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Monday, March 19, 2012

Preserve Kinyarwanda language, says academic

Rwandans have been urged to preserve the sovereignty and standards of Kinyarwanda language by demonstrating accuracy of its literature, grammar, and the richness embedded in it. 

The executive secretary for the newly established Rwanda academy of language and culture, Dr James Vuningoma, said this, during celebrations to mark the International Mother Language Day, held in Rubavu. 

 “It’s a responsibility for every Rwandan to promote and preserve the values of our language, this is a weapon which leads to development, unity and reconciliation, we have to find how to guard it from distortion,” Dr Vuningoma said

During the celebrations, the best selected poems and songs in Kinyarwanda, were awarded, while the books in Kinyarwanda will be exhibited.

The Governor of the Western Province, Celestin Kabayiza, warned that the richness and the values of Kinyarwanda, face distortion in the province because of the languages spoken in neighbouring countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. 

“Whereas there is a lot we can learn from other languages we have to preserve the values within Kinyarwanada, it’s a source of knowledge. The youth should be taught the literature and grammar,’’ Kabayiza said. 

The International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO to promote all the languages of the world and to represent an effective mobilisation opportunity for linguistic diversity. 

“Kinyarwanda is a natural resource which should be well preserved. Colonialists tried to distort it because other languages were used as tools for colonialism. If we fail to keep it, it may be lost completely hence losing our values and culture,” Dr Vuningoma warned. 

The newly established Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture will be composed of eminent Kinyarwanda linguists who will formulate the syllabus to be taught in schools. 

Kinyarwanda is a dialect of Rwanda and is spoken by over 12 million people in Rwanda whereas it is one of the official languages in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Rwanda is one of the few countries with one common language.

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