MANGLISH - The Bastardisation of Two Languages

The current phenomenon in New Zealand to lift the use of Te Reo /Maori has become an obsession within certain groups headed by political parties and the mainstream media. Their attempts to be “PC” and promote Maori, while well intended is headed into territory which will demean and degrade both languages. The way it is being expounded may seem noble but they, and we, forget the primary reason for language is communication between individuals and groups, it must be the best and most efficient way to transmit a thought, idea and link without impediment or distortion. All other considerations such as cultural and artistic usage are secondary.

What has and is transpiring in NZ partly born out of a two culture mentality as a nation where the reality is we are a multi not a bicultural society. In this premise it is even more important that we clearly use language, not confuse it.

We must keep ‘All’ languages separate as to the way they are used. The ‘blending’ as an example becomes a disjointed delivery when TV announcers try to use both languages in newscasts and even try to fit as many of both withing even singular sentences. The same applies to government, who are moving beyond the standardisation of department names where traditionally and functionally they were English with Maori names subtitled.

We must accept certain realities and the key points are not ‘racist’ in the observation:

English is a universal and one of the key global communication languages. Of the new language building blocks the English language is the core of the computer world.

Maori and English are both unique rich languages and in that must be separately appreciated and enjoyed beyond the communication basis to enhance the culture and art of each. Blinding them into a ‘new’ homogenised language does nothing for each.

Statistically Te Reo is not the predominant language in NZ and a minute number of speakers globally. Even among Maori the language is not widely spoken.

History and research into the past shows that in regions in Africa, Asia and Europe, where multiple languages/dialects existed and where the ‘blending’ effect was intentionally and unintentionally introduced, that over time only one where the population numbers were present only one survived. So, the good intentions of the current direction could in fact absorb Maori into some sort of hybrid.

It is vital that Maori is taught and available in schools. But not made compulsory. It must remain optional.  As to the multi-cultural and expanding diversity of the population other languages, like the many growing Asian dialects must also be available. But English practically, logically, and essentially must be the common denominator to them all.

We must make sure that in the arts, entertainment, cultural and media in general that every opportunity is given to let Te Reo like English flourish. Maori Radio and TV must be retained and allowed to grow. But forcing a ‘blending’ must be stopped as it dilutes, denigrates and in time will diminish both. There will be proponents who are and will be obsessed if being sycophants to the current direction and then there are the true racists who will become more active in their opposition to either language. To many Maori the non-Maori attempt to use the blending of the two languages is patronising and the real development is to treat all languages as unique and important.

In a smallish country like NZ, it is easy with a media largely on the same rail that we are being lulled into acceptance of the ‘blending’ model and to speak out is either stifled, vilified or not given a platform for discussion.

Stop the MANGLISH!