East Timor split on language

East Timor is poised for reconciliation after more than a year of simmering political tension with a new President and Parliament, but one schism remains - language. Full Story
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Riatu

Ryde, Australia

#1 Jul 13, 2007
East Timorese people should discuss this issue further and should be assertive with their leaders who decided to adopt Portuguese as a official and language of instruction for East Timor.
Joetourist

Canada

#2 Jul 13, 2007
What language should be the official language then? Let's hear some votes.
Marion Andrews

High Springs, FL

#3 Jul 16, 2007
Joetourist wrote:
What language should be the official language then? Let's hear some votes.
English is the only language that will be productive for the Timorese in the long run. The Portuguese have already abandoned the Timorese and Australia or the UN with English language missions is their best hope for future communications and development. Many skills, contacts and English language basics were learned in the UN assistance period.
Lahalo

Hong Kong

#4 Jul 20, 2007
Dear Friends,

Let's not forget that Portuguese has been officially chosen by political leaders and it is now been aknowledge in the Constitution.

Let's not forget also that, our immediate neighbour Indonesia even invented the "state" of Indonesia which never exist before, including the "Bahasa Indonesia" which never in place before. What was there in early 19th century was the Bahasa Melayu, however if there is a commitment of a group of politicians, even in their early adulthood like Bung Tomo cs, to project and use an invented language it can prevail and sustain. Bahasa is now part of some curriculum in western countries like Australia. So If Timor-Leste adopts Portuguese now, without excluding or eliminating other languages, there will be a better chance for timorese to have access in cotinents such as Africa (don't just look at them as poor countries), America (see Brazil and other Spanish countries), Europe (Portugal), Asia (look at Macau, and Timor-Leste itself). Don't try to blaim what your future generations can be able to speak what you couldn't do so now. I prefer that, instead of what we can speak now by closing the opportunities for our generation to be able to speak in the future.
If language is seen as a communication means, it is better to know many rather than just one or few.
Don't say that Japan is a backward development country just because 90% of its people don't speak English, Look at China may have more people speak Chinese that all western countries together which speak English, I may be wrong?

It is not because Australia is helping thus Timorese should return the favor by speaking English. Aid politics always have something as a reward, there must be something to be won or taken out of all these games, it is definitely not just a matter of charity.

I am proud when my kids can say como esta? how are you mate, apa kabar?, diak ka lae, rau di nana, hine no da, and so forth.... Let's hold our theories back now and come back to evaluate in next 30 years from now.... I think you will not regret...
Riatu

Sydney, Australia

#5 Jul 20, 2007
Meu Caro Amigo Lahalo, permita-me perguntar-te:" Tiveste experiencia de aprender o maldito Portgues atraves dos colegios de Maliana e Soibada? Se tiveste deves lembrar como foi duro aprender esta maldita Lingua que os proprios Portugueses em Portugal ja despresaram para abracar entuusiasticamente a lingua Francesa e Inglesa. Sabes muito bem que aprender a escrever numa lingua estrangeira, como e o caso de Portgues para os Timorenses, os alunos tem que fazer um esforco a dobrar:
o de aprender a lingua e o de aprender a escrecer e ler. Nem toda a gente tem jeito para aprender a segunda lingua. Por isso, eu contunuo a insistir que o Tetun deve ser considerado para ser lingua de instrucao. O facto de o Portugues ser a lingua prevista na constituicao como lingua official e outro assunto. A constituicao nao e eterna. Esta sujeita a revisao.

Note: If any one want this in English, just let me know.
alindiak07

Melbourne, Australia

#6 Jul 23, 2007
Language is the vital tool for the communication, whether it is written or spoken. Today, language tends to be globally agreed to speak the most practical and technologically, scientifically, politically, in sport, in everything that in connection with modernism, and don't forget education. And today, it seems English is accomodating all of these requirements. It is a ticket for everyone to go internationally for all purpose. It is a must condition in every communication, it is international. Why we trouble ourselves with language that is complicated for people to learn and has no advantage in this era of tight competition. Be wise for our future generation. Portugeuse, of course we can take a course and practise it with our elderly and it is in our tongue. Finally, my opinion is to choose English for the better of our productivity per person in East Timor. Love East Timor

“"Eatin' Ain't Cheatin!"”

