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“Overview of the intention of the Philippines state to harm our languages”

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Retrieved September 23, 2011 from


Compiled by the
Defenders of the Indigenous Languages of the Archipelago
from postings by Manny Faelnar, Firth McEachern, and Merlie Alunan


The national and provincial language policy: Only Filipino is the national language, with English as
an official language, yet other countries in recent years (Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, etc) have
made multiple native languages official. Many more political entities (regions, provinces,
autonomous territories, and even municipalities) around the world have made their main languages
co-official with whatever national languages already recognized in the country, such as the Basque,
Galician, and Catalan regions of Spain; the Sindh Province of Pakistan; the Fryslan Province of
Netherlands; the constituent country of Wales within the UK; the Nunavut Territory of Canada; the
Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous units of China; several municipalities of Norway/Sweden; and
many more.

In the Philippines, the main languages have not been made into national languages nor have they
yet been promoted to co-official languages by smaller government units. The activity going on in
La Union province to formally incorporate Ilokano in various sectors alongside Tagalog and
English is a refreshing change in an otherwise stagnant climate for government-led language
sponsorship in other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, the vast majority of pamphlets, tarpaulins, reports etc. sent from the
various national departments to the regions are in English or Tagalog, and very, very rarely in the
respective regional or local languages. It is ironic that one can go on the Department of Health
website in Hawaii and find important documents on anthrax, asthma, and other diseases available in
Tagalog and Ilokano, but yet the same cannot be said right here in the Philippines, the very country
where these language are native and have many more speakers.

Read the rest of the article here.

Written by Resty Cena

September 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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