Maori Language Week

It’s Māori Language Week (July 24-30) in New Zealand. In his post on this, Kevin of the eclectic Languageandhumor.netcom links to a newspaper article that notes some of the controversy involved in putting up bilingual street signs. (One councilor, for example, called the idea of installing such signs “stupid.”)

As long as I’m on the subject of Maori, I’d like to note that even though, like Mandarin, the language has many fewer individual syllables than English, no one goes around claiming that Chinese characters are essential for its written form to be clear. Indeed, Maori has many fewer syllables than Mandarin and the other Sinitic languages; but a stripped-down version of the Roman alphabet (along with a macron) is enough to handle writing the language.