President Tsai promotes Taiwan’s national languages on International Mother Language Day

To celebrate the International Mother Language Day, which falls on February 21, the Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) has been planning for a series of related events, including inviting President Tsai Ing-wen to record a 30-second message for radio broadcasting in three kinds of Taiwanese national languages, including Hakka, Hokkien, and the Paiwan language, one of the indigenous languages used by Paiwan people.  

President Tsai in an interview with International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT)
President Tsai, who is of Hakka, Hoklo, and Paiwan ancestry, places great emphasis on speaking one’s mother tongue. To present the flourishing multilingual culture on the island, Tsai said that all ethnic languages in Taiwan are an indispensable part of the nation’s culture, asking her fellow citizens to speak their mother languages.

In an interview with International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) on Feb. 17, President Tsai shared her views on the topic of the International Mother Language Day. She pointed out that language and culture are inseparable, saying Taiwan’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity reflects the country’s uniqueness. Tsai said: “When we communicate in our mother languages, we gain a deeper connection with our homes and a better understanding of our identities.” Promoting the use of mother languages is not only a global movement, but also a way to explore Taiwan’s different cultures, further helping people to “learn more about one another and develop greater sense of unity,” the President added.

Speaking of her experience in relearning her mother tongue, President Tsai said “Hakka is a very beautiful language.” Thanking her Hakka teacher for his expert guidance, the President said that the more she studied, the more she was captivated by the charm of the Hakka language and its connection with this land. Tsai mentioned that whenever she participates in Hakka village events, she will try to speak Hakka as much as possible, adding that the more she speaks, the more natural it feels to her.

President Tsai’s trilingual message can be heard on Best Radio (好事聯播網), KISS Radio (大眾聯播網), UFO Radio (飛碟聯播網), i Like Radio (中廣流行網), and Hit FM.