Potential contributors to the promotion and development of a language are manifold and diverse, and include national authorities, local authorities, educative systems, research establishments, memory institutions, artistic establishments working in close contact with local painters, sculptors and architects ; film studios ; cultural centres, principally in remote settlements, which unite the functions of memory institutions and art and educational centres ; book publishers and traders, media outlets, the ict industry, public organizations and private persons and businesses.
9 See http://www.olonkho.info 10 See http://sah.wikipedia.org Evgeny Kuzmin As icts rapidly penetrate all spheres of contemporary life, opening everincreasing possibilities to preserve languages and cultures, the development of cultural and linguistic diversity in cyberspace acquires newfound importance.
The World Summit on the Information SocietyТs Declaration of Principles stresses that the information society should be founded on respect for cultural identity, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and foster dialogue between cultures and civilisations. Special attention in building an inclusive information society should be paid to the creation, circulation and preservation of content in diverse languages and in varied formats.
The development of local, regional, and ethno-specific content should promote social and economic development and participation, especially in rural, remote and marginal areas.
Let us now consider each of the above-listed contributors, and their corresponding targets and modes of action.
National and Local Authorities National and local official policies and activities are prime. Effective policies include a combination of measures to promote the preservation, free expression and development of linguistic, ethno-cultural and religious identity of ethnic communities, through the preservation and development of their cultural values and traditions, folklore, via the practical application of principles of cultural pluralism, bilingualism and multilingualism. This goal demands the enactment of special laws, and monitoring and ensuring compliance with these and already existing laws.
Federal and regional language laws must stipulate that the acquisition of the state status by certain languages must not encroach on the linguistic rights and expression by all ethnic entities historically inhabiting a particular territory.
Programmes to implement these goals should be based on the value of mutual intellectual and cultural enrichment, by preserving minority languages, customs, traditions, values, and institutions reflecting ethnic cultural specificity.
Evgeny Kuzmin Authorities should contribute to systemic language studies and promoting multilingualism in education, administration, law, cultural education, news media and cyberspace.
The attainment of those goals can be facilitated by :
Х establishing a regulatory framework for the development of languages at the national level (the national constitution and federal laws, along with constituent entitiesТ constitutions, statutes and laws) ;
Х forming and implementing cultural and educational strategies, policies and programmes explicitly aiming to promote minority cultures and languages ;
Х targeting federal funding and soft taxation of both governmental and non-governmental programmes for language preservation and development ;
Х granting state or official status to the largest minority languages either at the national level, or within regions densely inhabited by users of those languages ; whenever possible, language equality must be affirmed in law ;
Х affirming a given minority languageТs official status in the records of government and municipal authorities : using the language in governmental work, publishing federal and republican legal acts in it (and guaranteeing their equal legal force), and granting the language equal standing with the principal state language during elections, referendums and industrial, office and administrative activities ;
Х creating official document databases in the language ;
Х establishing councils on language policy within central and/or regional governments, and determining their rights and duties ;
Х guaranteeing social, economic and legal protection of the language in legislative, executive and judicial bodies ;
Х providing material incentives for experts to use both national and minority languages in their work ;
Х signing and ratifying international acts promoting multilingualism ;
Х promoting ethnic entitiesТ interest in the development of their languages ;
Evgeny Kuzmin Х establishing targeted regional programmes to preserve culture and language ;
Х helping and legally assisting the development of the languageТs body of literature through financial and other support of book publication and media dissemination, particularly that which is oriented to children and youth ;
Х forming and implementing strategies and programmes promoting reading in the native language ;
Х partnering with ethnic cultural associations outside the administrative territorial boundaries that are historically densely populated with members of the given ethnie ;
Х supporting libraries, museums, archives and other cultural agencies in the preservation and development of minority cultures and languages ;
Х establishing ethnic schools to intergenerationally transmit experiences, traditions, culture and ethics ;
Х promoting the ethno-cultural component of education and extending it wherever necessary and possible ;
Х equipping public schools with minority language and literature classrooms ;
Х contracting the governments of other regions densely inhabited by speakers of a particular language to assist in measures to preserve that language, for example by supplying literature to public and school libraries to enable the study of a given language, and participating in the graduate and postgraduate training of teachers for ethnic minorities ; and Х creating graphic systems for non-literate languages.
To promote multilingualism in cyberspace, authorities can take both general and goal-oriented measures to create a multilingualism-friendly environment :
Х designing and implementing ict penetration programmes ;
Х drawing up action plans to promote public use of the internet, including information literacy programmes for both dominant and minority languages ;
Evgeny Kuzmin Х providing telecommunication networks to remote areas ;
Х elaborating information resource development programmes in minority languages ;
Х promoting training in icts and information, especially in local languages ;
Х promoting the creation of local content, translation and adaptation ;
Х promoting the translation of world literary classics into minority languages, and of minority speakers into other languages, and posting these translations online ;
Х establishing integrated multilingual information resource networks ;
Х introducing electronic documentation and record management in at least two languages ; and Х promoting the research and development of operating systems, search engines and internet browsers, online dictionaries and term reference books, and their adaptation to local demands 11.
