20 Apr 2005

Norfuk declared official language in Norfolk Island - report

8:48 am on 20 April 2005

The nine-member legislative assembly on Norfolk Island has reportedly declared Norfuk an official language in the Australian territory.

The British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, reports about half of the island's 2-thousand residents speak Norfuk, which is influenced by Tahitian and 18th-century English.

A generation ago children were punished for speaking the dialect in school.

But the secretary to government, Peter Maywald, says officials are now promoting the language rather than trying to knock it out of children.