Sign lan­guage

The Timaru Herald - - Opinion -

I note that you are recog­nis­ing sign lan­guage week in your mast­head. Con­grat­u­la­tions.

How­ever, I noted that for Ma¯ori Lan­guage Week the Ma¯ori word­ing was very prom­i­nent with English in rather small print.

For sign lan­guage week English is very prom­i­nent but sign lan­guage is much smaller. Why the bias?

I do not un­der­stand Ma¯ori or sign lan­guage and if I had to choose which one to learn it would cer­tainly be sign lan­guage so that I could com­mu­ni­cate ad­e­quately with deaf peo­ple.

All Ma¯ori speak English so learn­ing Ma¯ori is not nec­es­sary for com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

I know that cer­tain sec­tors of our com­mu­nity will im­me­di­ately say I am big­oted be­cause I am not say­ing what they want to hear but that sort of opin­ion will only show up their own nar­row mind­ed­ness.

I sus­pect that this is a Stuff di­rec­tive, if so, shame on the direc­tors.

Al­lan Gough


Foot­note: The Ti­maru Her­ald ed­i­tor Brooke Black replied: Thank you for your let­ter, Al­lan. There was no bias.

The idea be­hind the mast­head was to show a trans­la­tion of each let­ter of The Ti­maru Her­ald into sign lan­guage, within the space avail­able.

We chose to in­clude the sign lan­guage trans­la­tion on the mast­head this week as we thought it was an ex­cel­lent way to bring at­ten­tion to one of New Zealand’s three of­fi­cial lan­guages. We are proud of our sign lan­guage mast­head and wish you well on your sign lan­guage jour­ney.

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