On Sat, Sep 23, 2000 at 12:57:34PM +0000, Adam Walker wrote:
> Yesterday there was a VERY exciting article in my daily news paper, the
> _Taiwan News_, which said that the Executive Yuan has decided that starting
> next September all elementary students in Taiwan will be REQUIRED to study a
> native language -- either Taiwnese, Hakka or one of the Aboriginal
> languages.  They are quickly settling on standardized Romanizations for
> these langs to be used in these classes.  This is a HUGE change from past
> policy.  It wasn't that long ago that students were physically punished and
> fined for daring to speak anything but Mandarin at school.  Now they will be
> required to study the once-banned languages!

Awesome. When I was in high school, we were prohibited from speaking
Hokkien or Cantonese. Speaking to a teacher *any time* in anything other
than English or Malay will get you scolded. Getting caught during class
will cost you a quarter or extra homework. :-) But of course, that didn't
stop us students from speaking Hokkien at every opportune time. In fact,
it provoked some of the naughtier kids to swear in a language the teacher
didn't understand...

I guess the rationale is that because they aren't speaking English or
Malay to each other, they aren't learning the language. Which is true...
but I think it's pressed a little too far. Instead of trying to stifle the
local dialects, they should make students study 'em. IMHO, using the
students' mother tongues to teach them linguistics will make it so much
easier for them to learn languages like English / Malay. Trying to stifle
their urge to speak in their own language just provokes them to do
unproductive things like inventing new ways of speaking Hokkien without
getting caught.

> ObConlang
> Have any of your conlangs been banned at any point in their histories?  If
> so how did that effect their evolution??

I assume you're talking about internal history? It'd be funny if somebody
actually banned a conlang IRL! :-P In that case, I'd guess that the
conlang adopted a chockful of political words / idioms describing a
Certain Class of People... :-P