Local Government Requested to Protect Local Languages

SURABAYAPAGI.com - Deputy Chair of the Indonesian House of Representatives Commission X Hetifah Sjaifudian responded to the phenomenon of the reduction in local language speakers in Jayapura, Papua. He said, the reduction of speakers of local languages should be the responsibility of the local government.
"Actually there is an article that obliges the Regional Government to protect, foster, local language. So actually the Regional Government if it does not do it violates the Law," Hetifah said, on Sunday (20/1).
In Law number 24 of 2009 concerning flags, languages, and national symbols and national anthem, it has been confirmed that the Regional Government must maintain regional languages.
Development, guidance and protection of regional languages are carried out in stages, systematically, and sustainably.
Based on research carried out by the Jayapura City Government and the local Language Hall, local languages were reduced because more people were using Indonesian to communicate.
Regarding this, Hetifah justifies Indonesian language as an official language, but it does not mean forgetting the diversity of regions including local languages.
He also regretted the phenomenon of the decline of speakers of local languages in Indonesia. "So it’s very unfortunate if this happens. Because diversity of languages is a wealth of national culture," he said again.
Suharyanto, Head of the Language Center of Papua and West Papua Provinces, said that the regional languages in three villages in the city of Jayapura are threatened with extinction. The three are Nafri, Enggros and Tobati.
"For Jayapura City, in 2002 we conducted a study of the language of Nafri and Indonesian in the Nafri village," Suharyanto said in Jayapura, Papua, Saturday.
The results showed that Nafri’s language would be lost if there were no rescue steps. If there is no serious effort to handle, said Suharyanto, the Nafri language will be extinct within three generations starting from 2002.
"One generation we counted the period when someone was able to give birth to a new bree /new generation," he said. "If we take an average, then one generation when we decide to be in the range of 20 years."
If that is agreed upon as the basis of the assumption, the Nafri language will disappear in 60 years from 2002.
"Because there are three generations, one generation for the next 20 years. If there is no serious handling, the Nafri language is estimated to no longer be there (2062), ’’ he said.
In 2004, his side returned to conduct similar research. The target is Kampung Tobati and Enggros. "The condition is also not much different from Kampung Nafri, the language of the region is also threatened with extinction," said Suharyanto. rk