Dec 26, 2018 Market Comments Off on National languages development act passed by Legislature
The national languages development act was passed by the Legislature Dec. 25 in Taipei City, paving the way for enhanced efforts to preserve and promote Taiwan's linguistic diversity.
Formulated by the Ministry of Culture, the bill grants equal protections to all national languages and guarantees the right of citizens to use them in accessing public services. According to the law, national languages refers to the mother tongues of local ethnic groups, such as Hakka; Holo, also called Taiwanese; and indigenous languages, as well as Taiwan Sign Language.
Under the legislation, the government will work to perpetuate endangered tongues through measures like making lessons more readily available in kindergartens. The languages are also expected to be introduced as elective subjects in elementary and high schools by 2022.
The law also stipulates reward programs to encourage the study, use and promotion of the languages throughout society. It further calls for the creation of a national linguistic database and research mechanism, as well as the staging of regular conferences on related issues.
Also included in the act is a requirement to ensure citizens' right to broadcasting services in their mother tongues. This is set to lead to the establishment of additional state-supported media outlets to complement existing organizations such as Hakka TV and Taiwan Indigenous Television.
MOC Minister Cheng Li-chiun said that passage of the bill marks a historic milestone in the development of Taiwan's multicultural society. The act will help boost integration of language preservation resources across the public and private sectors and foster an environment conducive to the safeguarding of linguistic heritage, she added.
According to the MOC, the law will create a comprehensive national framework for the promotion and protection of all languages used by ethnic groups in Taiwan following the passage of the Indigenous Languages Development and Hakka Basic acts in June 2017 and January this year, respectively.
Drafted by the ministry in 2016, the bill was approved by the Cabinet Jan. 4. Following its passage by the Legislature, it must be promulgated by President Tsai Ing-wen before becoming law.
Source: Taiwan Today