DOST launches Hanunoo language e-dictionary photo
Cyber World

DOST launches Hanunoo language e-dictionary

Mar 14, 2022, 11:10 AM
Heloise Diamante

Heloise Diamante


The Department of Science and Technology has collaborated with the De La Salle University in preserving the Hanunoo language of the Mangyans of Oriental Mindoro through an e-dictionary.

To preserve the “dying” language, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) collaborated with the De La Salle University to create a mobile Hanunoo e-dictionary.

The research to document the Hanunoo language of the Mangyan in Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro is being led by Dr. Rochelle Irene G. Lucas funded by the DOST-National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP).

“The younger generation Hanunoo Mangyan are no longer literate in their system of writing which will eventually lead to the language loss in writing their script,” Lucas said.

The research on Language Preservation and Documentation of Hanunoo involves an ethnolinguistic vitality study and the creation of a mobile e-dictionary.

Also read: Bill seeking to preserve Baybayin and other scripts get House nod

Hanunoo script is only one of the languages from the eight tribes of the Mangyan population: Alangan, Bangon, Buhid, Hanunoo, Iraya, Ratagnon, Tadyawan, and Tawbuid.

It was deciphered and documented by anthropologists Antoon Postma and Harold Conklin who found out that locals use it to write lyrics of their poetry, called the ambahan, to loved ones.

Through their research, the DLSU surveyed 170 respondents from Sitio Bailan and Umabang, Bulalacao, Mindoro showing that the language is still being used in social interactions at home and in the community.

However, only a few respondents were able to identify or write the Mangyan script. Therefore, Lucas says the writing system must be accessible, visible, and functional to be revived.

In addition to the e-dictionary, the research team recommends the need to promote the use of the Hanunoo script in the community, barangay, and LGU documentations of Hanunoo Mangyan activities.

They also urged the use of Surat Mangyan as part of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education DepEd curriculum for Kinder to Grade 3 through the Indigenous Education Program.

For now, the e-dictionary is accessible in the newly inaugurated Oriental Mindoro Heritage Museum as a learning aid.

Tags: #indeginousscript, #language, #DOST, #DLSU, #mangyan, #hanunoo

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