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“MANY LANGUAGES, ONE PEOPLE” 5 – 6 August, 2010


. . . . . . . . . Table of Contents


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Reproduced from Lafaek magazine, CARE


Conference Organizing Committee:

Timor Lorosa’e Nippon Culture Centre

Funding was generously made available by the Timor Lorosa’e Nippon Culture Centre, the Secretariat of State for Culture, the Ministry of Education and the Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO. The organizers also gratefully acknowledge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for supplying the conference venue. Taking notes of the conference proceedings were Ms Lotte Renault, Mr Agustinho Caet and Mr João Paulo Esperança whose time and abiding interest in the subject matter of the conference we sincerely appreciate. For her patience and hard work, thanks is also due to Ms Samara Hull, an Australian volunteer on placement in Timor-Leste through Australian Volunteers International.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Conference Objectives
1) To promote public awareness and discussion of the social, cultural and educational role of the national languages of Timor-Leste, including Tetun; 2) To put on public display a series of written materials (dictionaries, linguistic profiles, stories, poems etc) in and about the languages concerned; 3) To launch a nation-wide “National Languages Writing Competition”, aimed at promoting literary production in the country’s non-official national languages 1; 4) To bring together key Focal Points for the different language groups and to share thoughts and ideas on: a. The role of national languages in nation- and identity-building in Timor-Leste today b. Writing systems / orthographies c. The role of the National Institute of Linguistics (INL) in supporting the development of writing systems and orthographies The meeting/conference was conceived as being the precursor to a larger, international and public event in 2011 to which academics, schools, community elders, international speakers and linguists would be invited.


The “Ha’u Nia Lian, Ha’u Nia Rai” writing competition was launched as an initiative of the President of the Republic (Dr José Ramos-Horta), Ministry of Education and the Office of the Goodwill Ambassador for Education (Ms Kirsty Sword Gusmão).

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Given the intensely political nature of language issues in Timor-Leste, it was felt to be important for this first Conference on the national languages of the country to be targeted at Timorese linguists, educators, students and culture specialists, providing them with a forum to debate in a frank and open way the topics raised in the conference program. A serious attempt was made to identify speakers and community leaders representing each of Timor-Leste’s some 30 languages. Names were put forward by each of the organizations comprising the Organizing Committee. Approximately 200 people, representing the following languages, attended the Conference: Tetun Tetun-Prasa Baikeno Rahessuk (Atauro) Rassua (Atauro) Bekais Bunak Dadua Galoli - Fataluku - Habun - Idate - Isní - Kemak - Lakalei - Lolein - Makalero - Makassae - Maku’a - Mambae - Naueti - Tetun-Terik - Tokodede - Waima’a - Midiki - Kairui

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Conference Program
Please refer to Appendix A. to see the full two-day Conference Program (in Tetun). The morning session on Day One consisted of a welcoming address by Coordinator of the Organizing Committee and Goodwill Ambassador for Education, Ms Kirsty Sword Gusmão (see Appendix B for full text of address in Tetun), presentation of a poem in Galoli by Mr Abé Barreto (see Appendix C), and some words of welcome by Timor Lorosa’e Nippon Culture Centre (TNCC) Director, Mr Michio Takahashi. In his address, Mr Takahashi spoke of the work done to date by the TNCC to document 8 of Timor-Leste’s some 32 indigenous languages, namely Fataluku, Makassae, Uaima’a, Makalero, Nauweti, Makua, Tokodede and Idate. He referred to the importance of all citizens of Timor-Leste being able to embrace and interact with their local, national and global communities through fluency in their mother tongue, their national language and a language of international communication such as Portuguese. In addition, Ms Céu Lopes Federer, Founder of Timor Aid, shared some thoughts and personal reflections on the importance of the East Timorese state and leadership embracing its constitutional obligation to value and develop the local languages of the country in the interests of national identity, unity, nationalism and improving communication and learning in schools.

Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, in his opening address referred to the Timor-Leste Constitution and the state’s obligation to value and develop the national languages of Timor-Leste as a vital component of the nation’s cultural wealth and identity. He also spoke of the promotion of the use of Timor-Leste’s mother tongues as a means of safeguarding against discrimination in terms of every child’s equal right to access education regardless of factors such as home language. The full text of the Prime Minister’s speech (in Portugese, Tetun and English) can be found in Appendix D.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Speaker: Dr Nuno Gomes, Vice-Director of the National Institute of Linguistics (INL) Dr Nuno Gomes, a professor at the National University (UNTL), holds a Masters in Linguistics, and in his presentation addressed the question of the 2004 Decree Law on the Official Tetun Orthography. Dr Gomes made the point that, whilst the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste adopted Tetun as an official language, alongside Portuguese, it does not enjoy the same status and is not as well developed as a language compared with Portuguese. Given the existence of three variants of Tetun, which one should we take to be correct? There is already a decree law establishing the official orthography based on the Dili variant of Tetun known as Tetun-Prasa, however many continue to question it given its extensive use of loan words from Portuguese. Tetun-Prasa was originally developed by the Catholic Church for use in Church activities. Nevertheless, the decree law clearly establishes that the orthography developed by the INL should be used, ensuring consistency of use in all spheres, including the media and education. This orthography is the subject of ongoing training being provided to teachers and civil servants. Dissemination of information on the official Tetun orthography is an important task that requires the support of government given the limited financial and human resource capacity of the INL. The INL has published a grammar and dictionaries for Tetun, and teachers, civil servants and government authorities should be encouraged to make use of them for the sake of promoting correct and consistent use of the language. Incorrect use of Tetun by teachers creates a good deal of confusion in the minds of students.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Follow-up Discussion: Teachers, civil servants and representatives of local languages argued that the INL orthography uses some accents reminiscent of Spanish (i.e. ñ and ll), a language Timor-Leste has no historic links with, and is also largely based on Portuguese, while the original Tetun has Austronesian roots. There are also differences in vocabulary, with the INL-sanctioned orthography incorporating many loan words from Portuguese. On the other hand, the INL uses a different orthography for Portuguese loan words, creating confusion. In response, Dr Nuno Gomes explained that Portuguese-derived words such as “senhor” have no correspondence in Austronesian languages. Therefore, an orthography based on scientific research was developed, adopting a phonetic system to represent all sounds included in everyday language. This orthography is not based on Portuguese, Spanish English or Indonesian. The history of Tetun is largely linked to Portuguese and many common words have been loaned from that language. Even if we try to speak only Tetun, people would be unable to understand. Linguists are working on the divergences of opinion, in an open discussion, and professionals such as teachers and civil servants should learn the new orthography, leaving the discussion for the specialists. Several structures and vocabulary items are missing in the daily Tetun-Prasa and have loaned words from Portuguese or English. These modifications were not imposed by specialists, rather they are perpetuated within communities and the media. The INL only improves the situation, sometimes improvising. For example, in the case of active/passive voice, borrowing from Portuguese. This is a process that started with the Catholic priests and comes from the community. The apostrophe is another example, allowing us to differentiate between words with distinct meaning. The INL supports it in order to systematize Tetun like other languages in the world. The INL does not force people to use Portuguese words such as “bondia” or “padre” when people could use instead “dadeer diak” and “amu lulik”. The INL has already conducted training with teachers to stress the importance of consistency in use of language of instruction and not codeswitching constantly mid-way through an explanation of content. Teachers pointed out that there is a strong need for additional training in Tetun, allowing them to teach in that language, respecting orthographical innovations such as the apostrophe and understanding neologisms. They also pointed out that some innovations, such as using hyphens, helps to clarify the meaning of composite-words (“moris-fatin”, “laran-moras”). There is a need for additional research on Tetun and also for extensive research on endangered languages such as Makua and Bekais before they disappear completely.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Language in Education Policy The first Afternoon Session was dedicated to a discussion on the issue of government policy on language use in the education system in Timor-Leste. Apolinário Magno, Director-General of Education, gave an overview of the Ministry of Education’s position in relation to language of instruction in schools, referring to Article 13 of the Constitution which defines Tetun and Portuguese as the official languages of the nation. As such, the Ministry of Education takes these two languages to be the languages of instruction in the education system. He also referred to the fact that the Ministry of Education had delegated responsibility for developing a comprehensive language-ineducation policy to the National Education Commission. He referred to the nine years of basic, compulsory and free education, as mandated in the Education Act (Lei de Base da Educação), being divided into three cycles, with most children across the country entering the first cycle (grades 1-4) from home backgrounds where Tetun and other local languages are used. Hence, the Ministry’s policy to date has been to advocate for 70% use of Tetun as language of instruction in the first grade and 30% Portuguese. In second grade, this shifts to 50% Tetun and 50% Portuguese, and in the third grade becomes 30% Tetun and 70% Portuguese. From thereon in, Tetun is taught as a subject, while all other subjects are taught in Portuguese. Mr Magno mentioned that the education sector faces many challenges, but that language was not counted among them. He stated that the main obstacle to implementing language teaching in the country was the logistical and financial resources needed to support it. The Director-General went on to highlight some of the difficulties faced by students on a daily basis in using and spelling Tetun correctly. There are those, he said, who advocate for the

