Preserving the Rotuman language remains a challenge

February 22, 2024 12:25 pm

Protecting the Rotuman language remains a challenge for today’s generations and there is a need for younger generations to take ownership of speaking or learning it.

This, according to Fiji Rotuman Association Council Members Paserio Samisoni.

He highlights the vulnerability of the language after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization classified the Rotuman language as an endangered language.

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He says that though the government has implemented the teaching of the Rotuman language in Fiji’s secondary schools, the challenges remain.

“If you look at a class, maybe there are one or two Rotuman students, and there are other students who don’t want to learn the language. They will want to learn English to enhance their level of education, but not the Rotuman dialect. So yes, I was involved in those discussions many years ago, but it’s a problem too if you have that in the curriculum here, but who is going to learn the Rotuman language? I don’t think so; the whole class won’t work.”

Samisoni states that with the help of the IPA Learning Center which has enabled the teaching of the Rotuman language and culture to its members and somehow merged the gap and worked towards retaining the preservation of the Rotuman language for future generations, there is still improvement to be done.

He adds that everything begins at home and it’s about time that Rotuman’s parents start speaking it to their children before it’s completely gone with the wind of change.