Let’s save our languages


PAPUA New Guinea is a multicultural country with over 850 different languages.
That makes us unique.
It is amazing that a country with about 8.1 million people can have that many languages compared to other highly-populated countries which have few languages such as China and India.
I’m so proud of my country.
However, studies have recently shown that a number of those languages have died and most are at the danger of extinction.
Young people nowadays tend to speak Tok Pisin while their local vernaculars are gradually disappearing.
Papua New Guinean educated elites are no longer teaching their children their local vernacular as their first language.
Thus, our unique cultures are at a risk of loss.
Linguists, anthropologists and some other scholars have found that the unique cultures of PNG are at great risk of disappearing because language and culture are inseparable – they go together.
Culture and language are interrelated and inseparable.
Can the Government step in and encourage Papua New Guinean linguists to form an association and fund it for native language documentations?
It is sad to see that PNG has only few linguists compared to other professions such as lawyers, engineers, doctors and others.
Can the Government assist our linguistics graduates to further their studies abroad?

Joshua Mark