Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Yumna Maumoon said that the Dhivehi language needs to be ‘friendlier’ with technology.
She made the remarks while speaking at a ceremony held to celebrate International Mother Tongue Day by Dhivehibahuge Academy and Student Initiative of Arts (SIA) – the branch of the Faculty of Arts under Maldives National University Students’ Union (MNUSU).
Minister Yumna noted that the theme of this years celebration – ‘Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities - was also an indicator that the relationship with language and technology needed to be improved.
“More work needs to be done with those in the technology field. Dhivehi language needs to be friendlier with technology.”
Speaking in this regard, she requested the Dhivehibahuge Academy to do the work need to strengthen the relationship between Dhivehi technology.
Additionally, the minister noted that the sole purpose of language was not just communication, but it is also the greatest indicator of our (Maldivians’) originality.
“Dhivehibas is the most significant representative of us as Maldivians.”
Moreover, she described people’s language to be interconnected with their culture and heritage.
In her address, Minister Yumna also addressed some of the challenges to the Dhivehi language. She highlighted that if the youth and younger generation stop communicating with the Dhivehi language, it would be a big obstacle to the language.
Furthermore, she stated that while we talk about the language disappearing, we also need to look into the vanishing dialects as well. She added that there are multiple rich dialects in Dhivehi and that we need to think deeply and find out what can be done to stop those from being disappearing.
She went on to highlight the role of parents in conserving their mother tongue and said that they need to pay attention to the language used with infants.
“'Mother Tongue Day' is not just about dressing up and speaking like this. It is about thinking deep into the issues, debate on it and finding solutions to these problems.”