EVEN IF YOU HEAR ONE OF THESE, DO YOUR THING ANYWAY

When you decide to learn an unpopular foreign language, you often hear various “pearls of wisdom” from you relatives, friends, colleagues. Rarely do they smile at you, give you a thumbs-up, pat you on the shoulder, and say: “Wow, that’s so cool!”. Their words are more discouraging than encouraging, and suddenly you get the feeling that what you are doing is … pointless. … More EVEN IF YOU HEAR ONE OF THESE, DO YOUR THING ANYWAY

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES – THE PACIFIC WAY

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages. That’s undoubtedly a wonderful initiative, but what does it actually mean? Well, completely nothing unless we – the people of this world – make a commitment to celebrate this year the way it deserves to be celebrated. I happen to have a few ideas how you can do just that; especially if you want to focus on the Pacific tongues. … More HOW TO CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES – THE PACIFIC WAY

WAYS TO PROMOTE MULTILINGUALISM

The choice of what language to use for what purposes and in which contexts is never easy to make, especially in a region with over 1000 native tongues and two major intrusive ones. On the one hand, there are English and French – the global languages of opportunities and the future; on the other, there are the local vernaculars – the languages of culture, heritage, and the past. Imagine that they all share the spotlight. Wouldn’t that be great? But how to achieve it? … More WAYS TO PROMOTE MULTILINGUALISM

MIND YOUR MOTHER TONGUE

Each year, on 21 February, we celebrate International Mother Language Day. Around this time we talk a lot about preserving minority and indigenous tongues. We promote, we encourage, we exchange ideas. But the truth is, one day to celebrate multilingualism is simply not enough. One day will not make a difference. One day will not save hundreds of disappearing languages. To merely try to do that, we need 365 days. … More MIND YOUR MOTHER TONGUE

ENDANGERED, ENDANGERED NOT

Over 200 languages from the Pacific region have officially been given endangered status by UNESCO. But Oceania is home to more than 1000 tongues. Does that mean that the rest of its languages are perfectly safe? That there is no need to worry they, too, may one day face the fate of extinction? In other words, are they endangered, or are they not? Well, that surely is the question. … More ENDANGERED, ENDANGERED NOT