KUCHING: Monday, 21 February is International Mother Language Day, a day to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
‘Mother language’, or ‘mother tongue’, is the language a person speaks from earliest childhood. For most people, this is just one language but children in multilingual families may learn two languages at the same time.
Following are some of the public views on the importance of mother language.
Mother language is important. Developing and maintaining the language itself helps me to connect to my culture and people. Our mother language keeps our cultural heritage alive. In villages, people still speak their mother language.
Language is a signature of a race. It symbolises customs and cultures passed down from generation to generation. The new generation now spends a lot of time with friends of various races. They may be able to communicate in their mother language but only to a certain extent. Because I was born and brought up in the village, I am fluent in my mother tongue.
KHAIRUL ADZHAN HASSANUDDIN
It is very important for us to speak our mother language. It will be a shame if we can’t. The language has been passed down from our forefathers. There are still many people who can speak Melanau.
Mother language is very important and must not be lost with time. Depending on how they are raised by their parents, the new generation may or may not speak their mother languages.