Preserving languages: a worthwhile effort?

A recent Sunday Star-Times reader poll suggested readers were pretty much equally divided on whether the money spent on preserving te reo Maori is worth it.

Professor Kenneth Rehg, an associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawai’i, was in New Zealand recently to speak about the death of languages at Victoria University. He said that his students look up to New Zealand’s efforts to preserve te reo, and that ambivalence is a worldwide issue when dealing with indigenous languages. He thinks that many people don’t acknowledge the obvious benefits of different languages.

“You see the same thing in many places where indigenous people and cultures have been run over. There is an unfortunate attitude from people coming from dominant cultures that they have nothing to learn from indigenous societies. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Source: Fairfax NZ News