Since: Sep 06

Thompson's Station, Tn

#7 Jul 24, 2007
Riatu wrote:
Meu Caro Amigo Lahalo, permita-me perguntar-te:" Tiveste experiencia de aprender o maldito Portgues atraves dos colegios de Maliana e Soibada? Se tiveste deves lembrar como foi duro aprender esta maldita Lingua que os proprios Portugueses em Portugal ja despresaram para abracar entuusiasticamente a lingua Francesa e Inglesa. Sabes muito bem que aprender a escrever numa lingua estrangeira, como e o caso de Portgues para os Timorenses, os alunos tem que fazer um esforco a dobrar:
o de aprender a lingua e o de aprender a escrecer e ler. Nem toda a gente tem jeito para aprender a segunda lingua. Por isso, eu contunuo a insistir que o Tetun deve ser considerado para ser lingua de instrucao. O facto de o Portugues ser a lingua prevista na constituicao como lingua official e outro assunto. A constituicao nao e eterna. Esta sujeita a revisao.
Note: If any one want this in English, just let me know.
Nao faz mal!
Lacataru

Dili, Timor-Leste

#8 Jul 24, 2007
East Timorese naturally will get used to English for geograpically Timor Leste and Australia are close to each other. As long as no deterioration of diplomatic relationship between both countries I'm very optimistic English will take the place of bahasa Indonesia.
Portuguese is the most beautiful language in the world. This is a fact, most of East Timorese preferably opted Portugal as a official language rather than English. On the other hand, in terms of vocabulary Portuguese outnumbers English.

Lahalo

Hong Kong

#9 Jul 24, 2007
Caro Amigo Australiano,

Consegues escrever tao bem em Portugues, eu nao sou tao bom como tu es mas pelo menos da para pescar e sinto orgulho por isso. Fui formado em Indonesia ams conheco que nem todos os meus amigos e colegas de origin Javanesa muito mais outors includindo Timorenses falam bem Bahasa. So pra lembrar que essa lingua o Bahasa ja foi inventdo desde 1908. Eu creio que alem de falares Portuguese falas tambem Inlgles e mesmo bem? Estou muito orgulhoso de falar Tetun e estou contribuindo para que essa minha lingua tem um lugar na bocas dos timorenses e em futuro nas cabecas e nas pontas dos dedos de qualquer um que vem ter com os timoresenses, mas meu amigo para ir ate la, temos muito que fazer, enquanto esperando para cheguar ate aquele dia que sonhas bem que eu, tems que aproveitar tudo e todo que for possivel. Nao discutimos a preferencia mas a realidade. Temos que ser optimistas.
Se aquele pe descalco no matagal de Arizona entende bem em portuguese porque e qeu es alguns de nos somos tao pesimistas que os nossos vindouros nao conseguem falar portugues. O que temos que dar e "oportunidade" para que outros tambem falem o que falamos hoje.

Adeus,
Emily

Australia

#10 Jul 25, 2007
Hi All,

By reading all of your info it is very interesting, but you all should remember that there are different generations who can and can not speak Portuguese for example people in my generation, honestly 90% of us can not speak Portuguese. Look around you, those Uni activist student most of them get their qualification from Indonesia (mostly in JAVA), they all smart, they all willing to develop this country. Why they all choose to get their education in Indonesia because, it is easy for them to understand the language, they were taught under Indonesian curriculum, it is cheaper and it is not far. Well not to mention about how some of TL student who was run off from their study in Portugal because of the unfair treatment as well as the bitter attitude. Let me make quite simple, the bitter history wrote by our ancestor in TL will always the same and we as a new generation we donít want that to happen again,what we want right now is a better future for our next generation with good education, 0 unemployment, good health facilities, good infrastructure and beself eficient. We are the future and we will decide what short of language we will used. Because at the moment language is not our main priority, our main priority is what i have mention, therefore we need establish peace among our selves and vote for people who we can trust to bring this new country to better prosperity.

“"Eatin' Ain't Cheatin!"”

Since: Sep 06

Thompson's Station, Tn

#11 Jul 25, 2007
Ha muitas pessoas que falam ingles nas escolas em Portugal hoje. Ingles e' mais facil do que outras linguas. Portugues e' uma lingua bonita!
Riatu

Melbourne, Australia

#12 Jul 25, 2007
Kalan diak ba imi hotu-hotu. Moromak fo'o bensaun ba imi hotu-hotu, toba dukur didiak, mehi didiak hodi hader labele nervosu. Amen!
Lacataru

Dili, Timor-Leste

#13 Jul 25, 2007
Emily wrote:
Hi All,
By reading all of your info it is very interesting, but you all should remember that there are different generations who can and can not speak Portuguese for example people in my generation, honestly 90% of us can not speak Portuguese. Look around you, those Uni activist student most of them get their qualification from Indonesia (mostly in JAVA), they all smart, they all willing to develop this country. Why they all choose to get their education in Indonesia because, it is easy for them to understand the language, they were taught under Indonesian curriculum, it is cheaper and it is not far. Well not to mention about how some of TL student who was run off from their study in Portugal because of the unfair treatment as well as the bitter attitude. Let me make quite simple, the bitter history wrote by our ancestor in TL will always the same and we as a new generation we donít want that to happen again,what we want right now is a better future for our next generation with good education, 0 unemployment, good health facilities, good infrastructure and beself eficient. We are the future and we will decide what short of language we will used. Because at the moment language is not our main priority, our main priority is what i have mention, therefore we need establish peace among our selves and vote for people who we can trust to bring this new country to better prosperity.
Of course bahasa Indonesia is much easier than Portuguese or English. To develop a civil society in Timor Leste by using Bahasa Indonesia is not also a smart choice.
I've been using bahasa Indonesia since kindergarten, and you know, until now I still have trouble when Iím trying to communicate with Indonesian as there are so many versions of bahasa Indonesia such as Bahasa Indonesia of Jakarte (prokem), bahasa Indonesia of Balinesse, bahasa Indonesia Sumatera people. In other words, bahasa Indonesia is being used in different weird accent that make us find difficulties to adjust our accent every time we are communicating with a certain local people. After watching RTP i feel it's very disgusting to listen to those who are speaking bahasa Indonesia.
In Indonesia if we cannot speak prokem as fluently as Betawian, people will easily judge us as plebeian (kampungan).
That's why Indonesia is still in big trouble to unite all provinces and create a civil society (masyarakat madhani). There is no a standard bahasa Indonesia until this second.
Communication (good developed language) is the key for the nation building. Portuguese and English are the right choices for us.
Makikit

