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Apr 3, 2008

UDN opens up front in anti-Holo propaganda war

Update: Tailingua has a great critique of an English language editorial on this subject in the China Post.

UDN went all out today:

閩南語新課綱》楊青矗:台羅拼音不如ㄅㄆㄇ
閩南語新課綱》用ㄅㄆㄇ拼 別為難孩子(民意論壇)
閩南語新課綱》字音難統一 也沒有師資(民意論壇)
閩南語新課綱》民主社會 應讓拼音並存(民意論壇)
閩南語新課綱》新課綱研修 激辯沒結論
閩南語新課綱》孩子怨:沒人問我們想學什麼
閩南語新課綱》拜託!「難道台語也要補」
閩南語新課綱》「用閩南語MSN」 教部草案腰斬
閩南語新課綱》國中生要會用閩南語寫部落格
閩南語新課綱》不妥!「會干擾語言學習」

China Times:
小一拼音學台語教師:羅馬拼音沒打下基礎
閩南語正名「台灣」 課綱審委無共識

From the Guoyu Ribao:
小一學臺羅拼音教長:不宜
小一學臺羅拼音? 爭議大未過關
缺師資 勉強上路反效果
學三種拼音 學童說會混淆

Obviously Liberty Times was more forgiving:
拼音學台語專家不同調
閩南語正名、小一學拼音未定案

The arguments against? Romanization sucks; you can't read it anyway (never mind you've never tried); neither can the teachers; nobody asks the students what they want to learn; teaching Holo will hurt other language education, including Hakka and Aboriginal languages; the academics working on the program can't agree on anything; the whole effort's a waste of time and resources.

As usual, I'm depressed at the enthusiasm UDN has for attacking Holo language education. Not to mention the load of distorted or false information in the articles.

There is one bit of truth in the articles that helps explain why this situation is so difficult: unqualified teachers. As the education system early on favored mainlanders and those fluent in Mandarin, and disparaged other languages, a great number of teachers speak very poor Holo Taiwanese or don't speak at all. Even those that can speak well have no clue how to read or write it on the whole. It's very difficult to use these teachers to give your kids real working fluency. I think you just have to bring in and train more teachers.

And as I was saying to my wife the other day, people are allowing Holo Taiwanese to die. It would take most native speakers less than an hour to learn some form of romanization or phonetic system for Holo Taiwanese; some systems, like the modified bopomo, I think you could teach in 20 minutes. But few ever make the effort to learn one, and most figure it's totally unnecessary. They have no idea there's Taiwanese literature and poetry. They wouldn't spend 10 minutes trying to struggle through a Taiwanese article or short story because it would take some effort.

With cultural attitudes like this, a top down plan is almost the only real option if we want to save these endangered languages. And since nearly everyone's starting from scratch anyway, I see no need to bicker over which writing system is used. Just pick one and move on to the next step.

1 comment:

Tailingua said...

Trackback: [...] A-gu has the latest on anti-Taiwanese editorials in the local media. [...]