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


introduction of English and Indonesian from the 2nd cycle onwards, but we need a clear language-in-education policy to support the learning process. Languages are communication tools, to support learning and teaching. Language in itself is not important, but rather an instrument to pass skills along to the next generation. The main priority of the Ministry of Education at this moment is to implement quality teaching in Tetun and Portuguese so children can reach secondary school and university. We also should invest in language teaching at the secondary and tertiary levels if we are to avoid problems in future. Kirsty Sword Gusmão spoke about the National Education Commission’s drafting of a language-in-education policy for Timor-Leste. A Working Group consisting of some 24 professionals, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, Church and civil society organizations, was inaugurated to conduct this work in April 2010. Ms Sword Gusmão referred to the difficulties of declaring Tetun and Portuguese the official languages of instruction in schools when, in many cases, teachers speak neither language fluently and when children’s first or home languages have no place in the education system. She referred to the fact that even Tetun is not the first language of many students. Mother tongues are, in fact, used by teachers in the classroom as an aid to comprehension and learning, but the sad thing is that they do it as something like a clandestine act, quickly switching to Portuguese if Ministry of Education officials visit the school. A clear and comprehensive policy on the sequencing of languages in the classroom is vital if Timor-Leste is to achieve its goal of quality teaching and learning in the official languages. A set of guiding principles aimed at orienting the new policy have been drafted and the policy itself should be finalized by the end of 2010. It is important that the opinions and experiences of teachers, students and stakeholders are sought and integrated into the final policy document, but ultimately emotion and politics must be put aside in the interests of facilitating our children’s learning. We must not sacrifice their education. The National Education Commission has prepared a brochure on mother tongue-based multilingual education to help people understand the role of mother tongues in the early years of education and as a bridge to instruction in the official languages. We acknowledge that there are challenges associated with the use of mother tongues in the classroom, including the lack of written materials and other learning aids in local languages. Also, our teachers need to learn about these languages, and in the case of some minority languages, it will be necessary for Tetun to play a strong support role. The report and recommendations of the 2008 Bilingual Education Conference make a clear reference to the role of mother tongues in helping children to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills faster. The results of research work conducted by Agustinho Caet at the University of Hawai’i reach similar conclusions.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Ms Sword Gusmão referred to the words of a woman in Manatuto who, when talking about the use other mother tongues in education, stated: “It is a bit like the Fundasaun Alola’s campaign to promote exclusive breastfeeding. That which comes from the mother always provides a child with the strongest foundation, whether it be health or education”. Mr Anacleto Ribeiro, member of the Language in Education Working Group and advisor to the Secretary of State for Security on Conflict Prevention and Security Management, presented the guiding principles of the Language-inEducation policy currently being drafted. The full text of the principles (in English and Tetun) can be found in Appendix E. Mr Ribeiro stressed that it is vitally important that the policy strengthens national identity. There are many challenges associated with its implementation, and the input of linguists is important. The policy will guide decisions on language use in the classroom, but it cannot be imposed by force. When we promote and enable correct usage of Tetun and other local languages of Timor-Leste through education and training, we automatically elevate the social status of the speakers.

Follow-up Discussion: Teachers mentioned that they need textbooks for grammar and orthography to support them to teach Tetun, including books for teachers and students. Teachers support teaching and learning in mother tongue, arguing that they already use Tetun to teach, but not openly, and that this situation is not conducive to promoting quality education. Other speakers argued that the orthography developed by the INL is controversial and not supported by some sectors of society, particularly by speakers of Tetun-Terik. Teachers also have doubts about the possibility of using mother tongues to teach science subjects at school, and the possible issues it raises in terms of quality of education. The speakers recognize that the implementation of mother tongue-based multilingual education is not an easy process. There are many languages and the guiding principles clearly state that the local situation should be taken into account. The most important thing in the learning process is understanding:

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


we cannot teach something new to children in a language they do not know. Instead of using an international language to teach science in the early primary years, we can draw on local experience, making use of local languages and resources available in the community. Why not support teachers to teach critical subjects and skills in the language they know best? Language should facilitate learning, not be an impediment to it. Provisions for language use as prescribed in the Basic Education Act offer a general guide, but have not been implemented to date. Tetun cannot be used alone in the case of certain technical subjects such as Sciences and Economics, requiring the support of Portuguese. However, the Ministry of Education has not difficulty in accepting Tetun as a language of instruction and we must be guided by what is best for children. The 2009 Early Grade Reading Assessment highlighted the challenges we face in helping children to learn to read and write in the early years of primary education. The National Education Commission will develop a new policy and the Ministry hopes that it will support and inform reforms in the curriculum development and teacher training spheres. The sequenced introduction of languages will contribute to enhanced learning in our linguistically rich society.

The INL has the responsibility for developing Tetun and associated learning materials. Dr Nuno Gomes stated that linguists have developed an efficient orthography for Tetun, but that orthographical questions are the mandate of specialists, not the whole population. He made reference to the need for the development of more books and resources in Tetun.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Presentation: “The Impact of Language of Instruction in the Classroom” Mr Agustinho Caet completed a Bachelors Degree in Arts and Science with a specialization in International Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2009. He has undertaken research on the question of language of instruction and language policy within the education system in Timor-Leste, and in this session, he reported back on the major findings and recommendations of his research. He referred to two main implications of the present policy which is heavily weighted towards the early introduction of Portuguese and early-exit of Tetun (by Grade 4): Students and teachers will find it difficult to interact and communicate their thinking inside and outside the classroom. Consequently, students are unlikely to become active learners, crticical thinkers and problemsolvers, their academic performance will decline, and teachers and students who fail to master Portuguese will be excluded from on-going education/training and promotion benefits. A system of mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE), by contrast, improves students' literacy and higher-order language skills in their first language first, allowing them to transfer these skills easily to the second, third and further languages. Moreover, MTB-MLE contributes to the preservation of the linguistic wealth of the nation. Research has shown that many of the skills learned in the native language can be transferred easily to the second language later. Research conducted worldwide by UNESCO and other renowned institutions all point to the superiority of the use of mother tongue. Language in education policy in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada were cited as examples of MTB-MLE/bilingual education being embraced and showing good results in terms of educational outcomes. Afternoon Session: The Afternoon session was devoted to small-group discussion on a topic of choice covered in the morning/afternoon sessions. Below is a summary of the main points, issues, recommendations and appeals registered for each group:

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


GRUPU NAROMAN Our group focused on the issue of orthography. Taking into account the divergent spelling systems for Tetun in use across the country (Church, Catarina van Klinken, INL), there is an urgent need for one standardized Tetun so that everyone writes Tetun in the same way. This is an important way of conferring dignity on our language and of reinforcing national identity. Whilst we appreciate that the INL has developed already a comprehensive orthography, it is important that the thoughts and opinions of other experts and institutions are sort to improve it further. We appeal to the government to allocate appropriate funds to the work of the INL, thus enabling it to increase its production (dictionaries, grammar books), and distribute more widely its standard dictionary as a way of encouraging its use across all sections of society. We also recommend that the government publish a smaller, paperback version of the INL Official Tetun dictionary to ensure its accessibility to educators, writers and students. Finally, we request that the INL value the local languages of Timor-Leste by considering replacing some Portuguese loan-words with an appropriate word from one of our native languages. This would guarantee that we can state with pride: “my language, my identity”.

