 20 and 21. Indigenous languages and official languages were used
together throughout the events, including Indigenous Language Revitalization
Award Ceremony and a keynote speech on the Historical Truth of Indigenous
Language Loss and National Language Revitalization Strategy.
President Tsai Ing-wen presenting Indigenous Language Children Award to the 5-year-old recipient, LregeaiRukai
Delegates from 14
countries including the Republic of Palau, and heads of local governments and
NGOs were invited, reaching an attendance of 300 people. President Tsai Ing-wen
and Premier Su Tseng-chang of the Executive Yuan presented a total of 12 awards
to accredited individuals, groups and organizations for indigenous language
revitalization. Among which, the recipient of the Indigenous Language Children
Award, Lregeai, is a five-year-old with Rukai person, who has already won many
awards in relation to indigenous languages. Kating Mulas, the recipient of the
Indigenous Language Teacher Award is fluent in both Bunun, her mother language,
and Pangcah/Amis, the language she teaches, and is extremely gifted in language
Minister Icyang ‧ Parod of the Council of
Indigenous Peoples delivered his remark entirely in Pangcah/Amis. Delegates
attending the meeting on behalf of various organizations used a total of 10
different languages, including Truku, Drekay, Thakongadavane, Bunun,
Kanakanavu, Pangcah/Amis, Atayal, Kavalan, Pinuyuanan, and Chinese.
Simultaneous interpreting service for various indigenous languages was provided
as per international conferences, showcasing indigenous languages for the
nation to become acquainted with, so that together we can create an environment
friendly to indigenous languages.
Enacted in 2016, the Indigenous Languages
Development Act set in motion various measures for language revitalization,
leading to the quintuple of budget with even more manpower invested towards
language revitalization. With the government coordinating indigenous language
promotion organizations, manpower and resources, we hope to effectively
revitalize indigenous languages and cultures through such consensus meetings.
Minister Icyang ‧ Parod pointed out that
without indigenous languages, there will be no indigenous rituals and
ceremonies; without indigenous languages, indigenous cultures will cease to be
passed on. As the origin of the Austronesian, linguistic diversity is Taiwan’s
gift to the world in its most beautiful form. The two-day event sees consensus
reached amongst indigenous language development organization and professionals,
together we continue to promote the research, preservation, promotion and
passing on of indigenous languages, and give voice to the beautiful
Austronesian languages in Taiwan.
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