Chinese colonialism in translation

Chinese colonialism in translation


Chinese colonialism in translation

As compulsory Han Chinese language education increases across the region, it seems
likely that the memory of local place names will become less. With the loss of local
names, claims on the territory, ethnic ties to the land, and sense of identity are also
threatened. The official use of Chinese place names in minority areas reinforces the
impression that minority languages are being deliberately eradicated.
In the last 20 years, China has poured resources into infrastructural development and
natural-resource exploitation in the Uyghur region. At the same time, it has reduced
resources for local language support, a move that has created bad feeling among local
people. If the Chinese central government wants to win back hearts and minds, it
needs to devote resources to supporting local languages.
The argument put forward by Chinese officials – that Uyghur is not suitable for
development and progress – has no basis. Dwyer argues that each and every human
language is uniquely adapted to a social environment by its speakers. All languages,
then, are of equal quality; all languages are up to the task of communication in any
number of domains.9
With Han Chinese majority dominated politics in China serving the Han peoples’
interests, it is very difficult predict the survival of Uyghur language in living usage
and the Uyghur towns’ names beyond the next few decades if Chinese state keeps
implementing its current language assimilation policies. Because of the fast
development of media propaganda under the Chinese communist party, indigenous
Uyghur names have been almost cleansed from existence in official Chinese media
and subsequently in the international media. I suggest that Uyghur intellectuals in
exile need to take the lead in demanding Uyghurs’ rights to use Uyghur language in
education, and to urge the Chinese authorities to change their so called ”minority
language policies”.

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source: uyghurpen


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