Minister backs bill for indigenous language development

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2017-04-13

The head of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Icyang Parod, is backing a bill to protect

Head of the Council of Indigenous Peoples Icyang Parod (right). (CNA file photo)

Taiwan’s indigenous languages. The bill was drawn up by the Council and came before the Legislature for review Thursday.

Taiwan is home to 16 officially recognized indigenous groups, each with its own language. However, the minister said that ten of these languages are critically endangered. He said this was part of a wider loss of speakers brought about by social change. He said that while the constitution protects indigenous languages and culture, there is not yet any law specifying how this should be done.

Icyang Parod outlined several of the bill’s provisions. They include a rule putting the central government in charge of standardizing writing systems and coining new words in these languages. The bill will also require the government to come up with development policies for each language based on its use and how well it is being passed on.

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