Following last year's successful social media campaign celebrating linguistic diversity online throughout Asia, the collaborative project is continuing in 2020. Every week, a different language activist and advocate will be taking turns managing the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account to share their experiences, best practices, and lessons learned from their revitalization work promoting the use of their native languages, with a special focus on the role of the internet. This campaign is a collaboration between Rising Voices, the Digital Empowerment Foundation, and the O Foundation.
Each week, the upcoming host will answer several questions about their background and give a brief overview of their language. This Q&A is with Tumi Tanakyuwan (@TumiTanakyuwan) from Taiwan who will provide a sneak preview of what she will be discussing during her week as host.
Rising Voices (RV): Please tell us about yourself.
Tumi Tanakyuwan (TT): Hello everyone my name is Tumi, my tribe is Ita Thau tribe and we speak Thau language. I am learning this language from my father and teacher Hudun. My tribe started a language preservation plan in 2013, which was interrupted for a while, but in 2018 we restarted it. Now we have one full-time teacher and two full-time students learning the language and preparing to become Thau language teachers.
RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?
TT: We share the vocabulary, some traditional stories and real life stories on Facebook. Offline, we have a radio broadcast in our language.
RV: What topics do you plan to focus on during the week that you’ll manage the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account?
TT: I want to share our traditional stories and [talk about] a traditional festival which is hosted in summer time.
RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?
TT: I want let people know about my ethnic group and our language, which is very beautiful and precious. I hope this year I can obtain an advanced certification in Thau language and become a Thau storyteller.
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Since Rising Voices launched in 2007, we’ve supported nearly 100 underrepresented communities through training, mentoring, microgrants and connections with peer networks. Our support has helped these groups develop bottom-up approaches to using technology and the internet to meet their needs and enhance their lives.
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