The Minister of
Māori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples has proposed a bill in Parliament
that will create a new entity known as Te Matawai, which, he says,
will give power back to an iwi-represented board, rather than the
Minister. Many Māori groups are opposed to the proposal.
Languages Strategy Working Group has criticised it. They fear that it
will weaken support for the Māori Language. They say that it would
be more effective to allocate more money directly to school and
community initiatives. "We are working towards a regional
languages strategy for Tamaki Makaurau, after central government has
repeatedly failed to prioritise New Zealand’s diversity of
languages at a national level. For Aotearoa to gain the full benefit
from the many languages spoken here, and for Te Reo Māori to thrive,
we believe a national languages policy is needed."
Labour and Green MPs
voiced their concerns in Parliament, when the bill was introduced,
that the bill does not clarify the Crown's “commitment and
responsibilities to Te Reo” as it should.
Tau Henare MP,
pointing to the progress of Welsh in Wales, advocates the development
of a plan to introduce teaching Māori language to everyone in all NZ
schools. He said in Parliament: “It would do
wonders for this nation’s belief that it is a bicultural nation. It
would do wonders for race relations. It would do wonders for our
ability to talk to people of other cultures. When you learn a second
language or even a first language, it is easier to learn the next one
and the next one.”
most unusual event during the 99th Universal Esperanto Congress will
be a football match between a team of esperantists and a team of the
Armenian Community in Argentina. The players for the Esperanto team
will be selected from the congress participants to represent the
worldwide Esperanto movement.
match will be under the auspices of the Ministry of Sport of the
Buenos Aires government and the South American Council of New
Federations (CSANF) who have announced the match on:https://www.facebook.com/csanf2007
match will take place in the sports ground "Polideportivo
Colegiales" (120 Freire Street) on Thursday 31 July 2014
starting at 20:30. The winning team will be presented with the
International Friendship Cup.
Information from: http://uea.org/
A session of the
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) took
place in Geneva between the 6th and 11th of July 2014. Stefano
Keller, a member of the Executive of UEA and the chief representative
of UEA at the UN in Geneva, noticed that a proposed resolution did
not mention the use of mother tongues, which is a precondition of
full and adequate participation in the life of any society. Keller
called for inclusion of the required phrases.
discussion of language rights in relation to the UN Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Keller drew attention to the
significant reduction in biocultural diversity and the necessity to
conserve it for sustainable survival. For that the protection of each
language is important, especially for the languages of indigenous
peoples, because they contain the knowledge necessary to conserve
Keller also drew
attention to the need to act with respect for the human dignity of each
people, so that none of the more powerful force their languages and
cultures on the others. He emphasised the fundamental role of the
mother tongue in the life of every person and repeated his call to
include that in the resolution.
This article is a
summary of a report by UEA, Gazetaraj Komunikoj n-ro 546.
The popular astronomy website Heavens-Above.com
is now available in Esperanto. The author of the Esperanto translation is the Ukrainian amateur astronomer Pavel Moĵajev, who uses this website mainly to look up the position of artificial satellites. In an interview on Libera Folio he explains why he took on the task and how the Esperanto version can be useful.
The first number of the magazine Esperanto to be edited by Fabricio Valle is at the printer and subscribers will receive their paper copy in January. There are some big changes to the layout and type of contents of the revue. The new editor aims to make its appearance more inviting.
To give all esperantists a taste of the new-look revue, the January edition is freely down-loadable from the UEA website <http://www.uea.org/revuo/index.html>
Those who wish to read the subsequent editions of the magazine, can avail themselves of the opportunity to register online as a member of UEA at <http://db.uea.org/alighoj/alighilo.php>
The Economist has published two articles about language problems in the European Union.
An article on 10 September 2013
discussed a recent conference on multilingualism in Krynica, Poland. It mentions the number of official languages in the EU has risen to 23, which makes it difficult to create unity in the EU. It mentions the difficulty of interpreting at such conferences, and the difficulty of understanding those struggling with English. It claims that "Technology is making cross-linguistic communication much easier, but
even with all of the recent strides in machine translation, quality is
still choppy, and remains impossible for the kind of spontaneous
conversations that start friendships." Which is what we have been saying for along time.
Another article on 17 September 2013
, on multilingualism, and the opposition to having a "mainly English" language policy in the EU. "United in diversity"? The problems if all serious stuff is in English, and the other languages lose their technical vocabulary and style. "Already today, in liberal and pro-American countries where English ability is outstanding, like Denmark and the Netherlands, people fear that their languages are considered fit for fewer and fewer arenas. Populist and xenophobic parties... play on this fear". The author is pushing for every schoolchild in the EU to be taught "a second foreign language after English".
On 26 September 2013 The Economist published an article about Esperanto
in the section called, appropriately enough, "Prospero". While it is the sort of knocking article that one expects from a mainstream
English language magazine, it does contain some relevant facts. It mentions that "Esperanto remains atop the heap" of invented languages. It mentions estimates of the number of Esperanto speakers, and the number of pages in the Esperanto Wikipedia. It finishes with the usual plug for English.The author correctly says that to learn Esperanto one needs to be motivated "by an ideal of international harmony", and bemoans a lack of Esperanto culture. However the author does acknowledge that the Esperanto community is "proud of its respect for existing cultures".
The number of likes of UEA's Facebook page reached 4000 on 7th September 2013. La page was created on 5th November 2009 and one year later reached 1738 likes. After that the growth slowed, but in 2013 it sped up again.
Through Facebook UEA reaches a much younger public than the paid-up members of UEA, of whom more than half are over 60. In total 60% of those who like UEA in Facebook are under 45 years old (41% are less than 35; 19% are 35-44). Also, 18% are in the 45-54 age bracket, 12% are 55-64, and 9% are over 64. Unknown ages: 1%.
More statistics at http://uea.org/dokumentoj/komunikoj/gk.php?no=515
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week 2013) runs from 1-7 July 2013.
The theme is ‘Ngā ingoa Māori, Māori names’.
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (New Zealand's Māori Language Commission)
encourages people to learn more about Māori names, including place names and names of people they may know.
For more information go to: http://www.koreromaori.co.nz/news/mlw
where you will find a link to a list of 100 Māori words that all New Zealanders should know