Family education is the most significant factor in promoting and preserving mother languages in Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday on International Mother Language Day.
“It is regrettable that some parents have not tried to teach their children how to speak their mother language,” Su said at a press conference organized by the Taiwan Mother Tongue Alliance to promote native languages, including Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Hakka and other Aboriginal languages.
The alliance launched an annual event two years ago in which consumers who speak native languages at select businesses receive a discount. More than 100 clinics, restaurants and stores across the country are supporting the campaign this year.
People cannot abandon their mother tongue, which is the root of any culture, Su said. The respect of mother languages is the respect for the cultures of all ethnic groups.
The government’s policy on mother language and culture is crucial in preserving native languages as well, Su said, citing the example of the Japanization movement initiated by the government during the Japanese colonial period and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s banning of native languages after it fled to Taiwan in 1949.
“Mother languages will not be preserved unless the nation’s leader has the right attitude toward linguistic heritage and true respect for cultural diversity,” Su said.
Chinese was the only language used on public address systems for a long time until the Taiwan Provincial Assembly demanded the government add Hoklo and Hakka to the service when Su served as a provincial councilor in the 1980s, he said.
The event, which runs from yesterday to Monday, aims to encourage people to speak native languages and pass on diverse cultures, as well as to promote equal status for all languages in Taiwan, alliance chairman Li Khin-huann (李勤岸) said.
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
CONTROVERSY: NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang said an outcry over overseas Taiwanese not paying premiums, but having coverage, is pushing rule amendments Rules changes are being considered that would force Taiwanese who permanently live abroad to pay National Health Insurance (NHI) premiums for the period they were overseas before they can re-enroll in the system, National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) yesterday said. The case of a married Taiwanese couple who lived in the US for about 30 years, but returned to Taiwan in April and tested positive for COVID-19 has again sparked public debate over why Taiwanese living abroad are allowed to use NHI resources, — although the couple’s expenses were not covered by the NHI. An often cited example
AN EXAMPLE: After attending a memorial service for Lee Teng-hui, Mori said the former president’s career reflected the importance of peace and democracy Using military force to resolve conflict is no longer workable in this new era, which requires peaceful discussion, former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori said yesterday before leaving Taipei. Mori made the remarks at a news conference in front of the EVA Sky Jet Center at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), after leading a delegation to attend the official memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水). This was Mori’s second trip to mourn Lee; his last was on Aug. 9. Although he walked with a crutch, Mori, 83, chose to stand right in front of