Drafting the Hakka Language Development Act

Taiwan is a multi-ethnic society, and precisely because diversified cultures prosper together to create a diverse, rich and colorful face of contemporary humanity, Hakka culture is also important heritage in Taiwan. However, according to the Hakka Affairs Council (hereafter referred to as the Council) Hakka language surveys over the years have shown that although the trend for Hakka people to identify as Hakka has gradually risen, in terms of the language that is crucial for the transmission of culture, surveys show the attritional trends in Hakka language development remain serious. Given that Hakka language is crucial to the revival of Hakka culture, and an important lifeline for the development of the Hakka ethnic group, thus the promotion of Hakka language education, the organizing of Hakka proficiency certification, efforts to expand the places where Hakka may be used, the creation of a living environment friendly to the Hakka language, the improvement of the Hakka language’s usage rate and visibility, and making the Hakka language a common language in Hakka communities, to revive Hakka culture, are duties that the government must not shirk.

Amendments to the Hakka Basic Act were implemented through presidential announcement on January 31, 2018, with the express provision that Hakka is one of the national languages, an important milestone in Taiwan becoming compatible with diverse cultural core values, at the same time adding more measures to promote the revival of the Hakka language, such as Hakka as a common language, improving the Hakka proficiency certification rate among public sector workers, using Hakka in schools, and so on, that seek to make a living environment friendly to the Hakka language and cause Hakka language and culture to be passed on. Article Three, Paragraph 3 [of the Hakka Basic Act] states that the development of the Hakka language shall be specified in a separate Act.

To further guarantee the right of the people to use the Hakka language and advance the inheritance and development of the Hakka language, the Council, according to the Hakka Basic Act’s related provisions, and having considered the promotion of minority ethnic language legislation or measures in the UK, Canada, Spain and New Zealand, has completed the draft bill of the Hakka Language Development Act. The Act has 7 Chapters and a total of 50 Articles.