Forty officials and residents in Moc Chau district in the northern mountainous province of Son La have signed up for Mong and Thai ethnic minority language classes, run by the local education centre.

From July until late 2015 onwards, learners will be taught the basics in how to speak, read and write these languages.

Being able to understand ethnic minority languages helps Government officials and local residents develop a deeper understanding of local’s ethnic minority cultures and traditions.

The language courses will help local Government employees disseminate Government policies and laws to local ethnic minority residents, as well as knowledge on improving living conditions, reducing poverty and eliminating hunger in ethnic minority areas.

Additionally, the programme will also help local ethnic minorities promote and preserve their own native languages.

According to the Provincial People’s Committee, Son La has a total population of 1.15 million, comprising 12 ethnic groups, including Thai, Muong, Dao, Mong and Kinh.

To date, hundreds of ancient Thai, Mong and Dao books have yet to be translated into Vietnamese, failing to capture crucial indigenous knowledge.-VNA