Fri, Feb 17, 2012 - Page 2 News List

CIP to increase efforts to strengthen proficiency in endangered languages

Staff Writer, with CNA

The government will step up efforts to preserve the endangered languages used by some of the country’s smaller Aboriginal tribes, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) said yesterday.

Since fewer people have taken or passed exams in several endangered Aboriginal languages this year, the government will work toward creating a better environment for learning the languages, both in cities and tribal areas, Council of Indigenous Peoples Deputy Minister Lin Chiang-yi (林正義) said a day after this year’s national exam results were published.

The council said it has established programs aimed at preserving nine endangered tribal languages and dialects — Sakizaya, Kavalan, Saisiyat, Tsou and its two variants as well as the three variants of Rukai.

The programs are designed to strengthen Aborigines’ oral proficiency in their ancestral languages and to encourage them to better appreciate the languages. However, fewer people this year passed the exams, which cover a total of 42 tribal languages and their many variants.

According to council data, the pass rate for the 11,479 examinees was 69.7 percent, lower than the 70.8 percent who passed the previous year. The pass rate for the nine endangered ones was also lower than a year ago, but exact numbers were not provided.

In light of the lower registration and pass rates, the council said it would dedicate more resources and efforts to reviving and passing on the linguistic heritage of the smaller tribes.

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