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Vietnam eyes law to combat misuse of mother tongue

Thursday, November 17, 2016, 16:41 GMT+7

Local experts and lawmakers are proposing the establishment of a law on language as many misuses of Vietnamese have been attributed to the lack of recognized standards for the country’s mother tongue.

The proposal was made during a scientific seminar in Hanoi on Saturday on ‘Preserving the Purity of the Vietnamese Language in the Mass Media.’

The seminar was co-hosted by The Linguistic Society of Vietnam, Vietnam Journalists Association, and Radio the Voice of Vietnam in commemoration of late Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong’s call for the preservation of the linguistic purity of the Vietnamese language 50 years ago.

Nearly 250 papers were submitted to the seminar by experts in the field, who gave their assessments and views on the three major themes of language and the mass media, the contribution of the media to the development of language, and managing the Vietnamese language to preserve its purity in the mass media.

“It is a fact that the Vietnamese language is being used with a lack of standards in daily conversations, on online forums, in official reports, mass print media, and even textbooks,” Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said in his remarks delivered at Saturday’s seminar.

Phan Quang, a published journalist, translator, and writer, suggested the country’s lawmaking National Assembly (NA) consider legislating the use of the Vietnamese language to guide its development in the right direction.

Quang’s proposal was seconded by NA member and historian Duong Trung Quoc, who said the Linguistic Society of Vietnam should take the initiative and make an official proposal to the country’s legislature.

The Vietnamese language is spoken as a mother tongue by the majority of Vietnam’s population of over 90 million people, with many millions more speaking the language in foreign countries where active Vietnamese communities are present.

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