GRUPU BABEBAR We chose to discuss the issue of orthography and research into local languages. We appeal to the INL to show consistency in its positions as an institution and to not allow individual opinions or prejudices to influence its decisions. Our recommendation is that teams of mother tongue consultants be trained in orthography and research/data gathering in each district. Based on their research and work, a standard orthography

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


applicable to all local languages could be developed and used to further train teachers on how to communicate, teach in and develop learning materials for use in schools. This would assist students to acquire Tetun, Portuguese and other languages faster and better. We appeal to the Ministry of Education to organize an open congress or other forum whereby local leaders and others interested in developing Tetun and our other national languages can have input into the standard orthography of Tetun and that of our own mother tongues. In this way, we will be able to ensure that the standard orthographies can be accepted by all Timorese, and the process will be a genuinely Timorese one, without foreign influences. Finally, we request that the government consider establishing a Faculty of Timorese Languages (within UNTL), and that it support research into language-related issues across all districts. GRUPU 3 The development of our national languages is a concern for our leaders and all citizens of Timor-Leste. Therefore, resulting from our discussion, we put forward the following proposals: 1) that a language development package and budget line be created; 2) that for each of the languages of Timor-Leste, a permanent language commission be created with responsibility for documenting and developing our mother tongues. GRUPU 4 If mother-tongues are to be employed as languages of instruction in schools, this will have implications for the curriculum, teaching training regime and learning aids/teachers’ guides etc. The question arises as to which language one considers to mother tongue in the case of linguistic heterogeneity in the classroom, ie students do not share one single mother tongue. Do the technical or scientific terms exist to enable the teaching of technical subjects in mother tongues? And where will the money come from to produce materials in all our local languages? The questions we raise are: What is the impact of promotion of national languages on national unity and nationalism? How do we go about training our teachers in mother tongue as language of instruction? Will promotion of multilingual education impact negatively upon Portuguese? Is instruction in mother tongue an end in itself or an instrument for supporting the teaching and learning of the official languages? Our recommendations are that we focus first upon developing Tetun, establish mother-tongue councils in each district, create big books in our mother tongues. GRUPU 5 Our group discussed the need for more opportunities for training in Tetun orthography within the formal education system and the fact that, in spite of the Decree Law of 2004 relating to the official orthography, the Ministry of Education has not as yet promoted it in the teacher training programs,

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


materials for schools or in the curriculum. Some ideas for encouraging the development of Tetun include imposing a requirement on companies importing foreign goods to use labeling in Tetun and Portuguese. We also recommend that the INL disseminate its work more broadly across all districts and, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, mentor and support the work of language councils in developing and documenting our mother tongues. Finally, we would like to suggest that participants in this Conference be awarded a certificate of participation upon conclusion of the Conference. GRUPU LAFAEK In cases where parents in a family may not share a mother tongue, how do we promote learning in the mother tongue? It was the view of the members of our group that using mother tongues in formal education creates social divisions and complicates teacher mobility. Instead, we propose that the government create a law whereby mother tongues are promoted in the informal education sector. We congratulate the INL for the work it has done to date in producing grammars, dictionaries and standardized spellings for many of our local languages. We appeal to the Ministry of Education to provide adequate funding for the work of the INL to enable it to increase the frequency of training for civil servants, journalists and the public in general. We

recommend the government consider granting the INL institutional autonomy, rather than functioning under the UNTL structure. A further group of some 8 participants drafted a Conference Declaration to be presented to the plenary on the second day.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Summary of Day 2 Proceedings The morning session was devoted to a short address by Virgilio Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, on the importance of language in bolstering a sense of national identity, and a discussion on the experiences of individual participants in researching and developing writing systems for their local languages.

João Paulo Esperança and Dr Nuno Gomes made some introductory remarks on the orthography of Tetun and that of Timor-Leste’s other local languages. This was followed by presentations by Mr Mauricio Belo (Waima’a) and Mr Justino Valentim (Fataluku). Both spoke of some of the challenges associated with reaching consensus within their respective language communities as to standard orthographies for written texts. Mauricio Belo referred specifically to his experience of developing an alphabet book and a series of story-books as part of the Waima’a Language Documentation Project (a project of The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University). The afternoon session focused upon a discussion of “where to from here?” The vast majority of participants stated that they had gained a great deal from the presentations made and the ensuing discussions focusing upon both the technical and cultural aspects of language development in the country. Of particular note was the interest of participants in the orthography of Tetun and future development of the language, and calls for greater public debate and input into this process. Participants expressed their wish to be involved in further meetings of this kind in future. After discussion and revision of the draft Conference Declaration prepared on Day 1, participants voted to endorse its contents as a faithful reflection of the principal concerns and recommendations of the majority of participants. The Conference Declaration (in English, Tetun and Portuguese) can be found in Appendix F.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Following some words of congratulation and appreciation to the participants and organizing committee, President José Ramos-Horta officially launched the “My Language, My Country” National Languages Writing Competition with a viewing of the short TV announcement produced to coincide with the conference and competition launch. The aims of the Competition are to encourage citizens of Timor-Leste from all walks of life to take pride in their local languages and to promote literary production in these languages, thus contributing to their documentation and preservation. A focal point for each language group was appointed in the closing session of the Conference, and each individual presented with a package of application forms and information to take back with them to their home districts. The TV announcement of the “Ha’u Nia Lian, Ha’u Nia Rai” competition can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/user/IDATimor?blend=5&ob=5#p/u/0/w4BMw o2Zm4k “Timor Today” audio coverage of competition launch (in Tetun): http://timortoday.com/audio//Presidente%20da%20Republika%20Oficial mente%20Lansa%20konkursu%20lian%20Nasional%20Timor-Leste.mp3

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


. . . . . . . GLOSSARY & LINKS . .
INL Instituto Nacional de Linguística / National Institute of Linguistics http://web.archive.org/web/20080119035640/www.a sianlang.mq.edu.au/INL/ UNTL MTB-MLE Universidade Nasional Timor Lorosa’e / National University of Timor-Leste Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education

A series of dictionaries and texts written in some of the languages of Timor-Leste can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/KirstyGusmao Timor Today coverage (including interviews with Kirsty Sword Gusmão, Virgilio Smith and conference participants) of the Conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcHxWPzWGoA

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste



Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Dadeer diak ba maluk sira tomak, Lori naran membru Komisaun Organizador tomak, ha’u hato’o obrigadu ba partisipante hotu-hotu ne’ebé, ho laran luak, fó tempu hodi marka prezensa iha enkontru importante ida ne’e. Ha’u agradese membru governu sira nia partisipasaun iha abertura ne’e no mos fó obrigado wain ba instituisaun hotu ne’ebé kontribui fundus ba ita nia Enkontru – Sekretaria Estadu ba Kultura, Ministériu Edukasaun, Timor Lorosa’e Nippon Culture Centre, Komisaun Nasionál UNESCO iha Timor-Leste, Gabinete Primeiru Ministru no parseiru sira ne’ebé kontribui ba duplikasaun material. Ha’u fó mos obrigadu barak ba Senhora Samara Hull, Agustinho Caet, Joana Amaral no ekipa edukasaun iha Fundasaun Alola ba imi nia servisu maka’as hodi prepara enkontru ida ne’e. Ha’u hakarak dirije agradesimentu espesial no hakoak boot ida ba kolega sira husi distritu ne’ebé hakat mai Dili hodi fó sira nia kontribuisaun ba eventu ida ne’e. Ba imi maka ami organiza enkontru ida ne’e tamba imi maka reprezenta povu ida, komunidade ida, kultura ida ho lian oi-oin ne’ebe sai hanesan simbolu no parte integrante husi identidade nasaun Timor-Leste nian. Ha’u sinti orgullu boot tebes tamba bele xefia ekipa ne’ebé organiza enkontru dahuluk ida ne’e. Enkontru ne’e istoriku tamba to’o agora seidauk iha forum ida hanesan ne’ebé objetivu atu diskute kona ba lian nasionál sira nia papel iha prosesu harii nasaun no identidade Timor-Leste nian. Ha’u iha esperansa katak partisipante hotu-hotu sei kontribui ho ativu ba ita nia programa. Ami hili atu foka liu ba lian nasionál sira ne’ebe la ofisial. Tetun hanesan ita nia “lingua franca” iha papel fundamental iha rai ida ne’e no simboliza Timor-Leste nia identidade no mos unidade nasionál. Maibe Tetun mos hetan atensaun no rekonhesimentu boot liu do ke dalen nasionál sira seluk. Produsaun literáriu iha lian Tetun boot no organizasaun balu organiza tiha konferensia barak kona ba dalen ida ne’e. Ha’u espera katak imi hotu sei vizita esposisaun ki’ik ne’ebé ami monta iha sala nia kotuk – no ha’u espera katak imi sei hetan inspirasaun husi material ne’ebé ami konsege halibur iha ne’ebá. Ideia ba konferensia ida ne’e laos ha’u nian, maibe mai husi belun diak ida TimorLeste nian. Senhor Takahashi hanesan Prezidente no fundador Timor-Lorosa’e Nippon Culture Centre maka hakerek surat mai ha’u no esplika kona ba nia planu atu organiza konferensia ida kona ba lian nasionál sira. Senhor Takahashi belun ida ne’ebé desde tempu rezistensia tau matan ba povu Timor-Leste nia direitu atu hetan rekoñesimentu internasionál ba nia ezistensia hanesan povu no estadu ne’ebé uniku no independente. Mai ita basa lima ba nia! Timor-Leste nia Lei Inan ka Konstituisaun temi kona ba lian nasionál sira iha artigu sanulu resin tolu (13). Ita hotu tenki hahi’i ita nia ukun nain sira tamba fó rekoñesimentu ida ne’e ba papel lian nasionál sira iha prosesu harii estadu no identidade nasional rai Timor-Leste nian. Konstituisaun rai barak iha “terseiru

