Two letters from Basilio Araujo. Email: email@example.com
Tetun as the official language of the future East Timor
December 12, 2001
We have to congratulate the members of the Constituet assembly who have decided courageously to pass Tetun as the official language of the future East Timor independent country. Since Tetun is the official language of East Timor, I will also dedicate myself to improve the language as the pride of our mother tongue. I am sure that the young generation who speaks neither Portugues nor English will welcome this as a victory which means that they also will have the opportunity to compete for the future job opportunities that will be crated in days or months to come. We have to show to the other countries that we have a pure identity which is Timorese, we have a language that is Tetun compared to South Africa who has more than five official langueges that only confuse people. We have to show to the other world that if the Japanese and French are proud of their native languefes, we the Timorese have also to be proud of our native language and we have to work hand in hand to preserve that culture and pure identity. Don’t let ourselves be colonized by English or Portuguese. Now is not the time any more for the spread of colonialism. Be aware that if we adopt English or Portuguse than all the financial supports that will come to East Timor for teacher traning and material preparation will all go either to Portugal or Australia. But if we use Tetun, then all those financial aids will be spent in East Timor because it will be the East Timorese who will use that money to develop their own language. And no portuguese teacher will steal our money from us.
It is not true that chosing Tetun is the
same as closing ourselves to the world. We have to think the other way
round that we do not need “coca-colanialism”, but “coca cola” has to learn
Tetun to promote and market its products in East Timor. Look at China,
Japan, Russia and other countries that maintained their language. They
too still can survive and ever constitutes a threat to the world marke.
Once again congratulation for the courageous decision taken by the Constituent Assembly. The future East Timorese generation will thank and salute you for your historic decision.
From: Basilio Araujo Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 10, 2001
I have found my thesis on Morphology of East Timor Language. This is the result of a seseious research done for my first degree thesis and has gone through an examination by three professors of my University - Christian University of Jakarta (UKI). Since East Timor is on its early stages for nationhood, I would like to contribute this thesis to the ministry of Education of East Timor in order to print it out for use by the teachers of East Timor Language in East Timor. I am sure that this research on Tetun Language Morphology is very important for the preparation of Tetun to become the national languge in the future.
If there is any one interested in this
book, please feel free to contact me, by e-mail. Or if there is any one
who wants to organize a seminar outside East Timor and invite me to present
the result of my research, then I will be very delighted to met your invitation.
For your info, DR. Benjamin Corte Real did the research on the Phonology of Tetun Language, I did the Morphology aspect and someone based in Australia has done the sintaxis and semantics. I have also ever seen a book on teachng Tetung Language, but to the best of my knowledge the language introduced was a Classic Tetun which is not commonly used b many people now. Modern Tetun is the most spoken language and it has been enriched by Portuguese and Indonesian language.
I am sure that if DR. Benjamin Corte Real has a little bit of courage, he may start to influnce the East Timorese community to accept Tetun as the national language. Instead of using Portuguese that is only used by less than 10% of the ET community. I learned Portugues up to 6_o (Sexto Ano do Liceu at Externato de S. Jose, Balide Dili), but am not able to write a proper paper in Portuguese, but if somebody ask me to write in Tetun, I may definitely do it with the mixture of some Portuguese and Indonesian language.
That is all from me in Indonesia, Cheers,
BD: Kolesaun lia-foun, artigu ho reportajen ho lia-tetun
BD: Constitutional Process / Konsulta iha Konstituisaun - A collection of recent media releases, reports, articles and news
11 AFP: Tetum and Portuguese named Timor's official languages
News added Dec 29
"East Timor’s fledgling lawmaking body on Tuesday adopted the tongues of both their native ancestors and Portuguese colonisers as the official languages of the world’s newest nation. Tetum and Portuguese were given the nod by 80 members of the 88-person constituent assembly, a body elected three months ago to draft a founding constitution for the half-island territory now five months away from full independence." Agence France Presse
“We used Tetum to recruit and unite people in the struggle against Indonesia ... (Independence leader) Xanana Gusmao used Tetum when he wrote letters to the youth, so we’ve always considered it the language of resistance" Mariano Sabino Lopes, of the youth-oriented Democratic Party
2001 AsiaFound: Nat'l Survey of Voter Knowledge Foreword
and executive summary added June 28
"Language: * The survey data confirm the strength of Tetum as a practical and preferred language. More East Timorese understand Tetum (91%) than any other language and can read and write Tetum (58%) than any other language.
* Tetum was overwhelmingly selected, by 80% of respondents, as the language of choice for election related information. Local languages were the second most popular choice at 17%, substantially more popular than Indonesian (3%)." The Asia Foundation