SEOUL, January 7 (Korea Bizwire) – A dictionary will be published for the Cia-Cia tribe, an ethnic minority in Indonesia who adopted Hangul, the Korean alphabet, as their official writing system 10 years ago.
The Asia Development Foundation announced Monday that it will sponsor Jung Deuk-young, 58, a Hangul teacher at Cia-Cia Hangul School, to publish the first-ever dictionary of the Cia-Cia language.
The Cia-Cia people are made up of 70,000 people living in the town of Bau-Bau, located on the Indonesian island of Buton.
They have their own language, but used the Roman alphabet for writing due to the lack of an original writing system.
In 2008, they signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate Hangul into their writing system.
Hangul is able to describe the sound of the Cia-Cia language accurately, which the Roman alphabet could not achieve.
In July 2009, two Hangul instructors were sent to teach the Korean alphabet to the Cia-Cia people. The following month, Hangul began to be used to write the Cia-Cia language.
A total of 15 million won (US $ 12,900) will be invested in the publication of the Cia-Cia dictionary, the publication of which is expected to take three years.
âCreating a dictionary means preserving the Cia-Cia language,â said Cho Nam-chul, executive director of the Asia Development Foundation.
âThe Cia-Cia language will finally undergo a critical evolution to acquire its own writing system. “
DM Park ([email protected])