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


mundu” ka rai ne’ebé seidauk dezenvolvidu la rekoñese papel importante ne’ebe lianinan sira halao iha moris nasaun foun ida nian. Ita hotu basa liman ba ita nia ukun nain sira ne’ebé hatudu sira nia matenek no nasionalizmu iha momentu prepara Lei Inan Timor-Leste nian. Ha’u aproveita PM nia prezensa no membru governu balun iha fatin ida ne’e atu hato’o apelu ba ema boot sira hotu hodi la bele haluha kompromisu ne’ebé hatuur iha konstituisaun katak estadu sei valoriza no dezenvolve lian nasionál sira. Realizasaun husi kompromisu ida ne’e exije investimentu umanu no finanseiru, ezije mos vontade politika. Ha’u fiar katak Enkontru ida ne’e sei fanun ita hotu, sadik ita hotu atu foti desizaun no halo planu de asaun konkretu ida hodi konserva no dezenvolve duni ita nia lian nasionál sira – se ita atraza tan, lian sira ne’e sei lakon husi ita nia leet. Ha’u fiar katak ita hotu rekoñese katak knaar atu dezenvolve no promove lian nasionál sira presiza ema barak nia kontribuisaun no envolvimentu ativu, hahu husi linguista no akademiku sira to’o professor, inan-aman, lia-nain no labarik sira ne’ebé namkari iha rai Timor-Leste tomak. Sira hotu iha direitu no obrigasaun atu defende ita nia patrimóniu kultural no sira hotu iha perspektiva no nesesidade uniku ne’ebé merese respeitu no atensaun espesial. Liu-liu iha sistema edukasaun, lian tenki sai hanesan buat ruma ne’ebé fasilita asesu ba komunikasaun no edukasaun, laos buat ruma ne’ebé hasees ema balu bazeia ba lian ne’ebe sira domina diuk liu. Ha’u espera katak liu husi debate ne’ebé sei halao durante enkontru ida ne’e ita sei hametin liu tan ita nia kbiit atu defende no servisu maka’as liu tan ba ita nia lian nasionál sira. Mai ita kolia hamutuk kona ba asaun konkretu balu hanesan, por exemplu, harii Konsellu permanente ba lian ida-idak nian, promove produsaun literáriu liu husi konkursu hakerek uza lian nasionál sira, enkoraja debate iha komunidade nia leet kona ba importánsia lian-inan sira hanesan oferta husi bei’ala sira ba gerasaun futuru, hanesan garante ba Dame, igualdade no unidade nasionál. Obrigadu barak.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


POEM BY ABÉ BARRETO (Galolen, Tetun, English)
UKUN RAHIK NI DIRIN Ukun rahik ni dirin---gita tour no gita raar Ukun rahik ni dirin---gita tour no gita ruir natagar Ukun rahik ni dirin---ele etan babua seke limusan laluli nehe Ukun rahik ni dirin---nahoor gita tema-tema ele Timór-anan Taku’ak, gita tuna ba lalá hain mia lelon-nahuan, mour é taik? Taku’ak, gita tuna lalá hain mia lelon-lalain, mour é taik? Taku’ak, gita mui ok rala-teha lelon-mesu Timór Lelosa’e tenke dadi uma-ralan nehe manak nahit mundu rea-klalan nawee Gita uma ralan ra’i gai, sé be ok sinti lalá hain ta’iak? Taku’ak tini gita bluri hutu isár Taku’ak tini gita bluri saar lalá rara’i sia Taku’ak tini gita bluri tuna gita uma-ralan moras --2006-2010 @ Abé Barreto Soares UKUN RASIK AN Ukun rasik an---ita sosa ho ita-nia raan! Ukun rasik an---ita sosa ho ita-nia ruin namlekar! Ukun rasik an---sai nu’udar lia-fuan lulik ida! Ukun rasik an---hako’ak ita hotu-hotu hanesan Timoroan! Hamutuk, ita halo ona buat ruma iha loron-horiseik, loos ka la’e? Hamutuk, ita halo buat ruma iha loron-ohin, loos ka la’e? Hamutuk, ita hakarak atu simu loron-aban Timór Lorosa’e tenke sai uma-laran ida de’it to’o mundu rai-klaran nabeen Ita-nia uma laran fo’er karik, sé maka sei sente buat ruma la di’ak? Hamutuk de’it maka ita bele futu ai-saar Hamutuk de’it maka ita bele dasa sasan fo’er sira Hamutuk de’it maka ita bele halo ita-nia uma-laran sai moos --2006-2010 @ Abé Barreto Soares

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


INDEPENDENCE We have spilt our blood to gain independence! We have sacrificed our scattered bones for independence! Independence is a sacred word! Independence embraces us all as Timorese! Together, we did something in the past, didn’t we? Together, we are doing something for today, aren’t we? Together, we wish to welcome the future Timor-Lorosa’e should be as one household only until the end of the world When something goes wrong in the household, who will be the ones to feel uncomfortable? Only through unity, we are able to tie the broom Only through unity, we are able to clean up things Only through unity, we are able to mantain neatness in our household --2006-2011 @ Abé Barreto Soares