Research Centres Research centres provide the theoretical basis for governmental and nongovernmental multilingualism promotion efforts and make fundamental and relevant applied research. Their duties may comprise :
Х studies of ethnic cultures, traditions and quotidian life ;
Х studies of languages and their history ;
Х studies of the current linguistic situation and related issues ;
Х studies of language-promoting policy and practice in other parts of the country/world, display and dissemination of pioneer experience ;
Х elaboration of proposals on adapting cutting edge experience ;
Х elaboration and implementation of permanent monitoring tools to measure language use by social groups ;
11 See in this book : Dwayne Bailey, Software Localization : Open Source as a Major Tool for Digital Multilingualism.
Evgeny Kuzmin Х elaboration and implementation of permanent monitoring tools to qualify and quantify the work of language-promoting institutions ;
Х proposals to the government for draft regulatory legislation on language protection and promotion ;
Х initiation and organization of theoretical and applied conferences addressing the various aspects of minority language preservation and development ;
Х establishment of minority linguistic and cultural research centres ;
Х training of relevant experts ;
Х popularisation of minority languages and cultures ;
Х elaboration of national reading promotion programmes, in particular for minority languages, in cooperation with libraries, educational institutions, media outlets, and book publishers/traders ;
Х elaboration of best practices guidelines for relevant offices and organizations ;
Х publication of bilingual dictionaries that include audio recordings of words ;
Х establishment of terminology and orthography commissions ;
Х creation of text corpuses and phonetic databases ;
Х linguistic and folklore field studies and expeditions ;
Х establishment of centralised archives, including electronic archives, for minority languages ;
Х acquisition of private archives of researchers and community activists engaged in minority language support, and entrusting those archives to state memory institutions ;
Х establishment of clear standards and guidelines for recording and representing texts, alphabets and graphic systems for non-literate languages ;
Х establishment of a unified literary language, if absent ;
Х documentation of minority languages ;
Evgeny Kuzmin Х research and development of operating systems, search engines and information scanning systems 12 ; and Х development of fonts in cooperation with relevant experts.
Education Primary, secondary and higher educational establishments should cooperate with federal and regional executive and legislative bodies, as well as research and cultural institutions, to support and develop minority languages and multilingualism.
Their sphere of activity includes :
Х participating in writing the regional/local component of national educational standards ;
Х training minority language teachers for schools and universities ;
Х training experts on languages, history and traditional culture of ethnic minorities ;
Х implementing postgraduate teacher training programmes ;
Х elaborating basic curricula ;
Х elaborating academic curricula and learning packages ;
Х elaborating language teaching and speech improvement methods ;
Х making recommendations to implement new language teaching technologies ;
Х establishing university classes in minority languages ;
Х using minority languages as educational tools in all places of learning, especially to improve native language speech habits ;
Х teaching minority language as part of core curricula for students who speak it as a second language in all educational establishments in areas where an ethnic minority makes up a considerable section of the population ;
Х organising specialist language and literature classes ;
12 See in this book : Pann Yu Mon & Madhukara Phatak, Search Engines and Asian Languages.
Evgeny Kuzmin Х organising educational competitions on minority languages and literature ;
Х organising conferences and events on linguo-cultural and ethnocultural issues ;
Х organising off-campus language courses, especially on interregional and international levels ;
Х organising summer camps conducted in minority languages ; and Х organising online conferences in minority languages (on diverse topics).
CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS Cultural institutions and activists are tremendously important in language support, not only those directly connected with preserving linguistic cultures, but also theatres and conservatories, folklore performers, art schools, cultural centres in remote areas, and individual artists and cultural workers.
Memory institutions :
libraries, archives and museums It is the duty of these institutions to preserve, store, popularise and offer for public use all essential testimony of a particular peopleТs history.
Libraries and archives must search, acquire, describe, study, popularise and store all printed matter, sound and video recordings emanating from a language, both in the geographical area that is densely inhabited by its users, and other areas (even foreign countries) where those languages are used. Not only materials in minority languages but all information about them published in other languages is important.
The activities of memory institutions include :
Х gathering, preserving and extending comprehensive and thematic collections of all a minority languageТs published and unpublished materials ;
Х creating full-text databases of periodicals in the given language ;
Evgeny Kuzmin Х constructing an exhaustive bibliography of printed and written resources in the language ;
Х making available centralized catalogues of publications in the language (especially important for languages that have recently acquired a graphic system) ;
Х including bibliographic descriptions of works reflecting the history and culture of an ethnic minority in electronic national catalogues of all libraries at both national and international levels ;
Х popularising these works, especially by organising readersТ conferences, reader clubs, and meetings with writers, critics, publishers, illustrators, and others ;
Х digitising documents and museum exhibits that reflect an ethnic entityТs history and culture, establishing corresponding electronic libraries, museums and archives, and granting public access to them ;
Х establishing electronic and other museum expositions in the given language or bilingual exhibitions using that language ;
Х creating electronic catalogues in museum systems in the given language ; and Х preparing archives of electronic publications and exhibitions on cultural and linguistic diversity and memorable dates and events.
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