Minority language to be promoted

China Daily, February 15, 2011

Candidates will be placed into three levels according to their performances, and those examinees who pass the test will receive a certificate issued by a regional ethnic minority language authority. The exam results will go on resumes to help in the recruitment of employees and students who need the Zhuang language for their work or classes, the ministry said.

Already, the government tries to support languages spoken by ethnic groups that have large populations, such as the Tibetan and Uygur ethnic groups. Even so, some minority languages are still faced with the possibility of extinction.

According to the SEAC, a total of 56 ethnic groups use 130 different languages in China, half of which are spoken by a population of less than 10,000 people. Some tongues are on the verge of extinction, such as the Manchu language, which is used by less than 100 people even though the Manchu ethnic group has a population of 10 million.

In order to protect such endangered heritages, the government has made great efforts to promote the use of ethnic languages.

China has established more than 10,000 schools that teach both Mandarin and an ethnic minority language. And about 2,500 training classes in which an ethnic minority language is taught as the primary language are held to eliminate illiteracy, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Together with related authorities, the SEAC will also translate various reading materials into ethnic minority languages and publish them this year.

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