Importance of translating Indigenous language highlighted

─ as Heritage Month lecture series begins

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 10, 2018

The first of a series of Indigenous lectures commenced today at the Heritage Village with Professor Ian Robertson, a Guyanese Linguist from the University of the West Indies, focusing on the importance of the interpretation and translation of the Indigenous and other languages.

“Language is a systematic set of arrangements for using symbols for reality and is a very important dimension because the symbols are sound-based… the important thing about it, is that language is really a set of symbols for reality and that set of symbols would allow us to deal with a very complex set of things,” Professor Robertson explained.

According to the professor, language can be used to document history, identify a group, and to show inclusivity. He also noted that language plays a very important role in education because while English is the most widely spoken language, it is proven that persons learn better in their native language.

On the question of language and history, he noted that every dialect captures the history of the people who speak that language, and that ‘there is no better historical document on a people than the language they speak.’

Archaeologist George Simon shared knowledge on traces of Indigenous Archaeology found in the Berbice area, which started in the 1990’s, while young historian and resident of Moruca, Region One, Andrew Campbell shared a brief history of the Indigenous Peoples who existed in the 1800’s.

Attendees were allowed the opportunity to asked questions pertaining to the various aspects of the Indigenous culture.

Similar lectures will be conducted at Primary and Secondary Schools across the country throughout this week, to educate the students on the life, work and journey of the Indigenous Peoples.

Among those who participated in the lecture series were students from the University of Guyana and the Hinterland Dormitory.

Synieka Thorne

Images: Jameel Mohamed

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