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The Ministry of Education Held the Award Ceremony for Outstanding Local Language Contributors in Response to 221 International Mother Language Day

To celebrate International Mother Language Day, preserve linguistic diversity, and promote mother languages, the Ministry of Education (MOE) held the Award Ceremony for Outstanding Local Language Contributors on February 21st, 2014. The purpose of this ceremony was to recognize 9 prize-winning persons and 1 winning group and show appreciation for their devotion and contribution.

The 10 winners were from different fields including Art, Education, and Enterprise. Winners Yang Siou-Cing (楊秀卿) and Shih Bing-Hua (施炳華) both work in native Taiwanese arts. Yang Siou-Cing (楊秀卿), the Taiwanese master artist of Minnan narrative songs, has devoted her lifetime to narrative songs. Shih Bing-Hua (施炳華) promotes and researches Taiwanese folk literature, in the meantime creating a narrative songs, Taiwanese literary language, and instructional materials reference platform to carry forward local culture. In the Education field, for the first time, He Shi-Song (何石松) integrated Hakka language and health allied education, using people’s native language to shorten the distance between them.

In an effort to establish basic data, Hong Wei-Ren (洪惟仁) and Zeng Cai-Jin (曾彩金) devote themselves to linguistics research and field surveys. Hong Wei-Ren (洪惟仁) compiled the Linguistic Atlas of Taiwan, a masterpiece which records the languages of Taiwan deeply and widely. In aboriginal languages, Shi A-Song (石阿松), the sage of the Thao, developed the first system to write and record the diminishing vocabulary and pronunciation of the Thao language, making his manuscripts precious treasuries of wisdom. The Vitalon Welfare Foundation, the winner of group award, has held Vitalon Native Literature Award- National Tales Competition in the Hoklo language 13 times since 1999 to influence society’s views of local languages and pass down language heritage.

9 outstanding persons won the individual award: Yang Siou-Cing (楊秀卿), Shih Bing-Hua (施炳華), Hong Wei-Ren (洪惟仁), Yang Jing-Ting (楊鏡汀), Zeng Cai-Jin (曾彩金), He Shi-Song (何石松), Shi A-Song (石阿松), Wu Ming- Yi (吳明義) and You Ren-Guei (游仁貴). The Vitalon Welfare Foundation won the group award. Commending contributors for their effort in local language on International Mother Language Day shows people the meaning and important of promoting mother languages and mother language education.