Fresh back from holiday number one of the year, one of the major highlights for me was visiting Dublin. Aside from the taxi drivers (I have a huge amount of video footage of these guys, like personal comedy shows, all of them), my FAVORITE things about Ireland, is how committed they are to preserving and promoting the Irish language. Every single sign in the place was bilingual. Road signs to bathroom signs. Everything. They werent bigger or more complicated, there was no downside at all to the bilingual signs (that I could see).
I know New Zealand is an english speaking country. I don’t want to get stuck in a debate about whether or not we should all speak Maori as well, but I think New Zealand should start replacing signs (as they fall apart) with bilingual ones. Here’s why:
New Zealanders should be bilingual
I don’t actually care what language it is, but the more you learn, the easier they apparently become. Learning languages is often the easiest way to figure out grammar etc as well. That whole argument about Maori being useless outside of here, is actually rubbish for this reason and many other cultural reasons, like the fact we are New Zealanders, and there is something great about this place and our culture, more of it I say! We could pick another language, but why bother?
Its a super easy way to learn a language.
When we learned languages in school, everyone wallpapered their bathrooms with words and their foreign meaning. It was the BEST way of becoming familiar with the language, outside of immersing yourself in it. Kids at school must still learn some Maori, I think growing up with that and all our signs, may actually lead to a population that’s a little more educated.
Tourists will love it
I loved trying out the language in Ireland. Also it was cool figuring out some of the words while you are waiting for a bus or plane or anything really. Also, we take huge advantage of Maori culture in tourist attractions, I reckon us actually knowing a bit more of the language will make it all sit a bit more authentically with me, and probably everyone else.
Anyone know why we don’t do this?