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Siripen Ungsitipoonporn


This paper proposes that every minority or ethnic group wishes to preserve their language and culture if at all possible. Although some ethnic groups in Thailand have started to teach their language in the formal school system, the Hakka people have not yet been able to do this, but this does not mean they do not want to revive their language. Nowadays, some Hakka descendants in Thailand are aware of language shift. The phenomenon of language shift or the decline in language use normally occurs in languages which are no dominant in that society. In other words, they do not have an integral function in the community. While the new generations are unable to speak their mother tongue, the older generations are keen to maintain links with their origins and to preserve their language. Although there are Hakka associations in Thailand, language revitalization is not a priority for them because the association committees have many other responsibilities to take care of. However, the advantage of Hakka associations is that they have Hakka networks both inside and outside Thailand. Language revitalization awareness has already started with the establishment of a Hakka study center founded by a business man who is determined to study the origins of his mother-tongue and culture in order to spread this knowledge to other people, especially those of Hakka descent. He is not the only one wishing to see a revival of the Hakka language. Some Hakka youth, for example, have demonstrated their interest by reviving old Hakka songs as new style pop songs.

Keywords: Hakka, language awareness, revitalization


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