Brisbane, Australia

#14 Jul 26, 2007
Lacataru wrote:
<quoted text>
Of course bahasa Indonesia is much easier than Portuguese or English. To develop a civil society in Timor Leste by using Bahasa Indonesia is not also a smart choice.
Lacataru,

Thanks for this post.

This is the first time I've heard of this, I didn't know this.

I hardly comment on this issue because I don't know much about it.

My only oposition to bahassa being the official language of our country is that we should be diferent to the indonesians and that starts with the language.

This is why we fought for independence for 24 years, because we are different.

People that got educated in Indonesia shouldn't be discriminated against in the public service or anywhere whatsoever. They should have the same rights as anybody in the country.

Cheers
Dili Uan

Melbourne, Australia

#15 Jul 26, 2007
Makikit wrote:
<quoted text>
Lacataru,
Thanks for this post.
This is the first time I've heard of this, I didn't know this.
I hardly comment on this issue because I don't know much about it.
My only oposition to bahassa being the official language of our country is that we should be diferent to the indonesians and that starts with the language.
This is why we fought for independence for 24 years, because we are different.
People that got educated in Indonesia shouldn't be discriminated against in the public service or anywhere whatsoever. They should have the same rights as anybody in the country.
Cheers
Brother Makikit, I agree with you but, Mari and his cronies do not think so! Remember, Mari said that all those that study in Indonesia obtained super ming degree. One can only wonder all these doctors from this other country?...
Lacataru

Dili, Timor-Leste

#16 Jul 26, 2007
Itís sad to see our children everyday watching Indonesian soap operas that portrayed verbal violence in wildest way. We shouldnít let our children adopting the manner of speaking from Indonesian society. Before it is too late government must find a better alternative for our children to have educative TV programs from Australia or Portugal or else we cannot imagine what itís like the coming generation of Timor Leste in the future.
Sakoko

Chengdu, China

#17 Aug 2, 2007
Dear All,
Para dizr a verdade a deciso sobre a lingua so foi feita por um oudois lideres politicos sem terem emconsideracao a vontad damaioria da populacao e as suas realidades. A decisao foi mais ditadapor um saudosismo piegas do que por bom senso. Para dizer a verdade, mesmo no tempo em que os portugueses la estavam, so um pequeno numero de previlegiados falava portugues. A granda maioria da populacao nao sabioa patavina do portugues. A minha opiniao: so um referendo po resolver defenmitivamente este problema da lingua.
Makikit

Brisbane, Australia

#18 Aug 2, 2007
Look!!!

There's no going back.

What's the problem........There's no problem!

Being the official language, doesn't mean that the whole of the population has to speak Portuguese?

Whoever wants Bahasa to be the official language, he or she can go and live there.

Portuguese is the official language in the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste and thats it. It will never be changed.

This is what gives us a diferent identity to that of the Indonesians.

End of story.

Cheers
Nehek

Australia

#19 Aug 2, 2007
Makikit wrote:
Look!!!
There's no going back.
What's the problem........There's no problem!
Being the official language, doesn't mean that the whole of the population has to speak Portuguese?
Whoever wants Bahasa to be the official language, he or she can go and live there.
Portuguese is the official language in the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste and thats it. It will never be changed.
This is what gives us a diferent identity to that of the Indonesians.
End of story.
Cheers
!!!!

Hahahahaaa,

Mate....you donít go beat around the bush? Do you?Ö. Straight to the point!

I like your style,

Cheers
Riatu

Strathfield, Australia

#20 Aug 5, 2007
Makikit wrote:" Portuguese is the official language in the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste and thats it. It will never be changed".

Coments:

1. The constituition can be changed. It is a question of party getting a absolute majority in the Parlament and change the constituition.

2. Why East Timor has to import Portuguese Language from Portugal to be its linguistic and cultural identity?

3. According to the Constituition of East Timor there are two Official Languages in East Timor: Tetun and Portguese. But Portguese is the only language of instruction in East Timor. Why? Is that because Tetun is less official that Portugues?

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