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  • Hello, my name is Ani.

  • Hello, my name is Mayaw.

  • Hello, my name is Omos.

  • Hello, my name is Polo.

  • Hello, my name is Akiko.

  • When the children spend time with their grandparents,

  • they are more likely to speak Amis.

  • However, when they grow up and leave for the city for work...

  • Or if their friends are Han Chinese...

  • Or if they are required to learn English, etc...

  • Even though many know how to speak Amis when they are young,

  • they stop using the language later in life.

  • Once they stop speaking Amis on a regular basis, it is much easier to forget the language.

  • Most Amis may know how to speak it when they are young, but many forget it once they grow up.

  • It's not that the parents like sending their children to Taipei.

  • It's because the parents have no choice because there are no work opportunities here.

  • Therefore, the parents must find work in Taipei.

  • Thus, the parents also want to bring their children to the city.

  • I don't think it's very positive. Very sad...

  • Because, in this village,

  • above thirty years old,

  • ninety-five percent, they, don't speak the Amis language.

  • That means one generation is lost.

  • So it is helpless.

  • The Amis who grow up in the north

  • often forget the traditional cultural customs.

  • I'm not very fluent in Amis.

  • This is because I can't speak in full sentences.

  • Our culture is disappearing very quickly.

  • Actually, they [Amis teenagers and young people] are not interested in that.

  • Because they know Amis language doesn't help them to have better jobs.

  • I learn...

  • English, Mandarin, Amis...

  • Three languages.

  • Mandarin and Amis.

  • Mandarin, Taiwanese, and a little bit of Amis.

  • There may only be two to three classes dedicated to learning Amis each week.

  • That's too little.

  • At school, there are many students from other indigenous tribes as well.

  • For example, Han Chinese, Hakka, Min Nan.

  • Therefore, schools may only teach one to two classes of Amis each week.

  • Also, Taiwan particularly emphasizes teaching Mandarin and English.

  • There have been a lot of Amis dances and performances recently.

  • And some...

  • cultural activities.

  • Therefore, the Amis culture won't disappear so easily.

  • Will you teach your children the Amis language?

  • Yes, of course!

  • Why?

  • Because the language will help continue our culture in the next generations.

  • It is part of the Amis heritage.

  • The Church has helped us preserve our culture.

  • This is because church services are conducted in Amis.

  • We also have our language recorded using the English alphabet.

  • In addition, the Church respects our own cultural traditions and activities.

  • They also organize activities for our children.

  • We teach Amis to our grandchildren.

  • When we go to the church,

  • we speak Amis at church.

  • We are trying to preserve our language.

  • Right now, the government

  • is telling us we can't lose our native language.

  • That's why we're teaching Amis in our schools.

  • If the Amis language was critically endangered,

  • our language would have already completely disappeared.

  • But that is not the case.

  • And it won't happen.

  • We have recorded our language in written form.

  • I'll bring it over and show it to you.

  • Look.

  • We have a written form of Amis,

  • The Amis language will never disappear.

  • The weather is sunny today.

  • This means the sun. It means very hot.

  • For example,

  • There is a ceremony

  • for praying to God

  • for raining.

  • But you know the weather forecast...

  • Everybody knows the weather tomorrow.

  • They don't need to pray to the Lord.

  • Pray for the Gods.

  • Pray for the spirits.

  • When you lose your language,

  • it means you lose your culture.

  • And they will be...

  • become Chinese.

  • So, because they look similar, like us.

  • So, thats why me and my wife are trying to preserve the culture, the language, preserve the songs... everything.

  • Because my major is mass communications,

  • especially, in the radio and something about production.

  • So my major can help the local people do the documentary work.

  • So I have done the,

  • the audio recording for the young people.

  • Because they move to the cities.

  • Because of the economic problems.

  • So...

  • The cd's are so important,

  • because they can learn their folk songs in the cities.

  • They don't need to come back.

  • The Amis youth definitely will not disappear.

  • When we were young,

  • they wanted us to speak Mandarin more.

  • At school, we weren't allowed to speak Amis.

  • If we spoke Amis at school, we would be punished.

  • But it's different these days.

  • Now, they want the children to speak their native languages instead.

  • We are now using these sticks to create a roof for aesthetic purposes.

  • It is also a tradition I have watched the adults perform since I was young.

  • It has been passed down generations.

  • We hope to continue these cultural traditions for generations to come.

  • This is our home. The Amis culture is my home.

Hello, my name is Ani.

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A2 amis language mandarin speak culture church

The Lost Language of the Amis People

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/01/22
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