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste



Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Your Excellency the Rector of the UNTL, Professor Benjamim Corte-Real Your Excellency the Head of the UNESCO National Commission in Timor-Leste, Head of the National Education Commission and Head of the Meeting’s Organization Commission, Mrs Kirsty Sword Gusmão Your Excellency the Secretary of State for Culture, Mr Virgílio Smith Members of the Meeting’s Organization Commission Illustrious Guests Distinguished Participants Ladies and Gentlemen, It is with great pleasure that I take part in this First Meeting on the Languages of TimorLeste, having been given the honour to kick-off this timely exchange of ideas on the social, cultural and educational roles that the Languages of Timor-Leste, including Tetum, play in terms of building and strengthening national identity and unity. Thus it is with great personal satisfaction that I see how the synergies between the parties involved in organizing this meeting have been so productive, giving voice to a debate that is both necessary and current. To all those who took part in organizing this meeting, namely the UNESCO National Commission in Timor-Leste, the National Linguistic Institute, the Timor Lorosa’e Nippon Cultural Centre and the Secretariat of State for Culture, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart! I would also like to seize this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency the President of the Republic, His Excellency the Minister of Education and Her Excellency the Goodwill Ambassador for Education on the creation and start of the original “Writing competition in the languages of Timor-Leste”, with the noble goal of promoting literary production in the national language, thereby valorising our ethnolinguistic diversity. Thus I urge all communities to have an active participation in this pioneering initiative, so that we may all express our cultural legacy. Ladies and Gentlemen, Timor-Leste is a young Nation that is still being built and where there is still much to do, particularly in the so-called key sectors. The goals of this Meeting are a clear reflection of the purposes and challenges of our nation in terms of education, and I am sure that the resulting exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences will be a significant stepping stone towards the development of our Country’s education and cultural system.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Ladies and Gentlemen, In Timor-Leste there are “Many Languages, One People!” In Tetum we say “Dalen Oi-Oin, Povu Ida Deit!” In Mambae we say “Gase ahe ahe, atu gal id!” In Kemak we say “Dale abe abe, atamasa sia!” In Fataluku we say “Luku-lukun ze zene, marlauana ukani!” In Baikenu we say “Lasi huma huma, tob mése!” In Makasae we say “Sobu bau-baun, anu unai!” The at least 16 languages that coexist in Timor-Leste translate clearly the complexity of the linguistic atmosphere we have in our Country, and are right from the start a key part of our cultural legacy. Each of these national languages corresponds to the daily communication needs of those who speak them, and it is through them that reality is firstly understood, conceptualized and described. It is precisely in the light of this ethnolinguistic diversity, and in order to promote more inclusive education and to safeguard against the discrimination of those who speak them, that the very Constitution of Timor-Leste sets that the national languages, including Tetum, are to be valorised and developed by the State, at the same time they are protected internationally by organizations such as UNESCO. Language is undeniably one of the cornerstones for the progress of any nation. And Tetum, being the most used language in all the land, has been one of the most important factors of national cohesion throughout our history. It has also been gradually developed, so as to meet all formal and informal communication needs. Thus I would like to seize this opportunity to praise the contributions of the many national and international linguists (some of whom are here today) in the development of Tetum and in its socialization, along with Portuguese, as education language par excellence. Today we are focusing on the current need to promote broader public knowledge on the role of Timorese languages, simultaneously in the social, cultural and educational aspects, thereby enabling them to be conveniently used in the strengthening of national unity and cohesion. If on one hand it is imperative to protect and valorise the languages of Timor-Leste as a unique feature of our cultural legacy, on the other we must also determine the ways in which they can be used to assist the intellectual development of our children and youngsters, so that education may reach every Timorese girl and boy! These two days will be days of reflection, discussion and exchange of ideas. I am very proud to look around me and see such distinguished personalities gathered around the Timorese linguistic diversity.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


And I am certain that the contributions by the Linguistic, education and culture experts, including the representatives in attendance from the various linguistic groups, will make this first meeting a success! Thank you very much! Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão 5 August 2010

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste




Ministériu Negósius Estranjeirus, Díli 5 Agostu 2010

Sua Exelênsia Reitór UNTL, Profesór Doutór Benjamim Corte-Real Exma. Senhora Prezidente Komisaun Nasionál UNESCO iha Timór-Leste, Prezidente Komisaun Nasionál Edukasaun no Xefe Komisaun Organizadora Enkontru, Sra. Kirsty Sword Gusmão Exmu. Senhór Sekretáriu Estadu Kultura, Dr. Virgílio Smith Membrus Komisaun Organizadora Enkontru Ilustres Konvidadus Distintus Partisipantes Senhoras no Senhores, Ho laran haksolok boot tebes, maka ha’u mai tuir Primeiru Enkontru kona-ba lian Timor-Leste nian ida ne’e, no hetan mós onra atu loke debate, hodi hanoin lisuk kona-ba papél sosiál, kulturál no edukativu Lian hotu-hotu iha Timor-Leste nian, inklui Tetun, iha dinâmika konstrusaun no reforsu ba identidade no unidade nasionais. Ha’u mós sente satisfeitu, tanba haree katak partes ne’ebé envolvidas iha organizasaun enkontru ida ne’e nian, servisu hamutuk no di’ak tebetebes, hodi nune’e bele loke dalan atu halo debate kona-ba buat ida ke ema hotu hein hela, tanba nia nesesidade no atualidade.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Ba maluk sira hotu ne’ebé hola parte iha organizasaun eventu ida ne’e nian, hanesan Komisaun Nasionál UNESCO iha Timór-Leste, Institutu Nasionál Linguístiku, Sentru Kulturál Timór Lorosa’e Nippon no Sekretaria Estadu Kultura, ha’u hato’o ha’u nia parabeins! Ha’u aproveita mós atu kongratula Sua Exelênsia Prezidente Repúblika, Exmu Senhór Ministru Edukasaun no Exma. Senhora Embaixadora Boa Vontade ba Edukasaun, tanba kriasaun no lansamentu ba “Konkursu kona-ba hakerek iha lian Timor-Leste”, ho hanoin ne’ebé di’ak tebetebes atu promove produsaun literária lian nasionais nian, hodi nune’e, bele fó valór, ba ita nia diversidade etnolinguístika. Tan ne’e, ha’u apela ba komunidade tomak atu partisipa maka’as liu iha iniasitiva pioneira ida ne’e, hodi bele hatudu no hamoris di’ak liután ita nia eransa kulturál! Senhoras no Senhores, Timor-Leste Nasaun joven ida ne’ebé hala’o hela nia prosesu konstrusaun, ne’ebé buat barak mak seidauk halo, liu-liu iha setores xave. Tanba ne’e, mak objetivus Ekontru ida ne’e nian reflete momoos lós ita nia nasaun nia hakarak ho sasadik tomak kona-ba matéria edukasaun, ne’e duni ha’u laran metin katak debate ideias no fahemalu experiênsias husi ne’e, sei sai hanesan pasu signifikativu ida ba dezenvolvimentu sistema edukativu no kulturál ita nia Paíz nian. Senhoras no Senhores, Iha Timor-Leste iha “Lian Oioin, Povu Ida Deit!” Husi Mambae: Gase ahe ahe, atu gal id! Husi Kemak: Dale abe abe, atamasa sia! Husi Fataluku: Luku-lukun ze zene, marlauana ukani! Husi Baikenu: Lasi huma huma, tob mése! Husi Makasae: Sobu bau-baun, anu unai! Iha pelu menus lian sanulu-resin neen iha Timor-Leste, ne’ebé hatudu duni kompleksidade ambiente linguístiku ne’ebé boot iha ita nia Paíz, no sai hanesan, parte integrante no fundamentál ida husi ita nia eransa kulturál. Lian nasionais hirak ne’e, korresponde ho falantes ka ema sira ne’ebé koalia lian ne’e sira nia nesesidades komunikasaun loroloron nian, tanba liuhusi ne’e, mak ema bele hatene, hanoin no hakerek kona-ba realidade. Ho diversidade etnolinguístika hanesan ne’e, no tanba atu promove edukasaun ida ke inkluziva liu ho atu labele iha deskriminasaun ba sira nia falantes, mak Konstituisaun Timor-Leste rasik estabelese katak, Estadu tenke valoriza no dezenvolve Lian nasionais, inklui Tétun, ne’ebé sei sai hanesan mós objetu protesaun internasionál husi organizasoens hanesan UNESCO.
Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste 30

Lian, hanesan aliserse fundamentál ida ba kualkér nasaun nia progresu. Iha ita nia istória i nu’udár lian ida ne’ebé ema barak liu mak ko’alia iha Rai ne’e, Tetun sai hanesan fatór ida ne’ebé importante tebetebes ba koezaun nasionál, no agora dezenvolve daudaun ona, atu bele satisfáz nesesidades formais no informais komunikasaun nian. Nune’e, ha’u aproveita okaziaun ida ne’e atu apresia, ho laran tomak, kontributus oioin husi linguistas nasionais ho internasionais sira (balu ohin mai mós iha ne’e), iha dezenvolvimentu tétun no nia veikulasaun, hamutuk ho Portugêz, hanesan lian ensinu por excelência, katak di’ak liu. Tónika ohin nian monu liliu ba utilidade atuál atu promove konhesimentu públiku ne’ebé luan, kona-ba papél lian hotu-hotu iha Timor-Leste, no mós sira nia aspetus sosiál, kulturál i edukativa, atu nune’e, lian hirak ne’e ema bele uza didi’ak iha prosesu fortalesimentu unidade no koezaun nasionais. Se, husi sorin ida, tenke salvaguarda no valoriza lian Timor-Leste nian hotu, hanesan trasu singulár ita nia patrimóniu kulturál nian, husi sorin seluk relevante mós atu buka hatene forma oinsá mak lian sira ne’e ema bele utiliza ba dezenvolvimentu inteletuál ita nia labarik ho jovens sira nian...no ba edukasaun ida ne’ebé bele to’o ba warik-oan, feto no mane sira tomak! Ho orgulhu boot ha’u bele haree katak individualidades elokuentes ka mesak matenek, ne’ebé halo parte painél, mai hotu hamutuk iha ne’e, tanba kestaun diversidade linguístika Timór-nian, atu iha loron rua nia laran bele halo reflesaun, diskusaun no debates kona-ba ideias barabarak! Ha’u mós fiar-metin katak, kontributus husi Espesialistas kona-ba linguístika, edukasaun no kultura, inklui reprezentantes husi grupus linguístikus oioin, ne’ebé prezentes, sei halo enkontru pioneiru ida ne’e hetan tebes duni êxitu boot! Susesus ba imi hotu! Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão 5 Agostu 2010

