Bid to save Fiji’s lingo
2 October, 2019, 10:55 am
UNIVERSITY of Fiji academic Professor Subramani has once again called for the recruitment and training of indigenous language activists to “save” Fiji’s vernacular languages.
This was one of the key messages shared by Prof Subramani at the annual sixth Sir Moti Tikaram Memorial Lecture at the University of Fiji last week.
He spoke on the topic “Fiji’s Endangered Hindi”.
He said the task ahead was difficult.
“In order to prevent Hindi losing more ground, language activists have to emerge, be identified and be trained,” he said.
“The activists can be language teachers, linguists and eloquent speakers of Hindi.”
He said these language activists would become “the soldiers of Hindi”.
Prof Subramani suggested that Uni Fiji’s Institute of Hindi Language and Cultural Studies lead the way in producing individuals who would thrive with the support of Government and the university.
“These activists will carry out field work, record, translate, document and engage with the community.
“The range of language activities is vast and this is the measure of the work required to reduce the threat of further erosion,” he said.
“This is a decisive moment for Hindi in Fiji and we cannot indulge in gloom and doom thinking, and strong intervention can arrest further damage.”
He said the same could be done for the indigenous iTaukei language.