18 May 2009

Support for Palauan language needed to preserve culture

5:50 am on 18 May 2009

Concerns over the lack of use of the Palauan language by young people was one of the driving forces behind a bill which led to the establishment of a Language Commission.

The Palau Senate passed a bill to set up the Commission and its task is to preserve the Palauan or Belauan language and maintain standards for its use.

The Commission will also determine the appropriate spelling of Palauan words, as well as proper grammar and usage.

The bill's author and vice-president of the Senate, Kathy Kesolei, says she hopes the Commission will also develop a curriculum for schools so the language can be taught appropriately.

She says maintain the language for future generations is the key to its survival.

"The preservation of the language is synonymous to the preservation of our culture, if we lose the language, we lose our culture."