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste




Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros, Díli 5 de Agosto de 2010

Sua Excelência o Reitor da UNTL, Professor Doutor Benjamim Corte-Real Exma. Senhora Presidente da Comissão Nacional da UNESCO em Timor-Leste, Presidente da Comissão Nacional de Educação e Chefe da Comissão Organizadora do Encontro, Sra. Kirsty Sword Gusmão Exmo. Senhor Secretário de Estado da Cultura, Dr. Virgílio Smith Membros da Comissão Organizadora do Encontro Ilustres Convidados Distintos Participantes Senhoras e Senhores, É com grande prazer que participo neste Primeiro Encontro sobre as Línguas de TimorLeste, tendo-me sido concedida a honra de encetar este tão útil debate de ideias em torno do papel social, cultural e educativo que as Línguas de Timor-Leste, incluindo o Tétum, assumem na dinâmica da construção e do reforço da identidade e unidade nacionais.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


E é pois, com enorme satisfação pessoal, que vejo que foram altamente produtivas as sinergias entre as partes envolvidas na organização deste encontro, dando assim voz, a um debate há muito aguardado pela sua necessidade e actualidade. A todos aqueles que participaram na organização deste evento, nomeadamente a Comissão Nacional da UNESCO em Timor-Leste, o Instituto Nacional Linguístico, o Centro Cultural Timor Lorosa’e Nippon e a Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, os meus mais sinceros parabéns! Aproveito igualmente o ensejo para congratular Sua Excelência o Presidente da República, o Exmo. Senhor Ministro da Educação e a Exma. Senhora Embaixadora da Boa Vontade para a Educação pela criação e lançamento do original “Concurso de escrita nas línguas de Timor-Leste”, com o nobre propósito de promover a produção literária nas línguas nacionais valorizando-se, desta feita, a nossa diversidade etnolinguística. Apelo portanto, à participação activa das comunidades nesta pioneira iniciativa, dando assim, viva expressão à nossa herança cultural. Senhoras e Senhores, Timor-Leste é uma jovem Nação ainda em processo de construção, onde muito ainda está por fazer sobretudo nos ditos sectores chave. De tal modo, que os objectivos deste Encontro reflectem claramente os propósitos e os desafios da nossa nação em matéria de educação, sendo que estou seguro de que o debate de ideias e partilha de experiências que daí advenha, se constituirá num passo significativo no desenvolvimento do sistema educativo e cultural do nosso País. Senhoras e Senhores, Em Timor-Leste existem “Muitas Línguas, Um só povo!” Em Tétum diz-se “Dalen Oi-Oin, Povu Ida Deit!” Em Mambae diz-se “Gase ahe ahe, atu gal id!” Em Kemak diz-se “Dale abe abe, atamasa sia!” Em Fataluku diz-se “Luku-lukun ze zene, marlauana ukani!” Em Baikenu diz-se “Lasi huma huma, tob mése!” Em Makasae diz-se “Sobu bau-baun, anu unai!” As cerca de, pelo menos, 16 línguas coexistentes em Timor-Leste traduzem claramente a enorme complexidade do ambiente linguístico que se vive no nosso País, constituindo-se, desde logo, como parte integrante e fundamental da nossa herança cultural. Cada uma destas línguas nacionais corresponde às necessidades quotidianas de comunicação dos seus falantes, sendo através destas, que a realidade é primeiramente entendida, conceptualizada e descrita. É precisamente à luz desta diversidade etnolinguística, e no sentido de promover uma educação mais inclusiva e acautelar a discriminação dos seus falantes, que a própria

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Constituição de Timor-Leste estabelece que as Línguas nacionais, incluindo o Tétum, sejam valorizadas e desenvolvidas pelo Estado, sendo, ao mesmo tempo, objecto de protecção internacional por parte de organizações como a UNESCO. A língua é inegavelmente um dos alicerces fundamentais para o progresso de qualquer nação. E o Tétum, enquanto a língua mais falada no território, tem-se constituído ao longo da nossa história como um dos mais importantes factores de coesão nacional, tendo gradualmente vindo a ser desenvolvida, de forma a suprir todas as necessidades formais e informais de comunicação. Aproveito pois, a ocasião para enaltecer os mais diversos contributos dos linguistas nacionais e internacionais (alguns dos quais estão hoje aqui presentes), no desenvolvimento do tétum e na sua veiculação, a par do português, como língua de ensino por excelência. A tónica hoje recai sobre a actual utilidade em promover um mais amplo conhecimento público em torno do papel das línguas de Timor-Leste, simultaneamente nas suas facetas social, cultural e educativa, dando assim azo, a que as mesmas venham a ser convenientemente utilizadas no processo de fortalecimento da unidade e coesão nacionais. Se, por um lado, é imperativo a salvaguarda e valorização das línguas de Timor-Leste, enquanto traço singular do nosso património cultural, por outro lado, é também relevante apurar de que forma estas poderão vir a ser utilizadas no desenvolvimento intelectual das nossas crianças e dos nossos jovens... Em prol de uma educação ao alcance de todas as meninas e meninos timorenses! Estes dois dias são de reflexão, de discussão e de debate de ideias, sendo com enorme orgulho que contemplo, aqui reunido em torno da diversidade linguística timorense, um tão eloquente painel de individualidades. E estou certo, que os contributos dos Especialistas da linguística, da educação, da cultura, incluindo os representantes de diversos grupos linguísticos, aqui presentes, farão deste pioneiro encontro um verdadeiro êxito! Muito obrigado! Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão 5 de Agosto de 2010

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


APPENDIX E: Guiding Principles of the Language in Education Policy for Timor-Leste

DEVELOPMENT OF A POLICY ON LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION IN TIMOR-LESTE Prinsípiu Matadalan-Orientadór sira ba Polítika Kona-ba Lian iha Edukasaun / Guiding Principles
Prepara husi Anacleto Ribeiro no membru “Grupu Traballu kona-ba Lian iha Edukasaun / Drafted by Anacleto Ribeiro and members of the “Language in Education Working Group” (Jullu, 2010)





1. Edukasaun hanesan ba Ema Hotu! / Education for All!
Ita tenke rekoñese katak ema Timoroan hotu-hotu iha direitu hanesan atu hetan edukasaun hodi bele hadi’a sira-nia moris. Ema hotu-hotu tenke iha asesu ba edukasaun, la’ós ema balu de’it, ka elite balu de’it, ka grupu étniku balu de’it, no idane’e tenke inklui feto, mane, ferik, katuas no labarik sira Polítika ida-ne’e tenke bele garante katak ema Timoroan hotu-hotu iha direitu ba edukasaun di’ak no sei labele iha diskriminasaun iha edukasaun. We recognize that all East Timorese have the same rights to get an education in order to improve their lives. Education must be accessible to all, not just to certain individuals, elites or ethnic groups, including women, men, the elderly and children. This policy must be able to guarantee that all Timorese have a right to education and that there is no discrimination exercised in education.

