Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - The Maluku Language Agency included the Seram language from Eastern Seram and Tarangan language from the Aru Islands into the regional language revitalization program.

"This year, we continue the Maluku regional language revitalization program, and there are two additional languages from Eastern Seram and the Aru Islands. Hence, we are revitalizing five regional languages,” Head of the Maluku Language Agency Sahril stated here on Wednesday.

Last year, the agency sought to revitalize three regional languages: Kei language from Southeast Maluku, Buru language from Buru District, and Yamdena language from the Tanimbar Islands.

Sahril deemed it necessary to revive the number of local language speakers, as the figure was decreasing, in an effort to sustain the use of languages.

According to the agency head, regional languages are not always spoken in daily lives, especially among members of the younger generation, as they are only consistently spoken during traditional ceremonies or rituals.

Hence, he pressed for the need to conduct revitalization efforts, so that regional languages in Maluku do not fall into extinction.

He explained that the revitalization program in Maluku was implemented in stages due to the large number of regional languages in the province and the limited number of human resources and available funding.

Moreover, Sahril said that the targeted languages were determined by the agency after consulting with community representatives and local governments.

After consulting with them, out of the 14 regional languages in Eastern Seram and 11 in the Aru Islands, Seram and Tarangan languages were considered the common languages (lingua franca) there due to which they were accorded priority in the program.

His side will implement the program in elementary and junior high schools through poetry recitation, speech, singing, writing letters to officials, and stand-up comedy competitions.

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Translator: Penina M, Kenzu
Editor: Sri Haryati
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