Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan’s neglected languages, feeling the love

Starting with Hoklo, an American expatriate plans to bring Taiwan’s lesser-known languages to the world

By Enru Lin  /  Staff reporter

Two in the tiny cohort of fluent speakers are an elderly couple that Campbell visits in their village for chats. He carefully documents the fine points of lexicon and grammar as his hosts talk and pour tea and the sun sets over their lakeside valley.

“I love the sound. It is very easy to express yourself in this language,” Campbell said.

“It gives you a sort of sense, connection with the earth, nature, history.”

For Campbell, providing minorities access to majority languages can help them substantively improve their lives. Promoting a minority language helps its marginalized speakers survive and be discovered by the world.

“Many of those people are still living here in Taiwan. You just have to find them,” he said.

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