2. Respeita labarik sira-nia direitu ba edukasaun / Respect children’s right to education
Labarik Timoroan sira mak futuru nasaun Timor-Leste nian. Labarik sira iha direitu atu moris di’ak iha futuru. Nune’e inan-aman no Estadu iha devér atu fó edukasaun di’ak ba sira, edukasaun ho kualidade aas konforme sira-nia direitu. Polítika ida-ne’e tenke garante katak labarik hetan kedas edukasaun ho kualidade di’ak dezde sira-nia esperiénsia ba dala uluk iha edukasaun formál (eskola infantíl ka pre-primária), no katak sira nunka hetan diskriminasaun durante sira-nia esperiénsia iha eskola. Polítika ida-ne’e tenke kontribui atu garante futuru ida di’ak ba labarik Timoroan sira hotu liuhosi kaer metin nosaun katak lian ne’ebé labarik sira uza iha uma nu’udar baze importante ida ba sira-nia edukasaun. Polítika ida ne’e mós rekoñese katak labarik no adultu sira ne’ebé Diuk iha direitu hanesan ba komunikasaun no edukasaun.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


The children of Timor-Leste are the future of the nation. Children have the right to live a good life in future. Therefore, parents and the state have a duty to offer the best possible education to them, a quality education which is their right. This policy must ensure that children achieve their right to quality education from their first experiences of formal education (pre-primary school) and that they do not at any point in their schooling experience discrimination. This policy must contribute to creating a better future for all East Timorese children by embracing the notion that a child’s home language is an important foundation of their education. Moreover, it is recognized that children and adults who are deaf have the same rights to communication and education as all people.

3. Di’ak liu hahú aprende lee no hakerek liuhosi uza lian ne’ebé estudante sira ko’alia iha uma / Literacy is best acquired through use of mother tongue
Estudante nia lian-inan (lian ne'ebé uza iha uma laran) maka lian ne'ebé di'akliu atu hahú aprende lee no hakerek ba dala uluk, no mós atu aprende konteúdu ka matéria inisiál sira seluk ne'ebé tama iha kurríkulu. The learner’s mother tongue (home language) is the best language in which to learn initial literacy (reading and writing) and curricular content.

4. Lian-Inan nu’udar elementu importante ida ba identidade nasionál / Mother tongue is an important element of national identity
Lian-Inan sira la’ós de’it meiu komunikasaun ida. maibé mós nu’udar meiu ida ne’ebé lori valór kulturál sira ne’ebé hatutan hosi otas ida ba otas ida seluk, hosi bei’alan sira ba bei-oan sira. Lian-Inan sira mós mak hanesan knuuk Istória nian tanba Lian-Inan sira rai hela ka prezerva hela memória koletiva nasaun nian ne’ebé ita-nia bei’alan sira halo iha tempu uluk. Liuhosi Lia-Inan sira-ne’e ita hatutan ita-nia Istória no itania valór sira ba ita-nia bei-oan sira. Ita-nia memória koletiva mak halo ita iha orgullu nu’udar ema Timoroan ne’ebé iha identidade rasik. Polítika ida-ne’e rekoñese katak Lian-Inan sira nu’udar parte importante ida husi identidade nasionál nia abut no hun. Mother tongues are not just a means of communication but they are a vehicle for the transmission of cultural values from one generation to the next, from our ancestors to our grand-children. Mother tongues are also the nest of history as they guard or preserve the collective memory of a nation dating back to the time of our ancestors. Through our Mother Tongues we pass on our history and values to future generations. Our collective memory is what confers pride upon us as Timorese with our own unique identity. This policy must acknowledge that Mother Tongues are an important part of the roots of national identity.

5. Labele halakon rikusoin kultura Timor-Leste nian! / We must not allow our cultural riches to become extinct!

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Lian-Inan sira nu’udar rikusoin kultura Timoroan sira-nian. To’o ohin loron, husi Lian-Inan maizumenus 6000 ka 7000 ne’ebé eziste iha mundu tomak, iha ona LianInan liu rihun ida resin ne’ebé hetan ameasa atu lakon. Lian sira-ne’e lakon tanba ema la uza ona. Ne’e hanesan posibilidade aat tebes ida no lakon boot ida ba nasaun sira no kultura sira mundu nian. Timor-Leste mós bele lakon ninia rikusoin kulturál iha tempu badak se ita la uza no la dezenvolve ita-nia lian-inan sira. Lian Makuva iha Tutuala, iha Distritu Lautém, nu’udar ezemplu ba ida-ne’e tanba agora daudaun ema uitoan de’it mak sei uza lian ida-ne’e. Polítika ida-ne’e tenke rekoñese duni katak lian-inan sira nu’udar rikusoin kultura ne’ebé labele lakon leet de’it. Mother Tongues are among the riches of Timorese culture. Over a thousand of the world’s 6-7,000 mother tongues are on the verge of extinction. Languages become extinct as a result of their not being spoken any longer. This fact represents an enormous threat and a loss to the nations and cultures of the world. Timor-Leste also runs the risk of losing its cultural riches in the near future if we come to fail to use and develop our local languages. The Makuva language in Lautem district is a case in point as only a handful of speakers of the language survive today. This policy must fully recognize that mother tongues are a cultural asset and must not be permitted to disappear.

6. Dezenvolve liuhosi uza iha eskola / Develop through educational use
Lian hotu-hotu só bele dezenvolve se ema uza lian sira-ne’e. Nune’e, dezenvolvimentu linguístiku ba dalen sira Timor-Leste nian tuir loloos bele la'o hamutuk ho uza lian sira-ne’e atu hanorin iha eskola. All languages must be used in order to develop; therefore it is appropriate for linguistic development to accompany educational use of Timorese languages.

7. Respeita saida mak hatuur ona iha Lei-Inan Repúblika Demokrátika Timor-Leste nian/ Respect the provisions for language contained in the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Nu’udar Estadu-Direitu ne’ebé hakru’uk ba Lei, sidadaun Timoroan hotu-hotu tenke hala’o sira-nia moris labele kontra Lei. Ita-nia Lei-Inan ka Konstituisaun rekoñese momoos papél Lian Nasionál sira Timor-Leste nian no hatuur katak Lian sira-ne’e tenke hetan valorizasaun no promosaun . Polítika ida-ne’e tenke dezenvolve bazeia ba dispozisaun sira kona-ba Lian sira ne’ebé inklui iha Konstituisaun RDTL no lei seluseluk ne’ebé relevante, no ninia prinsípiu báziku ida maka Estadu iha obrigasaun atu garante meiu sira ba sidadaun hotu-hotu atu hetan direitu hodi aprende Lian Ofisiál rua ita-nia nasaun nian, no mós obrigasaun atu asegura katak timoroan hotuhotu hetan sira-nia direitu tomak nu’udar sidadaun mezmu se sira seidauk hatene Lian Ofisiál rua ne’e. Polítika ida-ne’e labele kontra fali saida mak Konstituisaun hatuur kona-ba Lian sira ida-idak nia estatutu.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


As a state adhering to the rule of law, all East Timorese citizens are obliged to operate within the confines of the law. Our Constitution clearly recognises the national languages of Timor-Leste and speaks of the need to value and promote them. This policy must be developed from the provisions on languages contained in the Constitution of the RDTL and other relevant laws, and one of its basic assumptions is that the State has an obligation both to guarantee the means for every citizen to enjoy his or her right to learn the two Official Languages of the country, and to ensure that he or she will still enjoy full citizenship even if he or she doesn’t know the Official Languages yet. This policy must contain nothing which runs counter to that which is prescribed in our nation’s Constitution.

8. Tetu didi’ak kontestu polítiku lokál fatin ida-idak nian / Give due consideration to the local political context in given locations
Timor-Leste nu’udar nasaun nurak ne’ebé sei frajil no foin sai hosi tempu naruk ho konflitu polítiku no trauma. Tanba fatin ida-idak hetan trauma no esperiénsia ne’ebé lahanesan, ita sei presiza tau matan ba karakterístika ne’ebé espesífiku, úniku hosi fatin no komunidade ida-idak, bainhira planeia implementasaun ba polítika ida-ne’e, atu hamenus posibilidade ba resposta negativa ne’ebé bele mosu. Nune’e importante tebes katak polítika ne’e kaer metin prinsípiu partisipasaun maka’as komunidade nian, no katak iha esforsu boot tebes atu kolabora no uza rekursu lokál tomak bainhira implementa rekomendasaun sira polítika ne’e nian. Timor-Leste is a new and fragile nation which has recently emerged from a protracted period of political conflict and trauma. The way in which this trauma was experienced from place to place is not identical, and thus, in order to reduce the likelihood of negative responses, it is necessary that the specific, unique circumstances and character of each location and community be taken into account when planning for the implementation of this policy. It is vital that this policy embrace the notion of full community participation and that it make every effort to draw upon the full range of resources available at the local level in the implementation of its recommendations.

