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LPT writes Open Letter to Finance Minister about Spelling

12.06.2017

Lalit has pleasure in publishing the content of a letter written by the association, Ledikasyon pu Travayer, to the Minister of Finance, concerning the issue of writing Mauritian Kreol with due diligence.


Dear Sir,


Page 2 and 3 of the “Budget Special” in Government News, June 2017, are in Mauritian Kreol. Our adult literacy Association assumes that you, as Minister, are in the final analysis responsible for this summary of your Budget measures, given that it is in this official newspaper. If the spelling of this article is any reflection on the content of your Budget then we can only, at Ledikasyon pu Travayer, say that there is little hope for the country.


The Government has an official orthography duly adopted by the Cabinet in 2011, and now taught for six years in the MIE and in all Government primary schools in the country. Children, in our experience, teach their family members to write correctly. The University of Mauritius and the Open University for years have run courses on Kreol. Literally hundreds of thousands of people in Mauritius now read Mauritian Kreol well


The odd deviation here and there in a text from the official orthography is no problem at all. But when only 44 of the first 100 words in Mauritian Kreol are correctly spelt, it is a problem. It is a problem that would, in the present education system, result in someone getting an “F-minus”.


As if to show the absurdity of not following the general conventions on spelling, in the first 100 words in Kreol, four words are spelt in two different ways:


enn/ene,


bann/bane,


et/ek,


vinn/vine. This implies that the attention span at your Ministry is very seriously reduced. Maybe we should, in this case, congratulate you, instead on correctly spelling as many as 44 out of the first 100 words in Kreol.


Here is an English text with the same number of spelling mistakes in it:


Our argiment iz that four multi-lingualisme to bee atained at a high levil it is besst wen threw mother tonge bassed edukeshin. And uor ame is, in fact, hy level multi-lingualizm, rather than low-levil multi-lingualism an sertainly not high levil monolingualism. And high level multilingaulism is wot wee wont for evreyone. The hi faleur rate in primery skools is klearly partly due to eroneous langwij polisi. And the notoriyous rowte-learning of the chilren of the ilite is klearly there whey of eluding the fialure statistics. Obvously, many of us “ketch up” after skool, bet research indikates that it takes time.


When you’ve finished reading this, can you remember what you read?


So, while we congratulate you on writing 2 pages out of 16 in Mauritian Kreol, we do call on you, in all seriousness, to tighten up your spelling. In practical terms, this means that all your staff should perhaps, in turn, follow courses through some official government body on the orthography. In the meantime, staff can check their spelling at the following official address:


http://ministry-education.govmu.org/English/downloads/Pages/Publications--Reports.aspx


Thank you for taking into consideration this request for a more rigorous approach to the writing of Mauritian Kreol.


Yours sincerely,


 


Lindsey Collen


for LPT