11 Jul 2016

Academic pleas for Vanuatu to save languages

4:31 pm on 11 July 2016

A Pacific languages Professor John Lynch is calling on parents to teach children their native language before it's too late and traditional communication dries up completely.

Emeritus professor Lynch, who has retired in Vanuatu, said there are over 100 languages in Vanuatu, and people there lack the urgency needed to preserve them.

"People understand the importance of it, almost when it is too late. When they see that there kids are not speaking the lanaguage they'll see that its not a good thing. And I think in the case in Vanuatu some have already died, some of the others are pretty fragile spoken by half a dozen elderly people."

John Lynch said if children can't speak the lanaguage they cannot properly understand their culture.