9. Aproveita saida mak iha ona no hadi’ak saida mak funsiona ladún di’ak / Build on what exists already and improve on what is working less well
Ita la hahú serbisu ho liman mamuk. Ita tenke rekoñese katak Estadu no sosiedade sivíl dezenvolve tiha ona ka agora daudaun la’o iha dalan hodi dezenvolve orientasaun no desizaun polítika oioin kona-ba uza Lia sira iha edukasaun. Polítika ida-ne’e tenke hola iha konsiderasaun esforsu sira-ne’ebé halo tiha ona kona-ba ba área ne’e no tenke buka atu serbisu hamutuk ho parte relevante sira atu nune’e bele harii tan bazeia ba buat ne’ebé konsege halo tiha ona to’o agora, atu evita repetisaun esforsu, no mós atu garante polítika ne’e nia efikásia. We are not starting work empty-handed. It must be recognised that the State and civil society have already developed or are in the process of developing a range of

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


guidelines and policy decisions relating to language use in education. This policy must take into account the efforts already made in this regard to date and endeavour to work together with the relevant stakeholders in order to build on what has been achieved to date, to avoid duplication of efforts and to guarantee the policy’s effectiveness.

10. Rekoñese Ema Diuk iha Timor-Leste / Recognising the community of deaf people in Timor-Leste
Hanesan ita rekoñese katak Lian-Inan importante iha ita-nia kultura, ita mós tenke rekoñese ema timoroan ne’ebé diuk sira-nia direitu. Se ita la fó direitu ba ema diuk atu uza Lian-Jestu ida-ne’e hanesan halakon sira-nia direitu umanu báziku ba komunikasaun no edukasaun. Polítika ne’e rekoñese katak Lian-Jestu sei hetan rekoñesimentu ofisiál no sei envolve ema diuk sira iha prosesu dezenvolvimentu LianJestu Timor-Leste (LJTL) nian ida ne’ebé ofisiál. As well as recognizing mother tongues as a vital element of our culture, we must also recognize the rights of our Deaf community. To deny sign language to Deaf people is the same as denying them their basic human rights to communication and education. This policy acknowledges that sign language will be officially recognized and will engage the deaf community to officially develop Timorese Sign Language (TSL).

11. Inkluzividade - Konta ho ema hotu-hotu / Inclusivity – count on the participation of all
Ita mesak de’it la bele halo buat ida! Partisipasaun ema hotu iha dezenvolvimentu polítika ida-ne’e importante tebes atu bele asegura katak polítika ne’e sustentavel iha futuru. Polítika ida-ne’e tenke mosu nu’udar rezultadu husi konsulta luan hodi rona ema barak nia lian husi nivel nasionál to’o iha nivel lokál. Alone we can achieve nothing! The participation of all stakeholders in the development of this policy is vital if it is to be sustainable into the future. This policy must be the result of broad consultation from the national to the local level.

NB – The “Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education Policy for Timor-Leste”, launched in the form of a public debate on 21 February, 2011, can be viewed and downloaded (in English, Tetun and Portuguese) from the following site: http://www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/3046404

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


APPENDIX F: Conference Declaration (English, Tetun and Portuguese)

Timor‐ Leste”
The participants in this conference: 1) Recognise the unique place occupied by the national languages or “mother tongues” of Timor-Leste in defining our identity and culture; 2) Affirm their commitment to assisting the Government and State of Timor-Leste to honour its constitutional obligrations of “valuing and developing” the national languages of our beloved Timor-Leste through: a) Establishment of Councils for the Promotion of Mother Tongues for each of the national languages in order to serve as a source of information and guidance for all groups and individuals interested in promotion of the language concerned; b) Collaboration with the National Institute of Linguistics (INL) and other relevant authorities on the development of written materials, including dictionaries, linguistic profiles, literacy materials and written/audio-visual documentation of our languages. 3) Appeal to the Timor-Leste Government to boost its funding support to the INL as the body entrusted with the role of safeguarding and developing the languages of Timor-Leste, including development of a standard orthography which can be used for all national languages; 4) Urge the Government of Timor-Leste to give serious consideration to a role for national languages in the education system of our nation, particularly in the early years of primary education, taking into account the empirical evidence and international best practice which points to the superiority of mother tongue in the acquisition of basic literacy skills;

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


5) Appeal to the Government to create a “development packet” in support of the national languages, including funding for human resource development. 6 August, 2010

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


Timor‐ Leste”

Partisipante iha Konferénsia ida-ne’e: 1) Rekoñese lian lokál ka lia-inan Timor-Leste nian iha pozisaun úniku atu define Timoroan sira-nia identidade no kultura. 2) Iha kompromisu ka hakarak boot atu tulun Governu no Estadu Timor-Leste hodi respeita obrigasaun ne’ebé define iha Konstituisaun hodi valoriza no dezenvolve Timor-Leste nia lian nasionál sira liuhosi: a) Estabelese Konsellu ba Promosaun Lian Inan ida ba lian lokál idaidak hodi sai matadalan no sentru informasaun ba ema hotu-hotu ne’ebé iha interese ba Lian Inan ida-idak; b) Servisu hamutuk ho Institutu Nasionál Linguístika (INL) no autoridade relevante sira seluk atu dezenvolve materiál sira, inklui disionáriu, perfíl linguístiku, materiál atu dezenvolve literasia no dokumentasaun audiovizuál no hakerek ba ita-nia lian sira. 3) Husu ba Governu Timor-Leste atu, ho vontade di’ak, aumenta ninia apoiu finanseiru natoon ba INL nu’udar instituisaun ne’ebé simu knaar hodi proteje no dezenvolve Timor-Leste nia lian sira, inklui mós dezenvolve ortografia padronizada ne’ebé bele aplika ba lia-inan sira seluk. 4) Husu ba Governu Timor-Leste atu tau matan maka’as ba papél lia-nasionál iha itania nasaun nia sistema edukasaun, liuliu iha fase inisiál ensinu báziku. Konsidera mós rezultadu ne’ebé mosu husi esperiénsia no prátika di’ak iha rai li’ur sira ne’ebé hatudu katak lia-inan maka di’ak liu atu ajuda labarik sira atu dezenvolve nia kapasidade bázika atu lee no hakerek ho di’ak.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


5) Husu ba Governu atu kria pakote ba dezenvolvimentu dalen nasionál sira, inklui orsamentu ba kapasitasaun rekursu umanu. 6 Agostu, 2010

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste



Os participantes nesta Conferência: 1) Reconhecem o papel único que as línguas locais ou línguas maternas desempenham na definição da identidade e cultura dos leste-timorenses. 2) Afirmam o seu compromisso e vontade de ajudar o Governo e o Estado de Timor-Leste a respeitar as suas obrigações constitucionais de valorizar e desenvolver as línguas nacionais de Timor-Leste, através de: a) Estabelecimento de Conselhos para a Promoção das Línguas Maternas para cada língua local, que funcionarão como guias e centros de informação para todas as pessoas que se interessem por cada uma destas línguas maternas; b) Colaboração contínua com o Instituto Nacional de Linguística (INL) e outras autoridades relevantes para o desenvolvimento de materiais, incluindo dicionários, perfis linguísticos, material para alfabetização e documentação audiovisual/escrita das nossas línguas. 3) Apelam ao Governo de Timor-Leste que seja generoso e aumente adequadamente o seu apoio financeiro ao INL enquanto instituição responsável pela protecção e desenvolvimento das línguas de Timor-Leste, incluindo o desenvolvimento de ortografias padronizadas que possam também ser aplicadas para as restantes línguas maternas. 4) Pedem ao Governo de Timor-Leste que considere seriamente o papel das línguas maternas no nosso sistema educativo, principalmente na fase inicial do ensino básico, tendo em atenção os resultados obtidos pela experiência e as boas práticas internacionais que mostram que a língua materna é melhor para ajudar as crianças a desenvolverem as suas competências básicas de literacia.

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste


5) Pedem ao Governo que crie um pacote para o desenvolvimento das línguas nacionais, incluindo um orçamento para a capacitação de recursos humanos. 6 de Agosto de 2010

Report on the First Conference on the National Languages of Timor-Leste