Local Public Forums on Hakka Language Development Act

After the Hakka Basic Act was amended in 2018 to stipulate Hakka as one of Taiwan’s “national languages,” the Act’s Article 3, Paragraph 3 states that “the development of the Hakka language shall be stipulated in a separate act.” Accordingly, the Hakka Affairs Council has taken into consideration legislation or measures to promote minority languages in the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain and New Zealand, and sought views from academics and specialists in relevant disciplines to produce the draft Hakka Language Development Act. From July 26, 2021, notice was given on the Hakka Affairs Council’s official website and the Public Policy Online Participation Platform (join.gov.tw) – Public Speaking that 10 public forums on the draft of the Hakka Language Development Act would be held around the country between August 24 and September 23 in order to listen to opinions from the general public and related civic groups, and take these as important reference points for adjustments and corrections.

The draft Hakka Language Development Act is divided into 7 chapters and 50 articles, chiefly aimed at the goals of ensuring the status of the Hakka language, educational development, corpus planning and promotion to regulate the direction of Hakka language development; ensuring people’s right to use Hakka through having defined spaces for the use of Hakka language; maintaining the traditional language areas of Hakka communities; promoting the mainstreaming of Hakka locally and promoting Hakka as a common language of communication and educational instruction, to complete the capacity for Hakka language services and advance the sustainable development of Hakka language and culture.

In order to give sufficient and appropriate opportunities for academics and specialists concerned with Hakka language development, the general public, civic groups and relevant stakeholders to express their views and participate in the legislation process of Hakka language development policy, the Hakka Affairs Council has brought together the abundant academic resources of the country’s Hakka research institutions and introduced the spirit of public participation to organize public forums in New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Yunlin, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Hualien and Taitung as a way to collate opinions related to Hakka language development from all sectors to provide reference for adjustments. Each forum will also be broadcast directly through the Hakka Affairs Council’s Facebook page.