Monday, July 4, 2011

Alarming loss of language among Taiwan's younger generation.

On the Writing Taiwan's Languages blog, "Mr. Biko Lang" raised a concern about the loss of Taiwanese in the younger generation even in south Taiwan. Remember, this is Taiwanese, the strongest of the non-Mandarin languages. If this one is being gradually lost, all of the other languages -- Hakka, and the Austronesian languages are disappearing even faster.

Following is an excerpt of the comment and a response from Aì Tâi-oân.


Excerpts from blogger Dan's comments:

I am worried. I live in South Taiwan. ... But most of the daily speakers are people over the age of 40, and more like around age 50. Below this age, the popularity of speaking Taiwanese drops off precipitously.

The kids at elementary school, i sometimes visit the Taiwanese one hour a week classes with my friend Teacher Hung, the kids for the most part speak Chinese 24/7.......maybe just 10 percent of the kids age 5 - 15 can speak Taiwanese now although more can HEAR IT when their parents or grandparents speak it. However, from my viewpoint on the ground as a non-PHD, i see a dyying language, like Yiddish was for the Jews of Europe who immigrated to America in the 1920s....their grandkids cannot speak Yiddish anymore and almost nobody writes or reads Yiddish in the USA anymore or Europe. It is a dead language.

I worry this will happen to Taiwanese too..... only academics and PHDS will continue to write in hoklo and read it.....BUT Hoklo will live on as a popular langauge on TV shows and in daily life, but it will lost ALOT with each generation and by the year 2100, i worry that Taiwanese will also be a dead language. with just a few choice words used in daily like like BUSASA and AMAH and AKONG and ABEI and AUTOBAI and ASAN and JABA BUREAI and JABA and maybe just 100 words. I just worry. I hope i am wrong.

posted by Mr Biko Lang and thanks, LO LAT

Aì Tâi-oân said...
Here are some practical suggestions that can all play a part:

Begin studying and using the language: suggestion: Maryknoll Language Institute

Start posting updates on facebook, or other social media that have Taiwanese:

Other suggestions:


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