An academic says South Sudan’s language diversity has a positive impact on peace and development in the country.
The Head of Arabic at Juba University told Eye Radio’s Dawn Show that South Sudan’s case is special, with more than fifty mother languages.
Siham Osman was our guest on the occasion of International Mother Language Day:
“Language diversity in South Sudan has a positive impact on peace and development because people who live in villages don’t know anything about the city,” Ms Osman explained.
“If we want to deliver any government program for them, it is a must for that program to be delivered through their mother tongue for them to understand where people are going.
“That’s why people always try to deliver messages or data through the chiefs or specific intellectuals at the grassroots levels and in the villages, because they use the same language understood by their people.
“There is a saying which goes like this: ‘if you are talking to someone in a language he or she understands, the words of that language will remain only in his mind , but if you are talk to them in a language they understand, your words will go directly to their hearts’.”
International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 F worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
On the occasion of Mother Language Day this year, the UN encourages people to read books, texts and poems in their local or a lesser resourced language “somewhere in public” if possible.
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