Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
I would like to offer my opinion on promotion of Mandarin.
Name: Kuan-His Lin
Address: 5F., No.64, Lane 144, Sec. 2, Nanya S. Rd., Banciao City, Taipei County 220, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Mobile: 0963276943
Along with the globalization and raise of Taiwanese native identity, people in Taiwan nowadays are eager to achieve a higher linguistic level. We pursue English and Japanese which are the most influential foreign languages for this island, we encourage Taiwanese, and we legally protect aboriginal languages. They are exactly right but does Mandarin- our official language- not deserve our respect anymore?
In the past several years, Mandarin class in elementary and high schools has sharply reduced. Mandarin composition test originally included in senior high school entrance exam has been abolished. And young people¡¦s ability of thinking and linguistic organization, as many teachers of Mandarin have claimed, is destroyed and most of their expressions are ¡§devoid of substance.¡¨
Many nativists of Taiwanese have considered Mandarin as a foreign language introduced, or enforced by KMT government and associated it with China¡X the country considered as our enemy since their political oppression on us internationally. Some of them are even hostile to those Taiwanese-born Mandarin speakers. However, at same time they reject Mandarin, most of them send their kids to cram schools for English- another foreign language- in hope their kids can be more competitive in the future. Isn¡¦t ironic?
The fact is, we are not respecting for our official language as much as for other foreign or local languages. And, at some level, that means we have more respect for certain regions than for our country. Mandarin is our language officially and educationally. No matter it is related to China or not, no matter how other languages favor our economy and culture, our official language should never be depreciated.

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