We have identified 718 regional languages nationwide
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government will take additional steps to ensure the survival of regional languages, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology's Language Development and Fostering Agency official stated.

Language Agency Head E. Aminuddin Aziz emphasized the need for further measures to address the issue of local languages in Indonesia that have a low vitality level.

"We have identified 718 regional languages nationwide. In 2018, we lost 11 regional languages, while in 2021, we found that the vitality of regional languages is low," Aziz stated here, Monday.

Not a single local language has a good language vitality level, he pointed out while adding that one regional language is gone every two weeks and one mother language is gone every 30 years.

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"We have studied 24 regional languages, and while we earlier detect language weakening only in the eastern Indonesia region, the phenomenon is now also occurring in the western Indonesia region," Aziz noted.

He pointed out that Sundanese language, one of the major regional languages in Indonesia, with some 48 million speakers, had lost some two million speakers in the recent two years.

Aziz said that the ministry will adopt a new approach to ensure language vitality, such as by designating regional languages as school subjects and allowing the use of local languages in the first three years at the primary school.

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"Utilization of regional languages is allowed at schools, particularly in suburban areas," Aziz said.

The government will also invite local maestros, proficient in local languages, to promote the languages, he noted.

The agency head remarked that the school assistance fund could be utilized to fund regional language promotion and fostering programmes.

"It is possible to fund regional language revitalization programmes with the School Operational Assistance (BOS) fund," Aziz remarked.

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Translator: Indriani, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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