The Ministry of Culture wants to sponsor a bill on national language development. Yesterday in Tainan it held the third public hearing to arrive at a draft. Deaf organisations said that they objected to 'sign language' being included and said that it should be 'Taiwan sign language' to show respect for the language, which was used and studied in Taiwan.
Waving banners and signs without a sound, deaf groups were welcomed to the venue. Deaf groups constituted at least one-quarter of the numbers at the third national language development public hearings in Tainan. They want specifically Taiwan sign language to be included as a national language.
==HUANG SHU-FEN E-Dir. National Association of Deaf in the Republic of China==
If it is included in the national languages, then it can be included in legislation and then all local departments. Everywhere will have to respect sign language.
Through a verbal translator, the groups' representative emphasized that sign language is like other mother tongues and has been shaped by pressure from Chinese and required to have a similar grammatical structure to Chinese so that Taiwanese sign language is disappearing. In the first public hearing on national language, the Ministry of Culture did not arrange a sign language translator and was castigated for this, so that from the second hearing this was arranged.
==CHU JUI-HAO DG, Humanities and Publications Dept., MOC==
We respect everyone's languages, including the use and study of sign language, which is included in our draft and has been discussed.
The MOC said that sign language would be included as a language which must be respected. When the public hearings concluded there would be more discussions on the issue. Deaf groups said sign language is different in every country and Taiwan's sign language dated from the Japanese occupation and also included local and Chinese elements. If it was included in national languages it would be guaranteed preservation and would be researched and maintained.
TRANSLATED BY：CLARE LEAR
記者 王介村 許政俊 台南報導
DEAF GROUPS WANT TAIWAN SIGN LANGUAGE INCLUDED IN NATIONAL LANGUAGES|聽障團體 爭取"台灣手語"列入國家語言
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