Culture Minister Cheng Li-chun says that the government will begin preparing a budget to create a television station that would broadcast in the Minnan dialect, which is often called Taiwanese. That would require amending current laws which have paved the way for two other minority language television stations that broadcast in the Hakka dialect and in the languages of Taiwan's indigenous peoples.
The Minnan dialect is the most widely spoken language in Taiwan, following Mandarin Chinese. It was once forbidden to speak that language in the nation's schools, but continues to be popularly spoken in southern Taiwan.
The culture minister's remarks on language came on Sunday during the last of eight public hearings for a proposed new national language development law. She said that Taiwan is home to a diverse array of languages, but the government's past policy which had focused on a single unifying language had threatened the existence of many of those minority languages.
The culture minister said that the law would designate Taiwan's many languages, as well as sign language, as national languages. She said that would revive the minority languages of Taiwan, and make the concept of language equality a reality.
Source: Radio Taiwan International
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